Originally from Cyprus, Sarah Khalife is a Computer Engineering major and a CWIT Affiliate.  


About Sarah

When did you become interested in Computer Engineering? I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to be. At first, Computer Engineering sounded interesting– I like computers and I like math, why not Computer Engineering? Since then, I've taken Computer Science and Computer Engineering classes and came to realize that it challenges me not only academically, but to think analytically, to be innovative, as well as to have the ability to discuss and describe my work for another person to understand. I knew I finally wanted to be a Computer Engineering major by the end of my Sophomore year.

What area of Computer Engineering interests you the most? Logic design seems very interesting so far. I enjoyed my CMSC 203 and COMP 212 class, and I am looking forward to taking some VLSI classes!

What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I would like to gain some experience working, and then maybe continue on to a Master's.

What is your dream job? Dream job…I am still trying to find it! I am thinking that I will enjoy a position in engineering management, but I haven't fully experienced working within my field to have a dream job.


About being a CE major

What is the best part about being a CWIT affiliate? Networking. Networking with other students in your field or similar ones. Networking with professors and important people at UMBC. Networking with recruiters and companies that will be helpful in getting internships and jobs. Also, being a CWIT, you are a part of a community where you are in similar majors, have similar interests, and always have the opportunities to excel. 

What is your favorite course/professor and why? My favorite professor is Dawn Block! I took CMSC 104 and CMSC 201 with her and I loved those classes. She always understood what I asked her and did her best for me to understand as well! Plus, she would give out candy! She made my first computer science classes fun and very informational. I enjoyed learning Computer Science concepts and languages with Professor Block.

Are you part of any on-campus clubs, organizations, teams, or labs? I work as a Commuter Assistant for Off-Campus Student Services, where I help commuters, plan events, play games, and have/eat free food. It feels more like a club rather than work! I'm also part of Student Government Association (SGA) in the Office of Academic Affairs where I find academic related issues and try to solve, come up with, and implement initiatives that will better UMBC and the students, and in general, support students and their academic needs. I'm a Center for Women in Technology (CWIT) Affiliate, where I help to plan more events and activities, network with a variety of people, and have the opportunity to open my eyes and to see what's out there regarding my major.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

  1. Talk to your professors: they are very interesting and helpful people!
  2. Get a well-rounded experience at UMBC: get involved in clubs/organizations/something you care about.
  3. Learn how to time-manage ASAP! Schools gets very hard when you're overwhelmed, but if you manage to create a schedule that you will follow, keeping up with homework and extra-curricular activities shouldn't be too hard!

What advice would you give to other females entering the field?

  1. At UMBC, I haven't felt discriminated against because I'm female. So, don't be worried about that as a female you will be treated differently.
  2. Depending on your major and classes you take, you might be one of the few females in the class. Don't be afraid/shy to step up and ask questions.


About life at UMBC

What is the best part about campus life at UMBC? UMBC has a diverse group of people, clubs/orgs, and activities. I love that you can get a snippet of different cultures at UMBC without having to travel anywhere! I love attending all the multicultural events and experiencing the traditions, dancing, food, and so on, all within UMBC.

What is your favorite spot on campus?  The Commons. There's always an event happening there!

Where can you get the best coffee/lunch/ food or beverage of choice? Administration Building Deli–best place to get breakfast and lunch, and your money's worth if you don't have a meal plan.