Published: Sept. 1, 2019

Why did you choose engineering at CU Boulder?

The University of Colorado has everything and more in terms of what I was hoping for in a university. CU has an engineering program which is among the very best in the nation. CU also has a unique program which is not offered at any other university. This is the Creative Technology and Design (CTD) program. I have always wanted to be an Engineer and have always loved being creative. The CTD engineering program provides the best of both worlds; it is a perfect fit for me.

What does the #iLookLikeAnEngineer hashtag mean to you?

When someone says engineering major I feel like people generally think of a smart guy wearing glasses. No one ever thinks of a blonde girl, especially not a cheerleader or a sorority girl. I want to change that because I just happen to be all three of those things. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, your hair color, what you look like, or what you do with your free time. Anyone can be an engineer. Just because I don’t fit the stereotype of what an engineer looks like doesn’t make me any less intelligent or less of an engineer. I look like an engineer too.

What are three things that make you unique?

  1. My family only likes squished faces dogs. Pugs, boxers, Boston terriers, bulldogs, you name it! We have had them all.
  2. My favorite thing to do in the whole world is to go wake surfing.
  3. I have dyslexia. My whole life I have had people telling me that I was not enough, that I would never be in the highest-level group, that I would never get good grades, that I would never do anything extraordinary. I worked very hard to prove them all wrong. I have come a long way from the little girl who couldn’t read in second grade to studying engineering at one of the top ranked engineering schools in the country. You can do anything you set your mind to accomplish with hard work and perseverance.

What are your career goals?

Someday, I hope to be in product development. My whole life all I have ever wanted to do was innovate. Now, being a part of a program that has such a design-oriented curriculum, I feel that by the time I graduate I will have the skills I need to achieve my goals.

What are your hobbies? Are you involved in any student groups or organizations?

I am an athlete on the University of Colorado’s D1 All Girl cheerleading team. I am a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. I am a volunteer for the Global Downs Syndrome Foundation. I am also involved in an internship with the Lab of Playful computation with ATLAS.

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?

"If it can, it will.”

What do you enjoy most about engineering? Is there something you value or appreciate about being a part of the CTD or ATLAS community?

I absolutely love being a CTD major. Not only do I get to be involved in the normal engineering scene (the engineering building, hard calculus and science classes, etc.), but I also get to work on projects with artists, marketing majors, business students, and people from all different walks of life. CTD is such a diverse program with people who work and study in all different fields. I feel like I learn so much just working with so many different kinds of people.

What is your favorite engineering experience?

I recently started working in the lab of playful computation in ATLAS. It has been so cool getting to help engineer and improve an app that the lab created. Getting to be at the forefront of new technology working on machine learning that helps athletes train more efficiently, excites me for the future.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

It isn’t always going to be easy. Sometimes you are going to be sad that your non- engineering major friends can go out on a Tuesday night, and you have to stay home because you have calc at 8 a.m. It’s very tough that on more than one occasion during the semester you will only sleep three hours because you have to study all night. It is hard that some times you have to put aside your pride and ask for help in subjects that you got an A+ in high school. But that’s okay! Nothing that comes easy is worth having. Engineering is not going to be easy, but all the hard work is worth it! Don’t give up, dig deep, you can do this!


Carlie Charp, Class of 2022, Creative, Technology and Design