Renee Jaranson

Class of 2022
Major: Bioengineering
Hometown: Elkridge, MD
High School: Howard High School

What Made You Decide to Attend UMD?

I knew UMD was the right choice for me because I wanted to stay close to home while also attending a large school with lots of opportunities to grow academically and as a person. I knew at UMD I could do everything from dancing in the ballet company to research with the synthetic biology team or climate advocacy with any of their environmental groups. 

Best Experience with a Class or Project

So far one of my favorite classes has been CHEM 136: General Chemistry Lab for Engineers. Each week on Tuesday, we have a 3 hour lab class, which at times can be challenging, but it has also been very rewarding. My favorite lab so far was a titration experiment where we compared the effectiveness of two antacid tablets by determining how many moles of acid each tablet neutralized. It was really fun working with a partner to titrate the acid and watch the indicator turn the solution pink once the titration was complete. A lot of times after class, our lab groups get lunch together too, which has been a really nice way to meet people.

Favorite Class In Major

CHEM135: General Chemistry for Engineers

Favorite Class Out of Major

GEMS100: Introduction to Gemstone

Student Organizations/Extracurricular Activities

iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine)
Gemstone Honors Program
Ballet Company M
Interested in: MaryPIRG 100% Renewable Energy Campaign, American Ecological Engineering Society, SGA Sustainability Committee
Board Games Club

Favorite On-Campus Event

The week after I committed to UMD, I went to Maryland Day, which is a super fun campus-wide event where all of the clubs, departments, and organizations put together activities for students and visitors. Maryland Day introduced me to iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine), which I am currently a member of, and a Materials Science Engineering lab at UMD that is working on reusing biomass to make more effective housing insulation. Talking with students and faculty within the materials science engineering department at Maryland Day made me interested in potentially switching to materials science engineering.

Favorite Research or Study Abroad Experiences

Although I haven’t participated in research or studied abroad yet, I am very eager to pursue both of those experiences in college. In terms of studying abroad, my ENES 102 professor Mr. Mike Galczynski told us about a winter study abroad class called ENME407: Costa Rica: Sustainability, Climate Change and Renewable Energy Systems, which would meet requirements for most engineering majors. I’m interested in learning how I can use my engineering degree to address sustainability problems, so I will definitely apply for this course once I meet the prerequisites. In terms of research, I am interested in joining a materials science engineering lab that focuses on energy storage. 

Cool Engineering Experience

In my senior year of high school, I interned in Dr. Dipanjan Pan’s lab called the Laboratory for Materials in Medicine in the University of Maryland School of Medicine. It was a super cool experience getting to help with research on cancer diagnostics and therapeutics using nanoparticles and gene editing mechanisms. I was able to learn how to manage a cell culture, dissect mice for in vivo studies, how to perform certain assays, and how to use a variety of lab equipment. I hope to join a similar type of research lab at UMD focusing on either biomaterials or materials for sustainability.