[Y HMC?] With Katie Johnson

To help showcase what made different current students choose to attend Mudd, we’ll be asking some of them [Y HMC?] over the next few weeks. For today’s installment, we talked to Mudd sophomore Katie Johnson!


Katie Johnson ’23. Photo Credit: Katie Johnson

Katie first heard about Mudd from her mother, who applied to Mudd for college but did not end up attending. During Katie’s college search, she was looking at technology schools with good computer science programs and noticed that Mudd kept coming up. This was enough to convince her to apply, but she didn’t actually decide to attend Mudd until she visited as part of the Admitted Students Program (ASP). Every spring, Mudd invites admitted students to campus for a weekend and offers activities ranging from the chance to sleep in a dorm, to panels on academic and social life, to meetings with current Mudders. Katie says that during her ASP visit, the campus just felt perfect. Not only was there a strong academic atmosphere, but there was also a feeling of community, like people were invested in each other’s success. This had a really strong impact on Katie, as she admits that “The people were what really made me choose to come here.”

Now at Mudd, Katie is double majoring in computer science and linguistics (through Pomona), which also serves as her HSA concentration. Though managing meetings for clubs is hard right now, as Mudd remains fully virtual, Katie is also the president of the rocketry club and one of the vice-presidents of the prank club. In the rocketry club right now, she is helping to prepare for a competitive rocketry competition scheduled for the summer of 2022 that they hope to participate in.

Katie, holding a rocket approximately her height.

Katie with one of her rockets! Photo Credit: Katie Johnson

Prank club is not especially active right now, though as always any Mudder not on the no-prank list (a voluntary sign-up that allows you to opt-out of being the victim of any prank) is ever truly safe. Katie does remember with fondness what she says is her favorite Mudd memory, the Caltech prank her frosh fall. In November of 2019, a group of Mudd students snuck onto Caltech’s campus and decorated their Mudd Lab as “Harvey Mudd College Pasadena Campus,”  including filling it with yellow and black balloons and adding Mudd promotional posters. It was a very highly coordinated event, with designated teams for each part. Katie remembers it as a great way to meet new people and have a bonding experience as a frosh.

A poster comparing Harvey Mudd and Caltech's gender diversity, which reads "Harvey Mudd is diverse"

One of the promotional posters placed. Photo Credit: The Student Life

One of Katie’s other favorite memories from her time on campus was just hanging out in the East dorm lounge with other Mudders to watch a movie. She recommends that anyone thinking about applying to or attending Mudd reach out to current students and ask them questions. According to her, it’s very true that “students are what make Mudd!”