Karla Cosio started her academic career at Arizona State University in August 2018. She was already interested in medical devices, but a project in her sophomore year helped change her sights from a biomedical degree to electrical engineering. While working on the design of a glucometer, Cosio realized that it was the device’s electrical design that had her intrigued. Thus, she decided electrical engineering was the best fit for her and switched her major.
In that same pivotal year, she had the opportunity to work on a real-world project with SolarSPELL, also known as the Solar-powered educational learning library. The project under the School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS) Undergraduate Research Fellows Program in joint with the FURI program challenged her to find innovative solutions to pressing computer needs around the world. Cosio and her team focused on creating an offline library in Uganda that houses manuals for various manufacturers’ medical equipment. The library is available for biomedical engineering technicians to use offline in resource-constrained areas that lack internet connectivity or electricity. The team also applied to the Changemaker Challenge and were awarded money to carry out the project. After the semester ended, Cosio was awarded a summer internship with SolarSPELL and furthered her and work on other educational offline libraries. She is currently a part of SolarSPELL by taking the Humanitarian Engineering Projects I class that focuses on improving the BMET (Biomedical Engineering Technician) library.
It is true what they say about getting out of your comfort zone, that is when you grow and become better. Seize the opportunities that come your way, you never know where they might lead.