Justin Hess, ‘14
Hometown: Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
Degree: BS, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology
Why did you choose to attend WPI?
I chose WPI because of its unique academic experience. The classes and projects we complete as undergrads give us a head start in pursuing graduate study or good job opportunities. Our term-based system is unique because we get to pick a variety of classes each term. Plus, WPI is one of the few schools in the country with an undergraduate major program in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology (BCB).
How has WPI’s philosophy of Theory and Practice, and working with teams, been beneficial to you during your time at WPI?
This philosophy provides an insight into what WPI's education system is about. Working as part of a team in my junior year Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) has developed both my collaborative and leadership skills.
What you consider to be WPI's greatest strengths?
Definitely the project-based learning system and the strong availability of science-related majors. Being able to major in BCB, Robotics, or Biomedical Engineering is great. I also like the tight and close community there is at this school.
How have the professors in the BCB program impacted your studies?
My molecular biology professor, like many of my other professors, offered extra help during his office hours. He was always enthusiastic in being able to help us understand a difficult concept in class. He was happy with my success in his class, and as a result I am able to work with him in his lab.
What kind of research projects are you involved with?
Right now I am working with Professor Mayer Humi on my Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP), which deals with space colonization and the technology many countries will need to go into space in the future. I am also volunteering in a molecular biology lab (studying gene mutations in plants) with Professor Luis Vidali.
What you hope to do when you graduate
I hope to further my education and attend medical school or graduate school. There is also the possibility of working in my field. There are many options because of the variety of skills gained and classes available to BCB majors.
Groups or extracurricular activities in which you participate at WPI:
- Mu Sigma Delta (pre-health society)
- SocComm, Christian Bible Fellowship Club
- Student Support Network
- Volunteer research assistant
Academic or professional awards you have received
- Dean's List
- WPI University Award
- Certificate of CURE REU Completion