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"I don't think I could have chosen a better place'


Haberly Kahn ’18 knew exactly what she was looking for when she began applying for college.

And the University of Rochester provided it.

For example, she’s been interested in engineering since a young age, “getting my hands dirty with things,” helping her dad do repairs around her home in Newton, Mass., then excelling in engineering classes in high school.  

When she shadowed a chemical engineer one summer at a company that helps coal burning power plants reduce emissions, she “absolutely loved it” and  “came away saying ‘that is what I want to do.’ ”

She looked into the Chemical Engineering program here, and liked what she saw.

She liked something else as well -- an open curriculum that lets her choose the courses she wants to take to satisfy requirements in humanities and social sciences.

Above all, she liked the opportunity to pursue her other passion: softball.

Other schools told her it couldn't be done

“Some schools I visited told me if you want to be an engineering student you can’t be an athlete. They told me it was impossible to do the two together,” Kahn said.

Not at the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. During the 2013-14 school year, for example, 142 Hajim students – about 10 percent of its undergraduates -- filled nearly 30 percent of the roster spots on UR varsity athletic teams. (Read more.)

 “The softball program here has a great reputation, we go far in the tournaments, the facilities are great, and the team dynamic is awesome,” said Kahn, who is an outfielder for the Yellowjackets.

“I don’t think I could have chosen a better place.”

The coolest part of engineering

Kahn, a German citizen not by birth but through her grandmother, is taking German classes to fulfill her “life goal” of learning to speak the language.

She’s also getting her feet wet in Prof. David Foster’s Computational Fluid Dynamics Group, learning an ANSYS software program preparatory to doing actual research.

Her goal: Get her degree, then get a job in industry working with energy or combustion.

“I like being able to make something and then see it be put into action,” Kahn said. “That’s the coolest part about engineering.”