Briana Rawson, '12

Hometown: Fairfield, Maine
Degree: BS, Biomedical Engineering

Why did you choose to attend WPI?
I first became interested in WPI because of its strengths in the life sciences. I knew that I would gain a strong education from the Biomedical Engineering Department. When I walked on WPI's campus, I knew it was for me. It is easy to feel WPI’s strong sense of community; students here are happy and hardworking. The professors are invested in the success of their students, and help each and every one reach his or her full potential.

How has WPI’s philosophy of Theory and Practice, and working with teams, been beneficial to you during your time at WPI?
At WPI you not only learn from textbooks, but you also acquire hands-on experience. When I completed my Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) with CSIRO Education in Melbourne, Australia, I worked with three other students with different majors, backgrounds, and experience. Opportunities like this help WPI students form strong leadership skills, a resolute work ethic, and a team-oriented attitude.

What do you think are WPI’s greatest strengths?
Students truly make WPI the unique and rewarding university that it is. You will meet people with amazing accomplishments by age 17 or 18, who come from all over the world, each with a fresh perspective on just about any topic you could imagine.

Also, college isn't only about going to class–it’s about getting involved. I got involved by joining Phi Sigma Sigma. WPI has very strong Greek life that is continuously expanding, changing, and encouraging involvement.

How have the professors in the Biomedical Engineering Department impacted your studies and your life?
Lisa Wall is the Lab Manager for the Biomedical Engineering Department. Working with her as a work-study lab intern, I have gained so much knowledge about the BME labs and different equipment, as well as a more informed understanding of the intricacies of my major. Lisa is enthusiastic to help me even if it is a class outside of my major. She has truly taught me so much, not only about BME, but about what it means to be passionate about education as a whole.

What are your research projects?
This fall, I will be working with Blue Sky Biotech on my Major Qualifying Project, entitled "Molecular Cloning and Expression of Recombinant Proteins." Dr. Scott Gridley and Professor Raymond Page will be advising the project.

What do you hope to do when you graduate? What would be your ideal job?
I plan to attend law school and study intellectual property law. So why major in engineering now? I have learned that nearly every career can be boosted by an engineering degree. Intellectual property law deals with protecting the rights of original works and designs. I plan to become a patent attorney focusing in the science, technology, and engineering sector. With the solid background in biomedical engineering that WPI has provided me with, I will be able to understand, communicate, and work with other engineers to encourage and protect their designs.

Groups or extracurricular activities you participate in at WPI:

  • Phi Sigma Sigma
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • Crimson Key tour guide
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • Hazing Education Committee
  • Biomedical Engineering Society

Academic or professional awards you have received:

  • First place in the Robert H. Grant Invention Awards by the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, 2011
  • Dean’s List, C-D term, 2011
 
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