Gloria Opoku-Boateng becomes a user experience researcher after Ph.D. on gaming and mental acuity

Gloria Opoku-Boateng
Ph.D. Information Systems
Magna Cum Laude
Hometown: Laurel, Maryland
Plans: User Experience Research Scientist, Northrop Grumman Corporation

Here at UMBC, I was encouraged to go out and get experiences for myself. As a result, I interned at large tech companies, research labs, small consulting companies, and the federal government. I experienced it all and…I am now better positioned to move forward in a career direction that I am most comfortable with.

During her time at UMBC, Gloria Opoku-Boateng took advantage of the full range of opportunities available to support her growth as a research scientist. These included mentorship and support opportunities through UMBC and the University System of Maryland, as well as conferences, work and internships in government and industry.

On the path to completing her dissertation on how gaming apps and board and paper games enhance mental acuity in older adults, Opoku-Boateng worked closely with her advisor Anthony Norcio, professor of information systems. She also found support from peers through the PROMISE AGEP program, led by Renetta Tull, associate vice provost for graduate student development and postdoctoral affairs. 

Gloria Opoku-Boateng (second from left) during her trip to South Korea to attend the 2016 Global Student Forum and World Engineering Education Forum; photo courtesy of Opoku-Boateng.

Opoku-Boateng actively participated in the Dissertation House program, through which, she says, “I felt that I had a community of fellow graduate students and mentors who understood my journey.” Through PROMISE AGEP and Dissertation House, Opoku-Boateng traveled to internationally to connect with global engineering and computing colleagues as a representative of UMBC.

Throughout her time at UMBC, Opoku-Boateng received scholarships and grants from IBM, Google, LinkedIn and Xerox, and attended several conferences, including the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing,, ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference, AMIA conference for informatics professionals, engineering-focused Global Students Forum, and Latin American and Caribbean Conference for Engineering and Technology.

At the Global Students Forum, Opoku-Boateng delivered a research talk on engineering artificial intelligence in consumer apps for personalized pain prediction and management. Additionally, in a project focused on United Nations Millennium Development Goals, she worked with a team to create an award-winning community empowerment program (dubbed “iHelp”) to reduce extreme poverty and hunger.

After receiving her Ph.D., Opoku-Boateng’s next step will be working as a user experience research scientist at Northrop Grumman.

Portrait by Marlayna Demond ‘11 for UMBC.