Introducing Stephen Group

Recognizable Me: How’s it going? My name’s Stephen Group. I was born in San Francisco, California and moved to Colorado when I was 3. Although I have no memories of growing up there, I’ve visited a few times and absolutely love it; I would move there if I could. My mom was born in Colombia, and I have a cavalcade of relatives living there. I make sure to visit Bogota at least once every two years. No matter how many times I visit South America, each time I do is like crossing over into a dream world. I should consider myself lucky to have cultural roots in such amazing places.

I’m currently studying chemical engineering at CU with a minor in Philosophy. I wanted to become an engineer to try and tackle some of the challenges surrounding renewable energy production. I believe that the problems currently plaguing the industry – economic cost, environmental waste, social injustice – are a cascade of issues. Once the U.S. becomes energy independent and self-sustaining, so many other problems will be solved. Philosophy interests me as a supplement, because it’s important to recognize the belief systems that motivate the pursuit of technology. For instance, is the development of wind/solar energy an egalitarian aim? Will it hinder economic prosperity? Learning to balance difference value systems is crucial in the path toward sustainability.

Where I’m at: This is my fourth year at the University of Colorado. I’m currently residing in Aurora and have a part time job as a cashier. It’s not glamorous by any means, but it helps pay the bills. I lived in on campus for a few years, which had its perks and draw backs. Definitely the best thing about living in Boulder is being able to go just about anywhere during the day – bike trails, mountain paths, and the creek – and still feel at home. Then again, there are few places to park and fewer places to study in solitude.That’s one of the reasons why I decided to commute. It’s also a lot more affordable despite being less convenient.

What I want: I’m taking this class to make myself marketable in an industry that is becoming staunchly competitive. One of my goals is to work for a national laboratory and to do research; in this industry, it’s important to get an internship at either a government facility or business before graduating. Learning how to cater my resume and cover letter for a position like that would be very beneficial. I also hope to pick up few useful skills from Lynda, which I’ve heard is a great resource. My plan is to learn CAD and Autodesk, which will give me skills for visualization, planning, and 3D modeling.  Even though I’m doing chemical engineering, the demand for versatility is ever growing. That’s why it’s important for me to acquire as many different skills as possible.

Hobbies and Interests: Before my freshman year of college, I first and foremost identified myself as a writer. For the past few years, I’ve spent my free time thinking about stories. That’s my real passion: deconstructing, analyzing, and appreciating film, television, theater… I like to study pretty much every art form. Anybody seen The Night Of? It’s incredibly insightful commentary of our flawed justice system – anyway. I’m currently a freelance entertainment blogger, which entails writing reviews, criticism, and think pieces about popular culture. And, when I’m not writing about other people’s art, I try to make my own. I write short stories, draw, and compose music. Finding the time to be creative can be arduous endeavor, but I feel it’s necessary to counter the stress of a career like engineering.



17 thoughts on “Introducing Stephen Group

  1. Hi Stephen!
    First of all I have mad respect for you for how you talked about renewable energy production. That has always interested me and I admire the people that help make a difference in the world revolving energy, I am always trying to be better about turning the lights off, our house just got solar panels put on them… and so much more. It really is the simple things that if every person did that will add up to the big things. The world is changing and change scares some people and so avoiding the issues are easier than facing them and changing them. Soooo basically, GO YOU for being interested in that!! Also, writing is always such good thing to do and the fact you are so interested in it will become handy in the future. Have you thought about starting a blog to write? Have you written any stories you maybe have thought about publishing some day? Have you done any 3D prints?

    1. Hi Ellery. Thanks for the comment. Sustainability is an important subject for me, and I’m always trying to find new, creative ways to conserve water and electricity, recycle, reuse, and refurbish old items just lying around. I think it’s awesome that your house has solar panels on them. I should definitely consider doing that as well. With regard to the writing, I’m still grinding every day, trying to find my voice. I do indeed have a blog (I actually use Tumblr), and that gives me an outlet to rant about movies. I’ve yet to be published, but hope to be before the year is through!

  2. Hey Stephen,

    I think it’s awesome that you get to travel to Columbia so often. I’ve only been to South America twice, but I absolutely love it. I’ve never been to Bogota, or I guess Columbia for that matter. I would really like to visit, I’ve heard it’s a beautiful place.

    I love your commitment to renewable energy. I am also very interested in this topic. Unfortunately, I do not have the academic prowess to be a chemical engineer. However, I would like to work in the finance side of the industry. Who knows maybe one day we could work together!


  3. Hey Stephen,

    I am also from South America, I was born in Caracas, Venezuela and lived there for ten years until my family decided to move to the U.S. but like you I still have a lot of family over there and try to go as often as possible. Other than Venezuela, I’ve been to Bogota in Colombia and Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Belo Horizonte in Brazil, are there any other countries besides Colombia you have been to in South America? Also, really cool that you are a freelance entertainment blogger, I am an avid TV fan and have watched countless shows, coincidentally last night I watched the finale of the The Night Of and I definitely agree with you about how flawed the US justice system is.

