Michael Kidger ‘24: Computer Engineering Technology 

Long Island native Michael Kidger found his passion for computer engineering when his friend inspired him to ask for computer parts for Christmas. As a sophomore in high school, Kidger built his first computer, which kickstarted his interest in the innards of technology.  

Aside from his appeal to technology, Kidger knew from a young age that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and be a part of the military. “My father always told me that if I were to go into the military to do it better than he did, and that path was through ROTC.” 

As he has been completing his Computer Engineering Technology degree at SUNY Poly, Kidger has also commuted to Syracuse University (SU), taking part in their ROTC program. He chose to attend SUNY Poly because of the affordable and high-quality education he could receive, while also being in close proximity to a university where he could be involved with ROTC.  

For his first two years of college, Kidger would commute to SU and take classes for ROTC. Then, he went through a field training period at Maxwell Air Force Base. After that, he began what is called the professional officer course, where he became a mentor for the younger cadets. 

Kidger enjoys the structure within ROTC as it resembles his time in Boy Scouts as a child. “The whole program has made me more outgoing, a better public speaker, and it got me out of my shell. It has really developed me as a person,” he says. 

At Poly, Kidger faces a heavy course load, but he has been able to learn and grow from his experiences. “It’s been a lot of work but in a good way. It’s pushed me to develop and grow into the person I am right now,” he says. 

Kidger enjoys the field of technology because he likes staying up to date with its rapid evolution. Upon graduation, he will be commissioned as a pilot in the Air Force. Although he will not be directly using the skills from his degree in this endeavor, it will always be helpful within his hobbies and interests such as cars, small repairs and computer building. 

He has specifically liked taking classes with SUNY Poly Associate Professor, Dr. Mohammed Abdallah. “He’s super nice and explains everything very well. He makes the whole learning experience more enjoyable. He always makes sure everybody’s caught up and the way he teaches is just in such a fun way.”  

Kidger has had an enjoyable experience at SUNY Poly and is looking forward to continued growth and beginning his career once he graduates.

“Knowing that I’m going to have a degree after this and then a career [after graduation] makes it all worth it,” he stated.