What are your career & professional goals? After I complete my bachelor’s in biomedical engineering, my immediate goal is to get my master’s in biomedical engineering, concentrating in medical machine learning. I want to better learn about the intersection between healthcare and machine learning and better understand the ethical dimensions of intertwining the two. Ultimately, I’d like to move into an industry position with a focus on diabetes technology.
Why did you join the UFDI ambassador program? When I first came across the news that UF has an institute solely dedicated to the study of my disease, the attraction was immediate. I was intrigued to learn that not only does a plethora of diabetes research get published each year, but it becomes known on a global scale and contributes significantly to UF’s reputation as a top-tier research institution. Moreover, leadership and collaboration are important virtues that only humans can take advantage of, and I was immediately able to recognize that these are the most-valued principles the UFDI upholds. Not only through continuous research endeavors but also through the regular community outreach efforts, routine educational seminars, and frequent cross-campus conversations. As soon as I got to UF, I knew that I wanted to contribute to these initiatives: sharing research that creates a greater conscience for the challenges, hurdles, and obstacles toward the path for a cure but also fostering communication about diabetes management to cultivate a larger sense of empathy and compassion on campus.
How has being a UFDI ambassador impacted you? The University of Florida Diabetes Institute is designed to be a clearinghouse for campus activities relating to diabetes, providing students a common access point and professors a blueprint from which to foster new conversations on the development, treatment, and cure for the disease. As an ambassador, I have seen how overcoming the barrier of ignorance is a great feat and a formidable challenge. But, I have also seen first-hand how the dividends of embracing a greater sense of community are large and the outcomes transformative. I have learned how nurturing a community centered on the eventual cure for diabetes creates powerful learning environments for students while simultaneously supporting the needs of faculty members and institutions that aspire to be more active in the field.
What has been you favorite quarantine pastime? I’ve picked up coding in a different scope: front-end development! I learned a bit here-and-there on what it takes to build a good website from the bottom-up and applied a bit of my newfound knowledge toward some projects for my other student organizations!