Crystal Lee, B.S. '19

Crystal Lee

Why did you choose to major in BME at Cornell?
I  knew that I wanted to major in BME even before choosing a college. It just so happened that Cornell’s (very reputable) engineering school had just debuted the BME undergrad major when I got accepted (lucky me).

Brief description of your research topic/ Lab(s)/Adviser(s):
I did research on electrospinning synthetic large mammal vascular grafts in Prof. Yadong Wang’s lab starting my junior year!

cyrstal lee jumps
Crystal Lee jumps for joy.

What opportunities has the major given you so far?
I think the most important thing the major gave me was the opportunity to form so many lasting connections within my class. Since BME is so new, our tiny graduating class of thirty-something became a surprisingly close-knit bunch, collectively weathering the trials that came with being the BME department’s second class.

What was your favorite class or experience at Cornell BME and why?
Favorite class? Probably Senior Design II (BME4090) – the design lab is literally an engineer’s playground, and it’s where we got to put our degrees to the test. It’s up to you and your team to use all of the knowledge you’ve accumulated through four years to make your project a success. May the odds be ever in your favor.

What clubs/organizations do you participate in at Cornell?
I’m the president of the Undergrad Biomedical Engineering Society! The organization is only barely as old as the undergrad major itself, and leading it/helping it grow has been one of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of my entire college career.

While at Cornell/BME, what did you do for fun?
I’m a homebody and my definition of a fun night is staying in with my best friends and either food or a card game on the table. I can occasionally be tempted to venture outside, but only with copious amounts of ice cream or bubble tea.

Favorite Cornell/BME memory?
Favorite Cornell memory: Doing puzzle competitions with my best friends – if you haven’t heard of the College Puzzle Challenge, go check it out immediately. There are also smaller ones throughout the spring semester, like the annual Bloomberg Puzzle Tournament and Mastercard Puzzle Tournament (TWO-TIME CHAMPSSS). 

Favorite BME memory:
We had a BMES Thanksgiving Potluck last November! I still dream about the long tables in Weill heaped with food. There’s a photo of me somewhere gnawing a little too enthusiastically on a turkey leg with one of our TAs in the background.

What’s the next step for you?
I’ll be here for one more semester after graduation to wrap up my early M.Eng. Maybe I’ll finally learn how to cook. After that, it’s off to the job market – hoping to snag a biotech engineering job in California!

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