Graduating in May 2023 with degrees in Creative Technology and Design, these graduate and undergraduate students listed are recognized for exceptional accomplishments, having demonstrated initiative in their academic and extracurricular activities, completing outstanding research or creative projects, or contributing significantly to the ATLAS community.
Outstanding Undergraduate Student Awards
In their own unique ways, the spring 2023 Outstanding Undergraduate Student awardees listed below have demonstrated creativity, confidence, capability, community and collaboration. ATLAS recognizes them for their interdisciplinary accomplishments, their spirit of invention and creative exploration, and the many ways they have contributed to the community.
Ethan Wang / BS, Creative Technology and Design
Ethan Wang is credited with demonstrating a remarkable amount of perseverance in working through his senior capstone project over several iterations as he developed and tested his ideas. He holds his work to high standards and the quality and creativity of the outcome is truly impressive. John Bacus, ATLAS faculty member and Capstone advisor, describes his final project as one of the strongest in the class, and expects it to have legs beyond the classroom (go Ethan!). As a CTD student, Ethan worked for two years as a student Learning Assistant for the core curriculum class, Text (ATLS 2300). He worked with ATLAS faculty to deliver course material and evaluate student work. Ethan went above and beyond, offering tutoring hours and freely sharing his techniques to other students in the class. He also participated in advanced typography courses and is part of InHouse, a student graphic and design initiative. As part of the Whaaat Lab, Ethan has been a student game developer and is always willing to help with lab events. Additionally, he serves as a student Media Production Specialist for CU’s Fiske Planetarium. Ethan will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree and cum laude honors from CU Engineering with a Creative Technology & Design major and a Spanish minor.
McClain Martensen / BS, Creative Technology and Design
McClain is a truly community-oriented individual who seems to know and engage with everyone in the CTD program and also in the BTU Lab, ATLAS’ maker space. She is described as tenacious and ambitious with a terrific positive attitude, and is always willing to help others and shares her expertise freely. McClain is a “takes a big swing” person—her ambitious senior Capstone project demonstrates truly solid work with a lot of polish. To her credit, McClain single-handedly sought out a corporate sponsor, Mission 0, for her project, which seeks to address reducing and recycling plastic waste using a novel approach with a high level of engineering complexity. As a research assistant on the Digital Wellness program, McClain demonstrated comprehensive project skills with reliable follow through. She is described as someone who is ambitious, aims high and is a delight to work with. Outside of university, McClain has successfully blended her interests in engineering, map making, aesthetics and design working on a unique effort with National Geographic’s Boiling River Project as a GIS consultant and drone pilot, along with other drone-oriented photographic work. McClain will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree and cum laude honors from CU Engineering with a Creative Technology & Design major and a Geography minor.
Ryan Monteleone / BS, Creative Technology and Design
Ryan Monteleone stands out for his academic achievements as a CTD major and for producing work that is both creative and technical with a high level of finish and detail. His senior Capstone project was an ambitious one, requiring a lot of grit and self-directed learning of new technical skills to execute. As a student, Ryan exemplifies a find/learn mindset, one of the hallmarks of the CTD program. He is extremely motivated, works independently, and reaches out for critique or input. He is also credited with being a great team member, collaborating with others in a way that embraces and respects the group dynamic, but also raises the overall level of work. As a student, Ryan has served as president of Theta Tau, a professional co-ed engineering fraternity at CU. Ryan will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree and summa cum laude honors from CU Engineering with a Creative Technology & Design major and a Computer Science minor.
Katherine Nhi Bao “Kat” Tran / BS, Creative Technology and Design
In addition to exceptional academic performance, Katherine Nhi Tran is being recognized for her student leadership and community spirit. Kat has been active in the ATLAS T9Hacks, helping to lead an amazing team of fellow students to coordinate the large hackathon event supporting women and marginalized communities in computing. The events have been an unparalleled success thanks to great communication, organization and hard work. An active member of the BTU Lab, Kat is often in the maker space working on projects, but is always available to share her expertise. Additionally, Kat has served as a learning assistant (LA) for Web (ATLS 2200) and Intro to Virtual Reality (ATLS 4626) classes, supporting students in computational foundations and coding. She is noted to go above and beyond with office hours and tutoring sessions. Faculty particularly remark about Kat’s abilities in VR and how valuable her input and engagement with students has been in a technically demanding course. She has also been active in ACORN, a group of ATLAS students working with community outreach, STEM research and education initiatives. Kat will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree and magna cum laude honors from CU Engineering with a Creative Technology & Design major.
