From WiSTEM to Caltech


The club logo of MV WiSTEM

Kinglsey Wang

The club logo of MV WiSTEM
The club logo of MV WiSTEM
Throughout her four years at MVHS, current senior and president of WiSTEM Johanna Karras transformed from a freshman still trying to find her passions to a proud attendee of Caltech university, one of the best universities in the nation for engineering and science. Read below to find out more about her passions, her choice to attend Caltech and her future goals.

EE: What field of science are you going into at Caltech?

JK: I am going to major in computer science. However, I am also potentially considering physics as a major. I haven’t really decided yet since we have our first year to decide.

EE: What compelled you to enroll in Caltech?

JK: I personally like Caltech as opposed to a larger school because when I went there, I really felt that I was more at home versus larger schools such as UCLA. Larger schools like UCLA feel really impersonal because they are just so big and Caltech has a residential college system. Instead of having dorms, they have 8 houses that really become similar to an extended family type of feel. They used to be fraternity houses and spending a weekend there, it was really like one big family rather than everyone in their own little dorm. I just like that feel. Another thing that I really liked was that the people there are really passionate about what they are doing and because everyone is into science, no one is feeling left out. No one feels like they are the nerds of the school and everyone is in it together.

EE: How has being the president of WiSTEM affected you?

JK: It has really given me a chance to contribute back to the school my passion for science that I had figured out by being part of the clubs. I was able to share my interests with the underclassmen showing them how it feels. It is also a really good way to gain skills for a future profession because as president, I have had to contact a lot of professionals and organize events.

EE: Do you believe that with the current presidential administration that science is as important as ever?

JK: I don’t think an administration will affect how important science is. It is whether or not an administration decides to make it relevant. If people have an interest in it, then the president will actually reflect that. We can’t blame the president because he reflects the general population’s disbelief in science, on issues such as global warming.

EE: Do you think as a scientist it is important to know about current events?

JK: Yes. If you are a computer scientist or an engineer, you are going to be making products for society and if you are not familiar with the necessities of society, you won’t necessarily know what society wants. As a scientist, you are constantly going to be finding new discoveries to better the people.

EE: What is specific goal that you have always thought of accomplishing?

JK: This is something I think about a lot and I really can’t say with certainty. However, I want to have a legacy with my career. I want to feel like my life made a difference and that my work did something to help a cause that I care for. I don’t want to be driven by money or fame.

EE: Any additional thoughts?

JK: I want people to know that admissions to college is a lot more random than people realize. There are many different factors into admissions so getting into some schools and not getting into others should not define anyone as qualified or not.