Friday, May 14, 2021

Gates contributes to campus, community

After graduating from high school, senior information technology major Michael Gates spent a year working in a local library in Keene Valley, New York, before he decided to commit and pursue his college degree at Plattsburgh State.

“Originally I planned to go to Clinton Community College for two years because that would save money,” he said. 

Taking a gap year after high school, Gates tried to save up money for his future. Then he decided to choose PSU for his four-year college experience.

“I actually didn’t know that they had a computer science program here,” Gates said. “I was just hoping to find something close enough when I came here.”

He also said he was interested in other fields as well such as English as a back-up. Then Gates was happy to find out PSU offered a computer science program for students.

Gates has had a passion for computers since he was a kid. He has been playing games since he was three. He started using a computer when he was five. Gates remembers his first computer game was a fighting game called “Mortal Kombat.”

“Now I play more action-oriented games,” he said. “That has sparked my interest eventually. Through that, I learn how to program and a lot of those computer science concepts.”

Another reason he chose PSU is because he likes the sense of community here and “a nice population for what it is.”

“Whenever I go to the library, the hallway or just getting food, I always see familiar faces,” Gates said. “People here tend to be happier, more up-beat and more smiley.”

Gates has also been active and involved on campus. During his first year in college, he has been a member of multiple cultured clubs on campus such as V-Nation, Korean Association, 

Club International, Chinese Association and Japanese Culture Association. Then he also joined the board and held many positions such as public relations, vice president, event coordinator for those clubs.

In his sophomore year, Gates got involved in the international orientation. He was also a community advocate for MacDonough Hall over the summer and got a job at the library as well.

“All of those really helped me overcome my fear and anxiety when I first came to college,” Gates said.

Beside academic and getting involved on campus, Gates loves playing video games in his free time and hanging out with friends.

Having a lot going on, he tried to keep everything balanced between academic and social life by not procrastinating. Gates always tries to finish his homework right away and uses Google Calendar as a tool to help him succeed. 

Being busy from school and all the extra-curriculars, he never complains. To Gates, all of his involvements on campus helped him connect, break down many barriers and become a better person. 

Email Hilly Nguyen at

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