Inside 'Dores

Home » Academics » Marathon Summer: Unconventional Engineering

Marathon Summer: Unconventional Engineering


Samantha Orland

*Guest blog by my roommate and fellow burger-enthusiast, Mary Kate Hardy

Vanderbilt Engineering is always doing cool things. Sometimes I think that the engineering school is like a treasure trove where you can uncover new exciting gems every week, like this crazy award winning robotic leg and low resource projects with big budgets from Bill Gates.  The really awesome thing is that students, even undergrads, are involved in these projects!

Last semester I discovered one of the hidden gems of engineering in the form of a Biomedical Engineering elective course, titled Service Learning in Guatemala.  This course included a trip to Guatemala over Spring Break to repair and service medical equipment.  Never have I had more fun in an engineering class.  The hands-on learning experience was incredible, and fine dining and zip lining with your professors was a blast too. A few of the students in my class blogged about our experience, so you can read more about the trip here.

Our crew and translators after a long day at the hospital in Guatemala!

Through experiences like these, I’ve developed a real passion for healthcare in the developing world. I’ve seen firsthand how biomedical engineering can play a huge role in getting quality healthcare to patients who have more limited resources than we have in America.  After participating in the EWH Summer Institute last summer, I wanted this summer to be filled with more learning about this topic while actively helping others.  I sent literally a million emails (editor’s note: she’s exaggerating a bit) to every organization I could find that might align with my interests.

In this picture: a lot of fun and a lot of junk, but also a spectrophotometer, incubator, centrifuge, and extension cord that we repaired!

When my professor was in Guatemala earlier this semester preparing for our trip, she met with a few really cool people there to talk about exciting engineering plans (can I be any more vague, you ask?  I don’t want to spoil her secrets).  One of the cool people pulled out a resume and asked my professor if she knew the person.  Guess what…twas me!  Turns out my resume was passed along from my old EWH SI instructor in Canada to a jillion organizations to a guy in Michigan, who ended up meeting my Vanderbilt professor in Guatemala.  Small world!

Long story short, this summer I’ll be interning with three different organizations in the U.S. and three more organizations in Guatemala, and the experience should help me to see the big picture of biomedical and technical aid to the developing world.  Neither of my parents are engineers, so I’m especially glad to have my VUSE engineering mentor around to ask for advice and guidance.  The VUSE alumni mentor program started this year, and they pair you with an alumni whose career matches your interests.  I think my mentor has the coolest job in the world.

Here’s to another crazy summer trying to discover where engineering at Vanderbilt can take me!  Who knows, maybe next I’ll go to the moon!


Back Home   

we're talking about

a cappella a-capella Abroad Academics acceptance activities admissions admissions office advice alpha chi omega Alternative Spring Break Alumni alumni hall Alumni Lawn anchor down AOII Applications applying to college Art ASB athenian sing Athletics AXLE AXLE requirements backpacking Baking balance basketball BCM belcourt Belcourt Theater bid day Big Brothers Big Sisters Bike biology biomedical engineering birthday Blair Blair School of Music blog Blogging Bluebird Cafe BME Bolivia Books Branscomb break Breakfast brevard Bridgestone arena British broadway busy BYX Cafe Coco caitlyn's catch-ups California camping campus campus dining catch-up chronicles cello Centennial Park Central Library CFHI Chancellor's Scholars Chicago child development children China choosing a major choosing Vanderbilt christian christmas Circuits class Class of 2016 Class of 2017 class of 2018 class of 2019 Classes Club Soccer Club Sports Clubs coffee Cognitive Studies College College Halls College Life college of arts and science college sports Commencement Commodore Card Commodore Cruise Commodore Quake commodores commons Commons Ball Commons Center Commons Cup Commons Dining Commons Mix Up Commons Seminar community Community service competition Computer Science concert Concerts Cooking Corporate Strategy Country Music Culture dance Dance Marathon dancing date party dean wcislo decisions derby days Dessert Dining Dinner disney Diversity diwali Dorm Rooms dorms downtown downtown nashville Early Decision East Nashville Economics ed sheeran Edinburgh education End of Semester end of the semester engineering English exam exams exercise exploring Extracurriculars fall Fall Break family family weekend Festival fido finals finals week financial aid first semester First Year five days of harry Florida food football founder's walk franklin fraternity free food french freshman Freshman Life Freshman Year Freshmen friends fun GEO goals graduate school graduation Greek Life Grins guatemala HAC Halloween happiest students Harry Potter health Health Care High school highland quad hiking hillsboro Hillsboro Village hockey HOD holiday holidays home homecoming Homework honors seminar Housing houston how to study for finals Human and Organizational Development ice Ice Cream IFSA-Butler Inside Dores International International Student internship internships Interviews Intramurals james franklin Jeni's job Jobs Kappa Kappa Gamma Kentucky kissam Kitchen Laundry leadership Libraries library list London major making friends managerial studies marketing Masala-SACE math Mayfield Maymester MCAT meal plan Mechanical Engineering Mechatronics medical school medicine Megabus mellow mushroom melodores Memorial House memories MHS Midterms MOSAIC Move Crew Move-In movies Munchie Mart Music Music City Music on Campus Nashville Nashville Predators Nashville sports Nashville Symphony Nationals nature neuroscience new semester new york city NYC OACS off campus Office of Active Citizenship and Service on campus events on-campus opportunities Orchestra organizations orientation original cast Outdoors Packing pancake pantry Pancakes panhellenic recruitment parent's weekend Parking PCC Peabody performance Performances performing arts Phi Lamb philanthropy philosophy physics poetry Poland pre-med procrastination professor professors questions rand Reading Rec Center recruitment redpepper Registration relaxing Religious Life research restaurant retreat Rites of Spring Rome roommate ROTC Running rush ryman Schedule School school spirit Scotland season sec Semester senior Senior Year Service shadow shakespeare shopping sick sigma phi lambda sleep snow snow day soccer social life sororities sorority South Africa Spanish speakers SPEAR sports Spring Spring Break Spring Semester squirrels Stambaugh Stevenson Stevenson Center stress Student Life student organizations Study Study Abroad Study Break studying Summer Summer Break Sustainability Sweet Cece's Switzerland Taste of Nashville Taylor Swift teaching Tennessee Tests Textbooks thanksgiving Thanksgiving Break The Music Group The Pub The Vanderbilt Hustler theatre Time time management tour tour guide towers tpac training transfer transfer students travel trees tutoring ultimate frisbee undergraduate research university catholic University College London University of Edinburgh vacation Valentine's Day Vanderbilt Vanderbilt Admissions vanderbilt athletics vanderbilt football vanderbilt medical center Vanderbilt Programming Board vanderbilt student government Vanderbilt University Theatre Vanderbilt Visions vanderbubble Vandy Vandy Bubble Vegetarian Victory Victory A cappella VIDA Visions visiting home volunteer Volunteering VPB vsg VSVS VUcept VUceptor VUT Weather weekend Weekends Why Vanderbilt Wilderness Skills WilSkills win winning winter winter break work Writing YES Zanzibar

ALL TOPICS »

Recent Posts

  • IMG_6197 The More (Involved) Friends, The Merrier » 4.26.16
  • JoJo Study Breaks » 4.22.16
  • My schedule for Fall 2015 My First Year Classes » 4.20.16
  • WOW SO PRETTY. Photo courtesy Erin M. Chattanooga Choo Choo » 4.18.16
  • Post brunch festivities. Take note of the pin. Birthday Done Rite » 4.18.16

Browse by Month

VIEW ARCHIVES »