Feature Stories 2024: Clivens Joseph '24, '25: Charged with creativity, grounded in excellence

Clivens Joseph '24
Feature Stories 2024: Clivens Joseph '24, '25: Charged with creativity, grounded in excellence
Clivens Joseph '24, '25: Charged with creativity, grounded in excellence

College Now alum and first-generation college student finds out what he's capable of at UMassD

"I started out not knowing if I could do this, and now I'm going for my master's degree.  It really shows what can happen when you believe in yourself and have a good community behind you." 

Clivens Joseph grew up in Haiti before his family moved to Boston. He began at UMassD in the College Now program, where he received support as a first-year student that would set him up for long-term success. Now, he is working on his master's degree in the accelerated BS/MS program in electrical engineering, which will allow him to complete both degrees in just 5 years. 

Why did you choose UMass Dartmouth? 

"I visited a few schools before deciding on UMassD. I just found the campus to be a perfect fit for me: not too quiet, not too loud. Because of the size of the school, I knew I'd have access to my professors and not feel lost. I also witnessed the experience my older brother (Davidson Joseph, '23, '24, mechanical engineering) had at UMassD, and seeing him succeed here made me feel more confident that I could do the same." 

Why did you decide to study electrical engineering? What is exciting about it to you? 

"Growing up in Haiti, I followed my older brother to school before I was old enough to go. I always wanted to learn what he was learning. So, our father taught me about math and science at home. Our father passed away when I was five years old, but learning math and science makes me feel connected to him. When I'm studying now, it reminds me of when he was teaching me, and brings back so much nostalgia.   

"I love the feeling you get when you spend hours working on something that seemed impossible, and then suddenly you've made the impossible happen. Electrical engineering is especially interesting to me because it deals with all the things you can't see but that make up the invisible workings of the world. My master's focus is on signal processing and optics – these are the things that connect our phones together and make pretty much everything around us work!" 

Is there anyone at UMass Dartmouth – professor or otherwise – who has made a difference in your life? 

"My professor and mentor Dr. Ana Doblas always makes me feel comfortable asking questions. Working with her has helped me demystify the research process. Her impact extends far beyond the classroom, serving as a constant source of inspiration as I continue to pursue my academic and professional goals." 

"Dr. Dayalan Kasilingam was my undergraduate advisor and showed me that I can accomplish a lot more than I think. 

"Dr. Paul Gendron makes me see that it's not just about grades and performance; it's about loving what I am doing  

"Megan Kishbaugh was my supervisor as a Resident Assistant. She has always been a supportive person I can speak to when everything feels like it is going wrong."  

What has been the best part of your UMassD experience? 

"There's a great community at UMassD. Whether you're introverted or extraverted, you can fit in here. No matter your major or where you come from, the people at UMassD can help you find your place and your purpose.  

"It's been great having my brother here, too; he has always been an example to me, and he shows me what is possible."

Brothers Clivens Joseph '24, '25 and Davidson Joseph '23, '24 at the 2023 STEMming While Black Gala
Davidson Joseph '23, '24 and Clivens Joseph '24, '25 at the 2023 STEMming While Black Gala

Tell us about your internship at Leidos 

"I went to a career fair on campus and met a representative from Leidos. I interviewed for an internship with them the same day and got an offer on the spot.  

"As an intern, I helped design schematics and substations that deliver power to the city and checked calculations for errors. An internship allows you to see what you learn in class being applied in real life. I quickly realized that there are infinite things to learn in my field." 

What are you most proud of? 

"I am proud to have made it this far. As a first-year student, I didn't know what I was capable of; I never would have predicted that I would make it into the by-invitation-only BS/MS program. It feels great to have my work recognized and to find that I did what I thought I couldn't do." 

What advice would you share with future Corsairs? 

"It's important to love what you do, because it takes hard work to succeed. But if you are dedicated, hard work can outweigh natural ability. Believe in yourself and ask for help if you need it. Especially here, people are so willing to help you. If you're nervous about college professors being intimidating, you don't have to worry about that at UMassD. 

"There will be moments of self-doubt and when you feel like giving up, but remember why you started. You may not always get the grade or test score you wanted, but what matters is how you pick yourself up and keep going." 

What are your plans for your future? 

"Next year, I will finish my master's degree in the BS/MS program. After that, I want to work in signal processing and optics. I also keep in mind the possibility of going for a PhD; it would be nice being the first in my family to become a doctor."