Student Spotlight: Hailey, Biosciences & Engineering Institute, Online Experience 2020

Throughout the 2020 Summer Immersion Program – Online Experience we will be featuring different students to talk about their diverse experiences in our Institutes. Learn more about our online Institutes from the perspective of our students. 


What were your biggest takeaways?

This experience helped me realize how much Wake Forest cares about their students and staff. From listening to the Program Ambassadors talk about why they love Wake to the staff talking about their own experiences, across the board it is clear they are all supported. I learned about multiple programs, traditions, and the best places to go on campus. I also learned about many research opportunities that Wake has to offer. I learned so much more information about Wake and its community. I loved touring Wake, but I think the Summer Immersion Program shows you what it feels like to be at Wake, and that was an amazing experience I would recommend to everyone.

What is something new that you learned about yourself?

I learned that I am intrigued and curious about the world. The Summer Immersion Program let me view the world from different perspectives and question things in everyday life. This program helped me realize how curious I am about science and more specifically Biomedical Engineering. Being taught to think outside of the box is an amazing skill to have, especially in today’s society. I am so thankful that I did the Summer Immersion Program because it showed me I have the capability to think outside of the box and be innovative. 


 How has this experience changed your mindset? 

 Doing the Summer Immersion Program helped me realize how I should pick to follow my passion, not a job title. Understanding that my passion should drive me and not a title, changed how I viewed college completely. Instead of college being something I needed, it became something I wanted. I want to follow my passion for Biomedical Engineering and change the world through innovation. This program helped me realize college is a blank canvas with a pallet of paint, not just a piece of paper with a degree.

What is an experience you had that really stands out to you?

An experience I had that really stood out to me was whenever we were able to have a sample lecture about the Chemistry of Sugars and Artificial Sweeteners given by Dr. Rudock. Listening to her lecture gave me an inside glimpse of how a real college class would feel and how Wake Forest goes about teaching. This stood out to me because it provided an understanding of how college works and has helped me feel more prepared for my future.



Describe someone you met who impacted you.

I think the person who impacted me most was Nyna DeWitt. Nyna was a Program Ambassador that I was lucky enough to work with during two different institutes through the Summer Immersion Program. She helped me by answering my many questions about college, engineering, and Wake as a whole. I think she impacted me most of all by being a strong female role model. I had never really met any female engineers before this program and she has definitely become someone I look up to. That is one of the reasons I loved participating in this program because they provide many role models for all students to look up to.

How has this experience impacted your future?

The Summer Immersion Program has impacted my future by making me more confident in my goals. Before completing this program I had known I wanted to become an engineer, but I was unsure of exactly where that would place me. This program helped me discover that Biomedical Engineering is the path for me. My love for science, math, and helping others all fit perfectly into this major. Now that I know what I want to pursue I feel more prepared for my future, confident in my passion, and intrigued to see where Biomedical Engineering will take me.


What was your favorite moment from this week?

My favorite moment from this week was the DNA Extraction Lab. We used everyday kitchen items to extract the DNA from strawberries and explored the science behind DNA extraction in everyday life. I loved learning about the cutting edge science and technology that DNA extraction offers.

How has this experience clarified your goals?

This experience clarified my goals by reassuring me that Biomedical Engineering was for me. I was pretty sure I wanted to study this major in college, but I wasn’t positive. This program let me explore Biomedical Engineering in depth. I learned what they do, where they work, and about all the possibilities this field leads to. I had no idea how important Biomedical Engineering was and how much I enjoyed it before this program. I feel more relaxed about my future because I now have the assurance of my passion and path I will follow.


What was the most interesting thing you did/saw/learned?

The most interesting thing I saw this week was a presentation of a graduate project in Biomedical Engineering by Reyonna Gordan. I never considered global technology and health care to fall under this discipline. Her project showed a communication tool that developing countries could use to improve communication and efficiency in repairing tools used in a hospital. She was able to travel to Kenya and successfully create a digital tool, MENDS, that could be used to help solve this problem at AIC Kijabe Hospital. Her video opened my eyes to the vast possibilities within Biomedical Engineering and inspired me to look further into this major for myself.

Why would you recommend the Summer Immersion Program?

I would recommend the Summer Immersion Program because it enables you to explore any interest you might have and leads to opportunities. I was able to explore so many topics and genres of knowledge that I may have never considered if it wasn’t for this program. I learned about biomolecular structures, current biomedical research, the engineering design process, and so much more. This program is truly an immersion program. You dive deep into topics by doing labs, listening to lectures, asking questions, and building connections. While Covid-19 changed how they delivered the program this year, I still felt like I was included and engaged. They did an amazing job adapting this program to be online and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have completed this program.