Melanie Wallace is an alum of the Lammerding Lab, now improving health and quality of life through innovation at 23andMe. Read more about Making an impact through genetic health innovation and education
Margaret Hale, B.S. '18
Where are they now? - update July 2019: After graduating in 2018, Margaret started work at Chartwell Consulting in their Boston office. Chartwell uncovers hidden potential within manufacturing organizations and then converts this potential into tangible value. This opportunity has pushed her to continue developing her engineering and problem-solving skills, and continues to present many unique opportunities, including travel - she's spent the last 5 months working in China!
Hometown: Round Hill, Virginia
Why did you choose to major in BME at Cornell?
I have always cared deeply about people, and BME seemed like the best way to combine this passion with my love of the STEM field and innovation. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do (and am still working on it), but the possibilities post-graduation aligned with all of the things I could really see myself doing for a life-long career. Also, the rapid growth of the field has an inherent element of excitement.
What opportunities has the major given you so far?
BME has given me so much in the classroom, but just as much outside. My passion for outreach and service to the community has grown throughout my time at Cornell, and seeing it through a lens of biomedical engineering has made it that much more valuable to me. The diversity of people and their backgrounds has helped me expand my horizons, as well.
Are you affiliated with any research group or faculty? If so, what research are you working on?
I have worked with the DeLisa Research Group in the school of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering for 6 semesters. I’ve worked on a variety of projects, largely dealing with the manipulation of glycosylation pathways in bacteria for medical applications. One project I was a part of dealt with the initial stages in the development of an HIV vaccine. This work tied in well and augmented what I learned in the classroom, and gave me valuable hands-on experience.
What clubs/organizations do you participate in at Cornell?
I have played club softball at Cornell for all four years, serving as vice president and then president, and this team has been like my family.
I also serve as the treasurer for the undergraduate chapter of BMES, and have since its inception. It’s been amazing to see the organization grow and mature.
I also was an Odyssey guide for two years, leading freshman pre-orientation trips. This was by far one of the coolest things I had the pleasure to do at Cornell, and was able to apply these leadership skills to a number of other settings.
I am in Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity, which has allowed me to pursue my passion for community service.
What is something that surprised you about the major/experience?
I am surprised by how close everyone is in our major. There are many pros and cons about being the first class, but the small class size and the relationships that have grown out of that is something I truly appreciate.
Do you have any advice for other students considering research in Biomedical Engineering?
Take initiative! Don’t be afraid to reach out!
While at Cornell, what did you do for fun?
I love taking advantage of the periods of nice weather—hammock-ing, biking, and playing softball!
After a (hopefully) relaxing summer in Ithaca, I’m headed to Boston to work as Associate Consultant at an engineering consulting firm. After a couple years, I may pursue some variety of graduate school.