Student Profile - Kelly Kitagawa

Student Profile - Kelly Kitagawa
Student Profile - Kelly Kitagawa
Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Kelly is a third-year computer engineering student who is looking forward to spending most of this year on a foreign exchange program in Madrid, Spain. She is also applying to grad school here at UCSC, where she hopes to continue her work with Professor Roberto Manduchi on his aids for the visually impaired.

In preparation for graduate school, she is doing the UC Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees, or UC LEADS, program. The program is designed to identify and encourage upper-division undergraduate students with the potential to succeed who have experienced adverse situations or conditions during the course of their study.

Once chosen as UC LEADS Scholars, the students embark upon a two-year program of scientific research and graduate school preparation guided by individual Faculty Mentors. Scholars are provided with an excellent opportunity to explore their discipline, experience a research environment, and improve their opportunities for future study in their chosen field.

Among other things, UC LEADS includes a paid summer internship at another UC. This summer, after returning from Spain, Kelly hopes to work with either a professor from UCSD developing technologies to help the blind shop in stores, or a different professor from UCSB who is working with visualization techniques.

Kelly is also very active in the Society for Women Engineers, the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the Multicultural Engineering Program. She acts as a peer mentor and a tour guide for summer bridge programs, which she says are highly beneficial to bringing minorities and women into engineering. She says that she has had such a good experience here that she wants to give back to the next generation of engineers.

To round off this busy and dynamic individual, Kelly also took a sailing class last quarter. She is obviously set to make waves in the engineering profession, and we wish her the best of luck.