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
Sochima Bishop, M.Eng. Student
Hometown: New Rochelle, NY
BME Degree: Masters of Engineering
Advisor: Andarawis-Puri lab (2017-2018)
I was actually recruited to Cornell for Track & Field. Before hearing from the coach here, I had never considered going to an Ivy League school. My visit was amazing. I came for Homecoming 2014 (at peak foliage) and I was wowed by the beautiful fall weather. I was able to meet the team, I got a personalized tour of campus, and they even took me to the Homecoming game and the Icona Pop concert.
Why biomedical engineering?
Growing up, I had always dreamed of being a doctor and working to heal the sick. It was after I started shadowing doctors and nurses that I realized I didn't have the emotional capability to be a doctor. I turned to Biomedical Engineering because I would still be able to work towards healing others, but on a much larger scale and scope. And I've always loved math.
What is your area of focus and why is it important?
As part of my Master's of Engineering Design Project, I am working to create a CPR-assistance device for newborn babies. It is meant to help parents maintain the child's blood circulation (through effective CPR) to improve the chance of survival after cardiac arrest. In other words, it is to help parent perform CPR quickly enough and without injuring the child until emergency services arrive.
What stands out to you about your Cornell BME experience so far and why?
I really appreciate the breadth of research in the BME department. Last semester I took three great classes: Principles of Drug Delivery (w/ Dr. Putnam), Stem Cell Engineering (w/ Dr. Cosgrove), and Immuno-engineering (w/ Dr. Singh). Putnam's class was by far my favorite. Dr. Putnam is simply, a hoot.
Any interests outside of or in relationship to your scholarship?
During undergrad, I threw Hammer and Weight Throw on Cornell's Track & Field team. As a graduate, I continue to engage in (and enjoy) Olympic style weight training. As an undergrad I also helped to charter a sorority chapter on campus (Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.). I'm currently serving as GPS Diversity Council Chair for GWiS (Graduate Women in Science), Public Relations Chair for BGPSA (Black Graduate and Professional Student Association), and the CU EMPower (a mentorship program out of DPE) Graduate Coordinator.
What advice might you give other students considering Cornell or BME?
I'd offer the same advice for someone considering the BME program or Cornell in general: Never be afraid to ask or try new things. There were a ton of opportunities afforded to me by simply reaching out and asking about it. The worst thing you can hear is no.
What’s the next step for you and who or what has led you in this direction?
I'm currently still job searching so if you have any connections in the Medical Device industry, send them my way. ;)
Favorite quote that helps inspire you in your work/life?
- "If you saw the size of the blessing coming, then you would understand the magnitude of the battle you're fighting" - Michele Jennae
- "Just Do It" - Nike