What Made You Decide to Attend UMD?
I knew that I wanted to be close to Washington, D.C. in order to have the opportunity to intern at one of the government agencies nearby. When I visited UMD, I really liked the friendly, close-knit atmosphere of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Being involved in undergraduate research was important to me, and I knew that the MSE Department had the resources to help me get there. I was also excited to join the Gemstone Program and be a member of the Honors College.
Best Experience with a Class or Project
During my second semester at UMD, I proposed a research project for my Gemstone cohort. This proposal formed the basis for Team Produce, which is working to develop a biodegradable plastic packaging material to increase shelf life. We are currently working with researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology to study our material's response to electron beam irradiation. This project has been a great way for me to obtain first-hand research experience as an underclassman and to learn about the process of writing a thesis before I attend graduate school.
ENMA 300: Introduction to Engineering Materials
Favorite Class Out of Major
HONR 218J: Sustainability and Development
Student Organizations/Extracurricular Activities
Within the Gemstone Honors Program, I am a member of the Gems Camp Planning Committee and Team Produce. I also do research in the Lab for Radiation and Polymer Science. I live in the Language House, the language immersion residence hall on campus. In my free time, I spend time with my brothers in Theta Tau, UMD's professional coed engineering fraternity. I also belong to MatES, the Materials Science and Engineering Society, and AEES, the American Ecological Engineering Society.
Favorite On-Campus Event
My favorite event is the annual back-to-school BBQ hosted by Clark School of Engineering. I get to see all of my friends for the first time after summer break, network with corporate partners, and eat some delicious food. Plus, if you fill out a "bingo" card, you win a free t-shirt!
Favorite Research or Study Abroad Experiences
The summer after my freshman year, I received funding from the National Science Foundation to participate in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). I worked in the Shaffer Lab at the University of Houston, where I studied fabrication processes for polyamide thin films, which are used in water desalination. I particularly enjoyed the project's focus on sustainability and environmental engineering.
Cool Engineering Experience
When I first started working in the Lab for Radiation and Polymer Science, I was helping one of the MSE graduate students (who now has her PhD!) with her research on bacterial corrosion of carbon steel oil pipelines. I really enjoyed the hands-on engineering experience through a biological lens, which encouraged me to choose Soft and Biomaterials for my specialization.