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April Zitkovich: Undergraduate

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Degree Program: 
BS, Computer Engineering
Turlock, CA
Undergraduate Institution: 
UC Santa Cruz
Graduate Institution: 
UC Santa Cruz
April Zitkovich, '19, computer engineering

What do you like about the Baskin School of Engineering?

All of the professors are very supportive and are very helpful in trying to get you research experience. They’re very open to having undergrads in their labs, working with them and trying to find a place where they can fit in.

What has been your favorite class?

One of my favorite classes was Mechatronics because we spent all quarter learning to build a robot. Then our robot competed against another robot at the end of the year. The process for that involved making the sensors for the robot to detect its environment, sort of modeling what we wanted it to look like and make it functional so it could complete a task. After that, programming it to make sense of all the information being fed into its microcontroller and direct it toward what it needs to do. After I took the class, I tutored for it the following fall. You spend a lot of time with classmates who are also struggling, and everyone’s very supportive and trying to help each other. I love the sense of community we had in that class. You get so much satisfaction out of making something come to life and do what it’s supposed to do.

What’s next?

I’m coming back to UC Santa Cruz for grad school. I want to continue with computer engineering but I’m not sure what I want to focus on just yet. I love that there are so many possibilities here and there’s still so much to explore. There’s so much more to learn about.

What do you like about engineering?

Everyone should study engineering, in my opinion. It opens up so many opportunities. Nothing is beyond your capabilities anymore. Once you learn the basics of, not just how our world works, but also how to make things in our world work for you and I absolutely love that.

What do you do for fun in your spare time?

The beaches here are absolutely beautiful. My favorite beach to go to is Lighthouse Field State Beach because it’s a dog beach and the dog owners are all super friendly and you get to know them and their dogs.