Unfortunately, there are a number of students every year who opt out of engineering programs because it is “too tough” or requires an “immense amount of time.” The fact is engineering is a demanding discipline. But there are just as many students who embrace the challenges and go for a double major — students like Alyssa Varsanik, a fifth-year senior who is majoring in chemical engineering and piano performance and minoring in engineering corporate practice.
While her schedule is busy, Alyssa finds time to do the things she loves and the things that will help position her above other recruits when she interviews for her first full-time position. She is choir director for McGlinn Hall, leading rehearsal and the Mass music every Sunday night. She has served as secretary of the Engineering Honors Program and was a junior engineering class representative. And, she has participated in internship opportunities with three different companies: Strategic Manufacturing Systems, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [in the mechanical and materials engineering departments], and, most recently, with General Electric’s Power and Water Division working on the CAD/CAM team using 3D printing and working to optimize manufacturing operations.
While her internships have focused in the manufacturing sector, her goal is to share the technology, innovation, and precise focus of manufacturing with the medical community to help bridge the gap between engineering and medicine. She has experience in that area as well since she has spent the last five semesters working as an undergraduate researcher in the Tissue Mechanics Laboratory led by Professor Glen Niebur.
In the lab her research studying bone marrow and the stimulants that affect bone growth and deposition, inspired in her a responsibility to serve others, which is one of the reasons she is headed to medical school after graduation … and possibly working with a biomedical company to better the instruments used in practice today.