Amanda Schwengel

May 02, 2022

Education

She lost her sight but not her passion for science

Student with blindness opens doors for others like her to pursue careers in STEM.

Amanda Schwengel

May 02, 2022

When Charis Glatthar lost her vision three years ago, she didn’t let it stop her from pursuing her love of chemistry. She worked with her Metropolitan State University of Denver Chemistry instructors to develop strategies to help her succeed in the lab. Now, she practically lives in the Science building, she said, and has developed communities and connections that aren’t defined just by blindness.

“I’ve really learned a lot on how to advocate for myself,” Glatthar said. “And that’s been huge because without the ability to advocate, nothing changes.”


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She hopes to work with the Environmental Protection Agency one day and is writing a paper with Environmental Science Senior Lecturer Sarah Schliemann, Ph.D., on their experiences in the lab together. They hope this work will help open doors and lower barriers for other people with blindness to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

“If people would just give me or other blind people a chance, they’d be amazed,” Glatthar said. “We’re problem-solvers by nature. We have to be. It’s how we get around the world. I apply that in the lab just like I do in real life.”

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