  4. Hi Stephen,
    I laughed at your comment about the lack of parking in Boulder. I know parking isn’t that big of a deal, but man when I know I’m headed somewhere with limited parking it is so frustrating. I also hate having to pay for parking everywhere! Boulder has definitely reached its capacity. I also struggle to find places to just be alone here! I often go for hikes in hopes of finding solitude but even at 11 am on a Tuesday its impossible to find a spot to yourself. Boulder is such a great place however, just maybe not for the distant future. I personally think commuting would be nice!

  5. Hello Stephen,

    How do you like the commute form Aurora? I grew up in Parker, just one town over from Aurora, and know some friends from my hometown that make the commute to Boulder like you do. I enjoy your interest in renewable energy. Being a finance major, I am glad to be at a business school that cares so deeply about sustainability and renewable energy sources. We each are attacking the same issue from a different angle, and I believe once the engineering side of things and the business side of things are able to fully and peacefully work together, great change can occur. I hope we can both make a difference in this world in the future.

  6. I lived in Centennial all throughout my life but went to my high school in Aurora, Grandview! There are actually really nice parts of Aurora, especially around that area so it seems like you’re the smart one here! Boulder rent and parking can be so ridiculous that even a forty five minute commute could honestly be worth it! I envy your independence and way to find loopholes to different situations.

  7. Hi Stephen! First of all, I absolutely loved how you started your blog post with “How’s it going?” that definitely made it feel like I wasn’t being talked to but rather conversed with. Also, I can connect with you on your experiences abroad to Columbia because when I was 5 weeks old my family moved over to France to a small town roughly 45 minutes outside of Nice. I feel the same way with no matter how many times I go back there or visit that it keeps getting better. I also feel like I grew in so many ways culturally just by having that ability to travel so often.

  8. Hey Stephen,

    I know exactly how you feel when you said that it feels like “crossing over to a dream world” when you go visit Columbia. This is my first time being back in China in ten years. I’ve been here for two months and the cultural differences still leave me in shock. It’s an unrealistic feeling thinking about how differently humans across the world live. Great job on obtaining a degree in Chemical Engineering. I started with the same major as well but Calculus for Engineers 2 got me, so I changed my major. I love that you are willing and eager to learn skills that are not necessarily required by your major. Versatility is definitely very important, especially in today’s competitive environment. It’s necessary that you realize that. Anyway, you seem like a very versatile person considering that your hobby lays more on the creative side while your major is on the technical side.


  9. Hello Steven,
    It’s going well! Do you enjoy Colombia? My girlfriend and I plan on travelling to South America sometime soon and would love any recommendations about places to visit. Have you been able to see much of the other countries near Colombia? I’m leaving really close to Aurora over in Stapleton. The access to trailheads was what I miss most too about leaving Boulder but there’s still plenty to do in the Denver Area. I have heard good things about The Night Of and plan to watch it this weekend. The lead actor is one of my favorites.

  10. Hey Stephen!

    I am vey jealous that you have been able to travel to Colombia so often! My brother lived in Colombia for a while and loved it. South America has been on my list for a while now. I had not heard of The Night Of before reading your post, but now I definitely plan on watching it soon.

    – Sara

  11. Hi Stephen!

    That is incredible that you are so well cultured. If you had the choice do you think you would have rather grown up in Colombia? One of my roommates is a chemical engineer and she absolutely loves it even though it is very hard work! I give you props for also having a job to help you pay for school. Where do you work? Hope you have an amazing semester!

  12. Hi Stephen!
    Thats so cool that you go and visit South America so often. Its so important to be connected to your heritage. I have never been to South America and i have always desired to because my ancestors are from there. Keep up the connection. It’s important to know and understand where you come from.


  13. Hey Stephen!
    I have family in Italy that I have visited and I can understand that dream-like feeling that the place you come from is filled with a wealth of culture and history. I find the reasoning behind your decision to study chemical engineering to be quite admirable and your ideas about the future of energy usage in the United States is quite similar to my own. Keep teaching yourself new skills; you won’t learn everything in a classroom. Keep up with the 3D design. It is a lot of fun once you get the hang of it!

  14. Hey Stephen,
    I actually worked in Aurora this summer also! I think your view on philosophy being a supplemental part of your engineering major is really cool. I totally agree that living in Boulder is such a great opportunity to experience the amazing trails here but there isn’t much space where you can be alone.

  15. Hi Stephen,

    It’s really cool that you have roots in Columbia. South America has always been fascinating to me. My grandmother is from Puerto Rico so I too have some Latin roots. I’m hoping to travel around South America in the near future. Maybe you can share some places with me that are a must see.

    1. Hey Justin, that’s a worthwhile goal. I’ve been to a few pretty amazing places. My favorite happens to San Andres, a Colombian island off the coast of Nicaragua. It is stunning – there’s coral everywhere and the ocean is crystal clear. I would also recommend Costa Rica, with its rich biodiversity, volcanic landscapes, forests, beaches… there’s always something to explore. If you ever find yourself in Colombia, check out Medellin. There’s a monorail that connects the city to the mountains, and the view is pretty spectacular.

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