Gray Assi / BS, Creative Technology and Design
Gray Assi has successfully demonstrated herself to be an exemplary leader, mentor and peer educator in the CTD program. She has served as a Learning Assistant (LA) for Design Foundations (ATLS 1100) and Text (ATLS 2300) courses, working with faculty to deliver course content and supporting students in curricular objectives. Gray is also credited with continually showing a high level of engagement in her classes and bringing concepts learned in other classes into projects and research initiatives. Her senior Capstone is sponsored by SketchUp, where she previously served as a UI/UX intern. Gray took the initiative and pursued the sponsorship to develop a novel interface for 3D modeling that is designed to help students learn and use the tool. It’s quite remarkable to be involved in the design and development of a product that will likely be deployed into the real world. Gray will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree and summa cum laude honors from CU Engineering with a Creative Technology & Design major.
Caileigh Hudson / BS, Creative Technology and Design
Caileigh Hudson is recognized as a distinguished student who demonstrates leadership, community engagement and academic performance. As a member of the ATLAS community, their involvement includes working as a student Learning Assistant (LA) in the Helio Lab for several semesters as well as Computational Foundations. They are described as an outstanding LA with a high level of engagement, helping peers achieve the curricular objectives of the course. As a research assistant for the Digital Wellness initiative, Caileigh helped develop curriculum and was an adept facilitator of group sessions with high school participants. Caileigh consistently demonstrates level headedness and is always excited to collaborate with peers. An active member of the BTU Lab, ATLAS’ makerspace, Caileigh is known to be a top-notch student with a high level of imagination and creativity. As an autodidact, Caileigh is highly motivated and often self-learns skills before looking to refine or resolve issues with faculty or mentors. Their work is complex and thoughtful, but they are always open to critique to understand challenge points and opportunities to improve outcomes. In addition to this ATLAS Award, Caileigh Hudson is the recipient of an Academic Engagement Award from the College of Engineering. They participated in the Engineering Honors Program and will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors, as well as cum laude honors, from CU Engineering and a Creative Technology & Design major.
Distinguished Graduate Student Awards
The Distinguished Graduate Student Award recognizes graduating students earning Master of Science Degrees in Creative Technology and Design, specializing in one of two tracks: Information and Communication Technology for Development or Social Impact, and Creative Industries. Recipients have achieved academic excellence and demonstrated exceptional creativity and curiosity in the pursuit of their degrees. By exemplifying qualities that distinguish ATLAS as a unique academic and research community, they have earned the commendation of the ATLAS faculty for their hard work, creativity, character and performance.
Andi Moller / MS CTD - Creative Industries Track
Andi Moller is being recognized with an ATLAS Outstanding Student Award for distinguished mentorship and leadership. She has not only excelled in the master’s Creative Technology & Design program and Creative Industries track, but she has also availed herself of additional coursework in social impact. In her personal statement, Andi says she hopes to merge her design knowledge, passion for social impact, and curiosity of accessibility and UX to create experiences that can bring communities equality and equity as well as a safe platform to raise their own voices. Throughout her time at ATLAS, Andi has contributed time and resources to building community within the graduate student cohort. She has developed the curriculum and presented several skill-building workshops in UI/UX to her peers. Andi will graduate with a professional Master of Science degree from CU Engineering in Creative Technology & Design.
Anna E. Cook / MS CTD - Creative Technologies Track
Anna E. Cook is being recognized with an ATLAS Outstanding Student Award for academic excellence. She returned to CU after completing an undergraduate degree in Studio Art and a minor in Technology Art & Media (now known as CTD). She has pursued her graduate studies while working as a full-time professional. Anna is described as an exceptional and engaged student. Leveraging her background in UX, she is committed to embracing inclusive design and designing systems with accessibility as a goal. Through her work, she has become a thought leader and one of the foremost experts in accessible design. Currently, Anna is developing a course through LinkedIn Learning on Auditing Design Systems for Accessibility, which will help further accessible product creation. Her invitation by LinkedIn to create a course on accessibility for designers attests to the high regard for her knowledge and skills in this area. She is also in the process of writing a book, A11y for Designers: A Practical Guide for Inclusive Digital Design. Anna will graduate with a professional Master of Science degree from CU Engineering in Creative Technology & Design.
Robert Lino / MS CTD - Social Impact Track
Robert Lino is being recognized with an ATLAS Outstanding Student Award for community engagement and impact. He has demonstrated high level leadership and strong mentorship skills throughout his time in the program. He frequently collaborates on projects with fellow graduate students and gives his time to help his cohort with storytelling and multimedia needs. Robert is passionate about social impact and combines his exemplary knowledge and skills in electronics, international development and multimedia to make a difference in rural communities. Faculty describe him as a pleasure to have in class with the ability to synthesize key factors of complex discussions in a clear and concise manner with profound insights. As part of his thesis project in the Social Impact track, Robert’s practicum has been with the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) developing a multimedia lab at BoulderTEC, a school for trade-based skill building, which empowers students to be creators of technology, including a range of digital media. Robert will graduate with a professional Master of Science degree from CU Engineering in Creative Technology & Design.