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Biomedical Engineering Society earns Outstanding Chapter Award

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Members of the BMES leadership team.

By Gabby Gracida

San Diego, Calif., July 31, 2020 -- UC San Diego’s chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) was recognized with the Chapter Outstanding Achievement Award for their 2019-2020 efforts. This is the second time the undergraduate BMES chapter received this prestigious award, after earning the honor in 2017.

The 150+ person UC San Diego chapter offers a variety of events that serve as a resource to bioengineering students, the UC San Diego campus, and the San Diego community. They were recognized for their “ability to be well-rounded, hardworking, and efficient in their chapter activities.”

“I think what makes us unique is that we’re focused on building something great together,” said Michael Bennington, the incoming 2020-2021co-president. “Members are not competing with each other; they can come together and contribute to BMES and build friendships.”

“We’re not about outshining each other or other events or workshops,” said Elisabette Tapia, 2020-2021 co-president. “We very much have a ‘how can we grow together?’ format of thinking, which is why we’re able to to do more. Our members want each other to put their best foot forward.”

BMES’s mission is to be a resource for undergraduate bioengineering students and anyone who is interested in learning more about the field. They offer technical workshops focused on a variety of topics, while also connecting people with lab and research opportunities, hosting outreach events, networking opportunities, and social events for bioengineering students.

The chapter also offers campus-wide events that are open to all students and majors. Though their large events were held virtually this year due to COVID-19, the online format allowed them to reach more attendees than in years past. Lab Expo, an annual research exposition, hosted over 75 student researchers who presented on various bioengineering research efforts.

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The Bioengineering Day leadership team.

Bioengineering Day was also held virtually, and celebrated UC San Diego's consistently top ranked bioengineering department, current research by students, and advances in the field itself. The online event was an opportunity for undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and members from industry to form valuable connections with one another.

BMES’s outreach efforts extend far beyond UC San Diego. Students host bioengineering demonstrations for K-12 classrooms, mentor and advise high school students, and connect with local teachers to share resources. In just under five weeks, BMES students were able to reach over 100 high school students through a college advising program they hosted, where undergraduate BMES members connected with high school classrooms via Zoom and answered questions about college.

“I’m glad that all the hard work that the executive board, officer board, and our members put in is being recognized as something positive,” said Reo Yoo, 2019-2020 chapter president. “We spend a lot of time planning things, leading events, and being present in all aspects of the organization -- almost like a second job. It feels nice that apart from doing good for the community, our efforts are something that other people also see as impactful.”

As they enter the 2020-2021 school year, BMES plans to continue incorporating virtual event opportunities to broaden their reach, and focus on serving as a resource to both UC San Diego and the community.

“A large part of my college experience has been defined by BMES. To me, I think of UC San Diego and BMES as something truly special and truly great in our community. This award helps reassure us that we’re on the right track and that we are doing something important,” Bennington said.

The UC San Diego bioengineering department is regarded as the No. 1 bioengineering doctoral program in the nation according to the National Research Council, and U.S. News & World Report ranks it the No. 4 graduate program in the country. Bioengineering has ranked among the top four programs in the nation every year for more than a decade.

Media Contacts

Katherine Connor
Jacobs School of Engineering
858-534-8374
khconnor@eng.ucsd.edu

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