The goal of the Prof. Robert A. Peura Founder Scholarship in Biomedical Engineering is to provide recognition and reward to a student majoring in BME at WPI at the junior or senior level who has achieved truly outstanding academic credentials. Preferably, the awardee shall also be a well-rounded student who has graduated from a high school in Worcester County or New England, has distinguished himself/herself in at least one university student activity and has provided exemplary service to the BME Department, the University or the community, and possesses outstanding potential for professional success as a biomedical engineer. This year’s recipients are Mark Bray ’21 and Meagan Smith ’22. The BME Department thanks the Potvin and Peura Families for their generosity to endow these scholarships.
Mark Bray (’21) is a rising senior from Shrewsbury, MA. Mark has spent considerable time in the Gaudette Lab. Most recently, he completed an independent study project evaluating the effects of electrical stimulation on cardiomyocytes seeded on decellularized spinach leaf scaffolds. The previous summer he worked in the lab improving his research skills, and prior to his first year at WPI, he worked in the lab helping graduate students. With Dr. Gaudette’s guidance, he was able to share his work at the 2018 New Harvest Conference. Last semester Mark worked on his IQP with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit on efforts to help build climate resilience awareness in Albania. Earlier that year, in his BME design course, he worked to design an innovative way to alleviate anxiety in patients getting an MRI. In addition to his academic interest in engineering, Bray is a leader on campus. He serves as a Resident Advisor, an Engineering Ambassador, and the Academic Excellence (AE) Chairperson for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Moreover, he is a member of the Men’s Track and Field Team and the Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity, as well a Tutor in the Writing Center. Outside of WPI, Bray works as a Pharmacy Technician in Training at Procare Pharmacy in Southborough and spent last summer as an Immunochemistry Product Development Intern at EnviroLogix in Portland, Maine.
Meagan Smith (‘22) is a rising junior from Gloucester, MA. Last year at WPI, she and her team conducted kidney dialysis research where she researched normal kidney functions, dialysis processes, and patient experience in a team of four, and compared types of dialysis, patient options, and possible issues with kidney dialysis. Prior to coming to WPI, Megan attended a pre-college program where she worked with peers on the Structural Properties of Intervertebral Disc Scaffolds, a newly developed intervertebral disc scaffold that will better spinal fusion surgery. Moreover, she is a leader at WPI and serves as Secretary for the First Generation Student Association as well as a Community Advisor for Riley. Additionally, Megan is a member of Colleges Against Cancer and the Promotion of Animal Welfare Society. She is passionate about learning and hopes to continue her studies into graduate school and ultimately to obtain a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. Her goal is to one day conduct her own research and create developments in the Bioengineering field.