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Shannon M.

MS, Robotics Engineering

Shannon says her involvement on campus during her four years as an undergraduate (’18 RBE) helped make her a well-rounded student and enriched her WPI experience in unexpected ways.

She knew she would make friends and meet new people by getting involved on campus, but she didn’t expect the depth or breadth of professional skills she would develop, including leadership, communication, public speaking, and event planning. “These soft skills are just as important as the technical skills I learned in my classes,” she says. “I am so thankful to WPI for my engineering education, but I am even more grateful for the additional opportunities I was provided in developing other important life skills.”

Over the years she has held many positions—from an Engineering Ambassador with public relations duties to her current role as a graduate assistant in the Office of Pre-Collegiate Outreach Programs. “They do so much important work in providing underprivileged families and underrepresented students opportunities to learn about STEM,” she says. “I am honored to be a part of their team.”

She is also an exam coordinator in WPI's Exam Proctoring Center, and her roles as a program coordinator for WPI Summer Programs and as the Girls VEX Robotics team coordinator give her opportunities to exercise her leadership skills while sharing her love of STEM.

In the classroom, Shannon’s MQP team designed and built a humanoid robot, incorporating a musculoskeletal-inspired design and pneumatic artificial muscles; she continues that work for her master’s thesis. The work topped off many challenges that brought feelings of pride.

“The thing I am most proud of is becoming a role model,” she says, while noting that the feeling is hard-won over the more familiar self-doubt. “When I look back at everything I have done at WPI, and at all the people I have impacted, I realize that I am someone that people can look up to now.”

Her dream job would be working on the research and development of advanced prosthetics, bionics, and humanoid robots.


Hopkinton, MA, USA

Faculty Mentor

Cagdas Onal

  • Tau Beta Phi Scholarship
  • Graduate Assistant for the Office of Pre-Collegiate Outreach
  • Girls VEX Robotics Coordinator
  • Engineering Ambassadors (PR Chair)
  • Chi Omega Women's Fraternity (Vice President & Director of Scholarship, Director of Career & Personal Development)
  • Promotion of Animal Welfare Society
  • Dance Team
  • Tau Beta Pi
  • Pi Tau Sigma
  • Program Coordinator for WPI Summer Programs
  • Aerodynamics Intern at Pratt & Whitney
  • Student Assistant & Exam Coordinator at the Exam Proctoring Center
I am proud of the person I have grown into here at WPI.
I found so many new passions, particularly in STEM outreach, which has had a great influence on my professional goals.
In addition to the various clubs and organizations on campus, there are so many events meant to expose students to financial literacy, leadership development, and how to cultivate a supportive community.
My favorite thing about WPI is the emphasis put on skills outside of our academic education. It is clear that we are all learning valuable things about science and engineering, but there are many other skills that are necessary to succeed in our careers.