Center for Applied Technology

I AM A...




Most higher ed institutions today have fragmented, frustrating online experiences. The CATLab builds tech solutions that give communities an effortless way to navigate the technology they need to pursue meaningful works and relationships.

Mission Statement

We are developers, designers, artists, and writers from Westmont College. Think of the CATLab as an idea lab or technology innovation hub for our school.  Our members’ studies range from Art to Data Analytics, and we utilize a wide range of liberal arts skills to achieve our goals. Students and staff work together to pave the way for meaningful change.



Kristen, Sr. Developer

“Thanks to my experience at CATLab, I constantly am implementing solutions within one job that I discover at the other — the work that I do for both Thornhill and CATLab is mutually beneficial. The skills I have been able to develop at CATLab ultimately allowed me to be proficient enough in Salesforce to take the internship, and resultantly I can branch out a little in a completely different implementation of Salesforce at Thornhill. Then, the work that I do at Thornhill circles back around, allowing me to bring a wider knowledge base back to CATLab on a weekly basis.”

James, Sr. Developer

"CATLab has taught me a lot. It was my first professional job in the technology field. It’s exposed me to working with other professionals, specifically consulting with professionals and building them a product. Having the creative freedom while complying with best practices and product requirements has helped prepare me for the internship I have now. My internship has required a lot of creative development within in the constructs of the business processes already in place, so I really do feel that I’ve had a foundation of sorts. CATLab has also prepared me for project management (using JIRA software, project planning, product requirements, consulting, etc.) There of course is an emphasis in being able to deliver which revolves around my technical ability, but the project management side of things is just as important especially in working within a team environment."

Sophia, Sr. Developer/Consultant 

"When landing my first full-time internship outside of CATLab, we had just gone live with the Advancement project for Westmont. Being able to talk with the company about completing a project that was currently being used was really important. I also find it extremely personally gratifying to be able to put my technical skills toward helping the college.

In my current position at Outside Open, I rely on the resilience I developed at the CATLab to adapt to new challenges. At the CATLab we are constantly learning and refining our knowledge base. Like any technology, Salesforce is always changing and over the past 3 years we have been adapting to new Apex practices or moving from Aura to Lightning Web Components. Being able to pick up new concepts and languages quickly and confidently has served me well as a full-time software developer."

Curious about our team? Want a peek inside the CATLab? Check out our most recent blog posts!

Recent Posts

  • Student and Staff Directory Feature

    The CATLab is proud to launch a new and improved iteration of the digital Student and Staff Directory. The project, headed by CATLab student developer Josh Fitzgerald, will overhaul an outdated and clunky user interface into a sleek and modern program that efficiently navigates students and staff wherever they need to go. Notable new features include a more robust filter system, the ability for students to dictate privacy settings, and a redesigned interface. 

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  • CATLab Roots: Joel Banez

    Though his humility prevents him from taking the credit he deserves, Joel Banez’ work as the Director of College Software is an integral part of the innovation of Westmont as it navigates a 21st century world. After more than a decade of experience working with Westmont’s digital infrastructure, Joel’s consistent passion for improving the college’s user experience results in crucial institutional innovation. With his mind always looking to the exciting possibilities of the future, Joel’s impact on Westmont is sure to grow as the college expands into a new decade.

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  • Life Lessons from Form Building

    What exactly do the four members of the CATLab Forms Team do? In listening to the reflections and advice from our Forms Team, we found that underneath their descriptions of their day-to-day activities were a lot of insights that apply to life just as well as they apply to web design.
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  • How We Stay Grounded

    So much of our lives—and especially our work!—is spent in front of the computer. It can be easy to get caught up in tasks or to let the fact that we can work from anywhere make us feel obligated to work from everywhere. To counteract the tendency to get caught up in work or technology, a few of our CATLab members shared how they stay grounded.

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  • CATLab Roots: Dawn Gendron

    “I just feel like Westmont is a family,” Dawn Gendron says with a smile, “I love the students.” 

    With more than 25 years of experience in Westmont Admissions, Dawn Gendron is a root of not only the CATLab, but also Westmont College itself. Her commitment to serving our community is demonstrated by the countless hours of hard work ensuring that the application and admission process goes as smoothly as possible. 

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  • CATLab Roots: Kim Shifley

    We at the CATLab are secure in the great growth we have seen in our own program over the years thanks to the people and stories that comprise our “roots” as a student-driven tech center. These veterans and the stories they share make CATLab a nurturing environment. If you were to ask around our offices in Downtown Santa Barbara for someone who represents a root of our CATLab program, Kim Shifley would be one of the first names mentioned.
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