Ambassador Profile: Sean Marihugh

Photo of DO-IT Ambassador Sean Marihugh controls an electronic car at the Sensorimotor Neural Engineering pizza party.

Ambassador Sean Marihugh controls an electronic car at the Sensorimotor Neural Engineering pizza party.

I'm Sean Marihugh, and I'm a DO-IT Ambassador. I was a Scholar in 2009, and have stayed active in the DO-IT community. Following my second Summer Study, I began my studies at the University of Washington, Seattle campus. Though I was initially interested in the computer science program, my focus shifted from computer programming to studying the interactions between users and technology. In order to stay true to my interests, I decided to pursue a bachelor's degree in psychology. I am currently a junior, and I am very excited to finish my formal education and enter the workplace!

For the last three years, I have worked at the DO-IT office, which has helped me become comfortable in a professional environment and has enhanced my interest in technology, usability, and accessibility. As a DO-IT Intern, I initiated and designed an interactive web page that lets students with disabilities track scholarships based on interests and types of disabilities. I also maintain a web page that lists upcoming events and opportunities for participants in the AccessSTEM program. I helped redesign the Information Technology and Disabilities e-journal using the current accessible web development guidelines. Last year, I began working with the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering's Student Leadership Council. My current project involves a remote-controlled car that drives based on electrical signals in the muscles.

I have Becker muscular dystrophy and use a power wheelchair to travel long distances, such as at work and on campus. Had I not been involved in the DO-IT program, I would not be where I am today. Prior to Summer Study, I planned on going to a small private university, since I felt my mobility impairment would limit me. After Phase I of Summer Study, I realized campus size should not be a deterrent. So, I decided to attend a very large campus, and I have been pleased with this choice and the opportunities it has provided. My interest in usability and the experiences I have had through DO-IT and my college career have given me a unique skillset that will allow me to improve technology for a wide variety of users.