College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Kemonte Yow goes from stuffing running backs to tackling human trafficking


Kemonte Yow used to drag running backs to the turf as a linebacker for the Army Black Knights. Now he’s headed to Clemson University to tackle human trafficking.

Kemonte Yow played linebacker for the Army Black Knights before joining Clemson University as an industrial engineering master’s student.

Kemonte is joining Clemson this fall as a master’s student in industrial engineering and plans to conduct research under Dr. Thomas Sharkey, whose interdisciplinary research focuses on breaking up human-trafficking networks.

For Kemonte, his work at Clemson will be an opportunity to build his skills and become better equipped to live out the values he learned growing up in church.

“One of the biggest things that Jesus did that people don’t talk about is that he served, and that’s what made him the best leader,” Kemonte said. “He used his whole life to give back.”

Kemonte first heard about Clemson from fellow West Point graduate Michael Clark, who also studied under Dr. Sharkey and this spring received his Master of Industrial Engineering.

What sealed Kemonte’s decision, though, was his participation in STEM ALL-IN.

Kemonte received his undergraduate degree from West Point.

Students in the program visit Clemson early in the graduate-school application process to learn about research opportunities on campus and meet with faculty, students and staff. A big part of the goal is to increase the number of students who are from groups underrepresented in STEM.

The program gave Kemonte a chance to experience the community on campus.

“I was like, this is the place I want to be,” said Kemonte, who is a GEM Fellow.

Classes and football kept Kemonte busy as an undergraduate at West Point, and he is working an internship at Georgia Tech Research Institute over the summer. But when he does have free time, he likes to watch movies and write poetry.

As a former Division I linebacker, Kemonte will be bringing a unique skillset to a university known for its steadfast dedication to its football team. Will he be sacking quarterbacks for the Tigers come fall?

He’s thinking about it and plans to talk to his advisor.

“I’m going to train in probably June and July because I still have two years of eligibility,” Kemonte said.

On or off the field, we’re glad Kemonte chose Clemson. Please help us welcome him!

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