What first got you interested in your field of choice?
While I was always interested in math and science, I was first introduced to biomedical engineering when I was struck by a car as a pedestrian in my senior year of high school. This resulting in a torn ACL in my left knee, as well as fractured in two of my vertebrae. Thankfully, none of this damage was permanent (partially thanks to a mutation which resulted in me being born with an extra vertebrae), but the recovery process was long and hard. Through my surgery and lengthy recovery process, I gained an interest in the medical devices that helped me recover. I was also encouraged by the orthotist that fitted me with my knee and back braces. In the end, I was motivated to use my skills to do what I can to help people in a similar way to how these devices helped me recover.
What type of obstacles have you had to overcome on the road to getting your education?
There have been a few obstacles that I had to learn to overcome through my education, one of the biggest being my ADHD. My ADHD often meant that I had to allocate extra time to completing assignments, as well as making finishing tests in the allocated times very difficult. Through improved planning, better studying habits, and studying with friends, I was able to largely overcome these limitations.
How did you know that KGI was the right school for you?
What initially attracted me to KGI was hearing about the MS in Medical Device Engineering (MSMDE) program. This was appealing to me because while I was already interested in continuing my education and learning more about biomedical engineering, most other schools focused primarily on the biology and chemistry side of this field. KGI is one of the few schools that focused primarily on the technical side of biomedical engineering, which matches up with my career interests very well.
While the program emphasis is what initially piqued my interest about KGI, a number of aspects about this institution sold me that this was the place for me to be. I was a fan of the small class sizes, which meant more personal attention from professors. On top of this, KGI being a part of the Claremont Colleges system offered up a unique opportunity to have some of the best benefits of a larger school. With this combination of a program that matched up well with my career goals, small classes, the Claremont Colleges system, and a strong reputation, I knew KGI would be the right school for me.
Why did you want to become an Admissions Ambassador?
One of the biggest reasons I wanted to become an Admissions Ambassador was how when I was able to come on campus for a tour, I was able to interact with a current KGI student who was able to answer my questions about KGI. She was very friendly and was able to answer my questions honestly from a student’s perspective, and helped me to know what being a student here would be like. In addition to this, I also would like to let more people know about my program within KGI, as I had not heard about the MSMDE program until a friend who knew a KGI student told me about it. Letting people know about my KGI experience both as a student in general and as within my program could help other potential students learn how KGI could be a good fit for them as well.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
As I briefly mentioned above, I was born with a genetic mutation which caused me to have an extra vertebra (backbone) in my back. While normally people have 5 lumbar, or vertebrae in the lowest section of the back, I have 6. While this is essentially harmless and doesn’t affect my health in any meaningful way under normal circumstances, this likely may have actually played a role in me not being paralyzed when I was struck by a car as a teenager and 2 of my lumbar were fractured.