Lisa Cole

lisa coleBS biomedical engineering '10

(Working toward PhD in bioengineering, University of Notre Dame)

Occupation: Graduate student
Residence: South Bend, IN
Community activities: Member, Michiana Runners Association; member, Innovation Endurance running group

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

I was a member of the women’s cross country and track teams at Rochester, which was definitely one of the best decisions I made during my four years at UR.  Being on the XC and track teams taught me unbelievable time management skills.  We were in season both semesters, which means being gone almost every weekend for a meet.  This type of commitment taught me how important time is and the best way to manage school, a hobby and my personal life.  To this day, I still make time to competitively run, because it is something I love to do, and I have never felt like my education or career will suffer because of it. 

What resources did you use on campus that you recommend current students use?

Take advantage of TA hours. They are there to help you and to answer your questions, and most of the time, students that sign up to be TAs WANT to be there and want students to come with questions. Use the career center for resume and summer internships information. I felt like I was able to land my summer research internship between my sophomore and junior years because of the help I received from the career center. Lastly, as a student of the Hajim School, you have access to research opportunities.  Rochester is unique in how many undergraduates can find research positions in the labs on campus, and it’s these opportunities will help you decide if research is something for you.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

Immediately after graduation I started my graduate work at the University of Notre Dame in a bioengineering PhD program. Going right to graduate school was something I knew I was interested in, as a higher degree in the field of biomedical engineering was always a goal of mine. However, it was conversations with the UR faculty that really helped me to solidify this decision. In particular, Dr. Amy Lerner was very helpful by going through lists of different programs to assist me in finding the right one for me.   

How do you balance your work and personal life?

I find the best balance between work and personal life can be achieved if you have those “go-to” activities that keep you happy and sane. I make time to run, either alone or with a group, almost every day. I make sure to make time for lunch or dinners with friends and try to keep in touch with friends and family who I can’t see all the time. 

What advice do you have for current Hajim School students about their time on campus, graduate study, or the first few years after college?

My advice to current Hajim School students is to get involved on campus. Learning to network early in your college education will help you find opportunities that you might have missed otherwise. Rochester graduates seem to be everywhere and being able to connect to other alum, through majors or other campus activities, is going to help to form a connection with them.