Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2022
Jennifer Wong chose to study biomedical engineering because of her interest in health care, and she chose to attend the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University because of the interdisciplinary nature of the major.
“I was surprised by how much business is involved,” she says. “We were taught from day one that everything we do must be marketable and incorporate an entrepreneurial mindset. So, I just fell in love with the program.”
Wong says the relationships she developed during her time at ASU created a support system that has been crucial to her success. She extends particular thanks to Associate Professor Sarah Stabenfeldt and Postdoctoral Research Scholar Reed Bjorklund.
“My experiences in the Stabenfeldt Lab made me who I am as a researcher today,” Wong says. “Reed has been my mentor since my freshman year, so my scientific approach and how I conduct myself in the lab are a direct reflection of his guidance. Also, Sarah has shown me how much I can achieve. Her expectations were never unreasonable, but she always pushed me to succeed.”
Wong certainly learned to push herself as a student, teaching assistant and research assistant. Results included two semesters of participation in the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative and the honor of presenting some of her research at the 2021 Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.
She also learned that the broader Fulton Schools experience is a direct reflection of what someone is willing to apply to it.
“If you put in the bare minimum, your experiences will reflect that,” she says. “However, if you are willing to go above and beyond, amazing opportunities will present themselves to you.”
Wong’s opportunities included service as a peer mentor in the Tooker House residential community for engineering students at ASU, as a recruitment lead for the E2 experience for incoming Fulton Schools students and as an intern for the Esperança public health nonprofit, for the Project C.U.R.E. humanitarian relief organization and for Academic and Student Affairs at the Fulton Schools.
Following graduation, Wong will begin graduate studies in biomedical engineering as part of the accelerated 4+1 accelerated master’s degree program at ASU. She then plans to complete a doctorate with the prospect of teaching at the university level.
“I want to be a research scientist,” she says. “I want to combine the ability to solve the mechanisms of underlying diseases with the desire to treat patients in a clinical setting.”