BS ('10), MS ('12) chemical engineering
(Pursuing PhD in chemical engineering from Case Western Reserve University)
Current occupation: Doctoral student, graduate research assistant
Residence: Cleveland, OH
Community activities: Newman Community at CWRU, St. Anne's Church of Cleveland
When and how did you choose your major(s)?
On my application to the U of R, there was a blank box for my intended major. I had taken college level courses at that point and wanted a major that included significant coverage of chemistry and mathematics but also one that provided a wide set of post-graduate opportunities. I decided that chemical engineering had the right balance between these requirements and that with a chem. eng. degree I could follow any of the paths I desired; into engineering, law or medicine at a later time.
What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?
While at the U of R, in addition to maintaining high academic achievement, I was heavily involved in student life. I was involved in the Tae Kwon Do Club (eventually attaining the rank of second degree black belt), Campus Activities Board (served as Wilson Commons Chair and then Business Manager) and Sigma Nu Fraternity. I worked in Prof. Rothberg's lab and was an Eisenberg Summer Research Fellow. I became a resident advisor in the campus dorms.
What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?
After graduating, I took a trip to tour Italy for several weeks, visited my parents’ home in New York City, and then returned to Rochester to begin my master’s degree in chemical engineering. I completed the coursework requirements in two semesters and stayed yet another year working on my master’s thesis. My master’s thesis was supervised by Professors Tang and Rothberg. Now I am pursuing a doctoral degree from Case Western Reserve University, also in chemical engineering.
What advice do you have for current Hajim School students about their time on campus, graduate study, or the first few years after college?
I’ve put a little bit of time into every aspect of student life I could. The saying “you get out what you put in” definitely applies to UR life. While at the U of R, continue to pursue excellence in all aspects of yourself. Every now and then ask yourself, “is this what I want to be doing?” and ask others what they have learned. Mutually share your experiences as you acquire them and you will simultaneously realize how unique you really are and improve your ability to relate to others. When you enter graduate school or take your first employment opportunity, represent UR well and make a positive impression on those around you. I have to paraphrase Ed Hajim on finding your passion, making plans and finding your partner to be with you while you do the first two.