What is your area of research?
I work in Tae Seok Moon's lab, engineering probiotics to regulate neurotransmitters, and in Skip Virgin's lab at the School of Medicine, examining virus-receptor interactions.
Where did you complete your undergraduate degree?
What played into your decision to get a graduate engineering degree?
The multidisciplinary aspect of the MEng degree. My graduate public health education provided a holistic and broad foundation while the engineering degree provides the tools and technical competency to address many global health and biological issues/questions.
What campus activities or groups would you recommend to a new student?
- Global Health Student Advisory Committee: I am the vice president and treasurer.
- Ultimate Frisbee: I'm one of the oldest people on the team.
- Field Hockey: An exciting and relatively new club sport at WashU.
Are there any not-for-profit agencies that you have volunteered or worked with?
All were short international experiences I acquired during my public health degree:
- Empower Through Health: I am currently a health operations associate in Uganda
- Consortium of Universities for Global Health: I am currently one of the WashU representatives
- Maji Safi Group
- Meds & Foods for Kids
What are your plans for the future?
I will be enrolling in doctoral programs this fall, to study genetics or microbiology (still deciding on which school and research focus). Eventually, I hope to make an impact on advancing global health, either by working in industry, government, nonprofits/NGOs or academia. The exact profession is less important to me than the potential impact I may have — to defend, save and improve the health and wellness of people around the world.
Why did you pick WashU?
I chose WashU because of the academic rigor, diverse research opportunities and outstanding faculty.
What was your favorite course and why?
Environmental organic chemistry taught by John Fortner was my favorite course (taken during the first semester of my MEng studies). A good professor makes the material come alive and teaches with an almost urgency — an urgency to impart knowledge upon his or her students. Fortner certainly taught with this urgency and energy.
What advice would you give to a new student?
Pack your schedule as much as you can. WashU has so much to offer and there is so much to do, explore, research and learn. Graduate school can pass by so quickly (at least for a master's student), so don't hesitate to take on new tasks or opportunities that may come your way.
Work hard and work harder.
Don't be afraid to fail. Failure is your best teacher and with some planning, reflection, and advice from your trusted advisors, mentors and friends, you can come back swinging.
What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
The people! Everyone is friendly.