"The research opportunities have been phenomenal."
Why did you choose Rutgers?
There were two main reasons. Even with the generous scholarship I was offered at a private university, it couldn’t compare with the scholarship I was offered at Rutgers. The James Dickson Carr Scholarship I received made coming here very affordable. The other reason was research. I wanted to do something with my four years of college to make a difference. Rutgers is a great research university and everything I heard from friends and read online made me realize that I would have the most opportunity at Rutgers to do research alongside faculty.
I was good at math and science, so I knew I wanted to study something related to those fields. I started out as pre-med, but after my first internship I realized that engineering offered me more of what I wanted to do. What I like about engineering is that it is about the application of science.
What was it about that first internship?
I was interning at Celgene Therapeutics on the development side working to mass produce a cellular pharmaceutical product. I was doing actual work during the entire internship that contributed to the team. It was real work that they trusted me with and it was a great experience.
What has been your favorite course?
Transport phenomena with Professor Moghe was the best-taught class I had. You never saw anyone on their phone or computer during his class. He kept you on your toes, kept you thinking, kept you involved through the entire class. I could probably go back now and take an exam and still get a good grade—that’s how well he taught.
My favorite course was BME measurements and analysis lab—I learned the most and it was the most applicable. It consists of a bunch of labs that cover many areas of BME: tissue engineering, imaging processing and analysis, and biomechanics. You get a taste of everything and learn skills that you can apply directly in the lab.
What do you want to do after graduation?
I’m in the BME five-year master’s program. I’m leaning toward continuing on to get my Ph.D. with my ultimate goal to work in industry for a biotech company. I see myself developing experimental plans that help figure out developmental issues.
What’s been your best experience at SoE?
The research opportunities have been phenomenal. I’ve had two major research experiences, including my senior capstone project with Dr. Shreiber where we’re building a 3D printing device to print collagen material in complex shapes for wound healing purposes. My other research project is with Dr. Langrana working to develop and characterize a material for adhesion prevention that can be utilized inside the body to aid healing post-surgery.
What do you do for fun?
I play intramural volleyball. I also go to Werblin with friends to play basketball or Frisbee. With engineering there is so much work that keeps you sitting, it’s nice to let it all go and run wild.
If you could go back in time what would you tell your first-year, first-semester self?
Get involved earlier! My first year I hung around, took my classes and that was pretty much it. I’m now involved in EGC and I’m in two honor societies, Tau Beta Pi and Alpha Eta Mu Beta.
What’s your best advice for incoming students?
College is significantly harder than high school—there is no hand holding, it’s all on you. I saw a lot of students crash and burn before they figured that out. And by junior and senior year if you’re spending more time in the classroom over doing other things, that isn’t the best strategy for getting a job. Extra activities and internships show a well-rounded experience that is more valuable to an organization than a perfect GPA.