Hailey Windsor was introduced to the CITRIS Invention Lab as a freshman and found a place where she could combine her interests in environmental design, engineering, art, and new media. In the lab, Windsor worked with Visualize, a nonprofit organization co-founded in 2014 by Julia Kramer (PhD 2020 ME) and Loyola University medical student Maria Young, prototyping training devices for nurses in Ghana to identify cervical cancer. Windsor also had the opportunity to work with the Berkeley AI startup Covariant.ai. She graduated from UC Berkeley in spring 2020 with an Individual Major in Human-Centered Design.
When I first showed up at the Invention Lab I was in constant terror. I didn’t know what was going on and was worried that I didn’t have the technical capabilities I’d need to succeed. I now feel significantly more confident in my skills. As a Superuser, I needed to know how to use the most commonly used tools really well.
One of the things I like about the CITRIS Invention Lab is having Chris Myers, Dan Chapman, Kuan-Ju Wu, and Adam Hutz (Superuser) for emotional support and project advice. Last summer, right before I went to Ghana, I was stressed because a lot of work remained to finish the Visualize prototype and we had to wait for materials to come in. Chris swooped in and let me in the lab to get stuff done and order pieces I needed with rush delivery! It was very helpful to have that support.
My experience in the Invention Lab helped me be more competitive when applying for design internships. I worked as a design and fabrication engineer for Covariant.ai for a summer and got the job because I was a recognized face around the Invention Lab. I stuck with it because of the skills I gained working with tools from the Invention Lab. I felt confident that if a piece of machinery appeared and no one knew how to assemble or use it, I could get the job done because I had support from the people here. I gained technical abilities even though my background isn’t in engineering.
The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute drive interdisciplinary innovation for social good with faculty researchers and students from four University of California campuses – Berkeley, Davis, Merced, and Santa Cruz – along with public and private partners.
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