Garrett Knuf Commits to Caltech

If you have ever attended club rush at Dana, you may have passed by a large robot on the floor of the mall. If you noticed this mechanical marvel, chances are you also saw academic and athletic aficionado Garrett Knuf. Current Robot Dolphin Club President and member of the varsity baseball team, Knuf has accrued a plethora of achievements over the past four years that earned him a spot at one of the most prestigious colleges in the country, the California Institute of Technology.

When asked where his interest in engineering originated, Knuf said that from the moment he “joined [his] first robotics team in fifth grade… [he] knew he had a passion for robotics,” and that someday he wanted to “pursue a career in the STEM field.” From a young age he had demonstrated a great interest in technology. He would pass the time by programming in his room and discussing such interests with his friends.

Before robots however, came a good old fashioned bat and glove. At the age of five, Knuf began playing baseball. He grew a love for the game that is with him to this day, as he plans on playing for Caltech’s own team. In regards to how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected his senior year’s season, he states that although at the start it was difficult, “[he] didn’t let that impede on [his] desire to play in college.” He thought of new ways to get better in the sport while staying safe in the process. Throughout the tumultuous year of 2020, Knuf managed to “do something everyday to chase [his] dream,” as he does to this day, all the while “hoping for a season this year.”

As President of the Robot Dolphins, Knuf has done much in regards to community outreach. The club used to only include students of Dana, but over the past few years, “[they’ve] expanded it to all of Capistrano Unified School District and Laguna Beach School District as well.” In addition to working with College and Career Advantage, Knuf emphasizes how much he has reached out “to increase STEM education in the community.”

After four years of one success after another, Knuf was asked what his greatest challenge was. His answer, unsurprisingly, was that he had “so many interests” that the biggest challenge was “finding ways to balance and manage [his] time so that [he] didn’t have to say no to any of [his] passions.” As he wraps up his final year at Dana, he has realized that the effort to participate in a multitude of activities directly attributed to his success.

Looking ahead to Caltech, Knuf expresses he is “most excited about the people there.”

Looking ahead to Caltech, Knuf expresses he is “most excited about the people there.” He understands it is a very small, yet collaborative, community, and sees it as the perfect fit for his further “exploration in the field of STEM.” While he does plan to major in electrical engineering, he claims he will keep his mind open to other areas of study, as, in his words, “being an engineer is more than just knowing one discipline. It’s about being well rounded.” The future certainly looks bright for Knuf, as he begins the next chapter of his life the same way he’s ending the last, with baseball and robots.

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