"My professors cared about what I thought. They gave me a voice in classes, and showed me that I could be a leader. I found the freedom to ask my dumb questions and my hard questions."

Quick Facts

Program: B.S. in Biomedical Engineering
Minor: Global Justice
Graduation Year: 2017
Current Job Title: Graduate Student
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Current City: Baltimore, MD

Life at CBU

Why did you choose your major? What interested you in this particular field of study?
I knew I wanted to study engineering because I always loved problem solving. I chose to study biomedical engineering and global justice because I felt that with that combination I could learn the tools to make an impact on people’s lives through public health, while also gaining the ethical thinking and social understanding to know where and how to apply my efforts. I have since learned about health disparities and the broken nature of a health system married to profits, and hope to spend my life working to rectify these injustices through thoughtful innovations, step by step. 

What did you like about being in this program at CBU?
My professors cared about what I thought. They gave me a voice in classes, and showed me that I could be a leader. I spent many hours sitting in my favorite professors’ offices, sometimes discussing ethics, engineering problems, and life challenges. And possibly most important, the closeness of my cohorts, in BME and global justice, made the four years of ups and downs truly wonderful.

What did you think about your professors?
My favorite professors were always open to talk, which made the classroom experience very relaxed and much easier to learn. I found the freedom to ask my dumb questions and my hard questions. Of course, not all professors made me feel that way, but the ones who did made all the difference.

Did you complete an internship?
I did two internships, one at Glysens Inc. and one at the National Institutes of Health. At Glysens, a company developing an implantable continuous glucose monitor, I discovered how I loved fast-paced environments, and the confidence that I can produce work that matters to an engineering company. At the NIH, I learned about health disparities in the United States while working in a vector molecular biology lab focused on vaccine development for Leishmaniasis, a neglected tropical disease with significant disease burden outside the United States. These internship experiences were indispensable for my academic and career development.

Did you participate in anything else at CBU?
I was a part of the BMES chapter on campus, some programs focused on poverty alleviation, and rock climbing.

How did you grow (spiritually, socially, educationally) while in this program at CBU?
Dr. Key taught me to delve into philosophy and love a faith tradition that was deeply progressive. Dr. Kim pushed me into abstract problem solving from day one in Intro to Bioengineering I, all the way through the end of his Neural Engineering course in the Spring of Senior year. Dr. Stumpf taught me possibly the most important messages of all, that people from polar opposite viewpoints can engage in passionate arguments that are simultaneously critical, humble, and honest.  

Did your major help you figure out your purpose?
Steve Graves has often asked the question, “What do you do now with what you know?” What I know now is that the health system in America is inadequate for serving the whole population, disparities in health span economic standing, skin color, and geography, and Jesus followers are to act as his ambassadors to this hurting world. So I would say that I am learning more every day what my purpose may be.

Life after CBU

What have you done since graduating?
I am attending Johns Hopkins University for Master of Science in Engineering at the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design. As a part of my studies, I spent the summer of 2017 performing ethnographic research in Johns Hopkins Hospital to find worthy problems to focus on for my master’s. I performed similar research in Brazil in 2017 exploring potential for citizen involvement in prevention of mosquito-borne disease. Since then, I have been working on two projects: one focused on automating mosquito surveillance, and another focused on improving the value of the first-round of cancer biopsies. 

How has your major and time at CBU prepared you for your life and career after college?
I have learned to love those I disagree with and disagree with those I love. I found that the best community is not made up of homogeneous groups. And I learned that the Creator makes beautiful people diverse in heart and mind. Academically, I learned how to be proactive, think critically, and problem solve both creatively and methodically. 

How are you making a difference in the world? How are you living your purpose?
I am working to improve the quality of care for lung cancer patients (lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world). I am also working to improve mosquito surveillance techniques to improve the way health systems attempt to prevent disease outbreaks.

Would you recommend CBU to others?
I would recommend people to go if they are looking for a Christian context for education. In that, I would recommend them to embrace community and question simple answers. The world is beautiful and complicated.