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 ASU’s Solar Powered Educational Learning Library initiative, also known as SolarSPELL. The project, run by the School for the Future of Innovation in Society’s Undergraduate Research Fellows Program jointly with the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative, 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 T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge and were awarded money to carry out the project.

After the semester ended, Cosio completed a summer internship with SolarSPELL and furthered her work on other educational offline libraries.

Karla’s advice for students:

“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.”

Email: [email protected]