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Curette Earns Education Inside and Outside of KU Classrooms

April 13, 2010

Christa Curette has conducted research at the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), mentored first-year KU students as a peer educator, worked as a math tutor for KU Athletics and served as KU chapter president and a regional officer for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). And oh yeah, she is also a graduating senior computer engineering. 

“I use sticky notes and my cell phone to remind me what I have to do each day. I also have an hour-by-hour schedule in Excel,” Curette says. “Everything that I have done at KU has enriched my experience as a student. I earned a true education inside and outside of the classroom.”
Christa Curette
Her marathon efforts have led to a job at Schlumberger, the world's leading oilfield services company. Curette will be a field engineer with the Drill and Measurement division in Youngsville, LA. Curette applied online and was contacted by Schlumberger for an on-campus interview, which led to more interviews and a subsequent job offer. Youngsville is nearly 10 hours closer to home, Port Arthur, Texas, than KU is. For Curette, it is definitely one of the perks! 

Curette was a standout guard in high school and college before an injury ended her basketball career.  It was a devstating loss that forced Curette to revaluate her goals. While she had always been a good student, she had juggled school and athletics. Curette began focusing her considerable deterimination and skill on her studies. She begin thinking about transferring to a univeristy with a strong EECS program. She had always liked computer science and electrical engineering and thought CoE offered the best of both worlds.  

She visted her older brother, Alvin, several times at KU when he completing his graduate degree in education. She liked KU and its atmosphere and shared a common love—basketball—with the Phog Phanatics. Curette says her favorite EECS classes include EECS 211/212 (Circuits), EECS 448 (Software Engineering) and 541/542 (Senior Design). After gaining a solid foundation in circuits, Curette had opportunities to create a video game from scratch and learn different software writing methods in EECS 448. In Senior Design, Curette applied everything she learned to a single project. The overall theme of Curette’s senior design project was to be able to detect dancers’ movements on stage. Using a web-cam and an infrared LED kit with a lot of programming, her team was able to detect people, and not other objects.

“The expectation level is very high, and we are forced to learn things on our own while still having supportive professors, such as Dr. [James] Rowland, Dr. [Gary] Minden and Dr. [Arvin] Agah,” Curette says. 

“Her great personal skills make her a better engineer,” says Agah, who had Curette in Software Engineering. “Her ability to work well with others improves her team’s dynamics.”

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