Hey everyone! My name is Kyle Smith. I am a biomedical engineering major at the University of Arkansas, and was born and raised in Magnolia, Arkansas. For those who have never heard of it, Magnolia is a small town of about 12,000 in southwest Arkansas, located pretty close to the Louisiana border. I’ve been a Razorback fan all of my life and have always loved the football team. I had always dreamed of attending the University of Arkansas and affirmed my love of the school when I visited Fayetteville for the first time my sophomore year of high school. I instantly fell in love with northwest Arkansas and the beautiful mountains.
What initially got me interested in BME is the idea of being able to solve engineering problems that improve the quality of healthcare in the world. I have always wanted to make an impact in the world through my career, and I know that I have chosen a career that will enable me to do so. I initially declared mechanical engineering as my major on decision day freshman year, but quickly changed my mind because I knew working on living systems was where my passions truly lie. I made many great connections during my time as undergrad here at the U. of A., and I highly encourage all students to become as actively involved in the program as possible because there are truly so many opportunities available if you know where to look.
Seth Washispack, a class of 2016 graduate of the biomedical engineering program here at the University of Arkansas, was recently named a “Razorback Classic” by the University. Below, he offers 10 tips on how to succeed as an undergraduate engineering student here at the U. of A.:
1. Take your sophomore year to find out what you want out of life. Yes, involving yourself in extracurriculars is wise, and I highly suggest it, but you will do a much better job if you have a goal in mind to drive your whole being.
- I became involved with activities my freshman year and continued at an alarming rate. By the time I was a sophomore, I was doing two research projects (badly), teaching an SI (a ten hour commitment), learning gymnastics (another ten hour commitment), and studying for school. Overloaded and sleep deprived, I learned that I can either do many things poorly or a few things well. Even with this knowledge, it was not until my senior year when I began to make hard decisions about my involvement in so many things. My greatest regret from this experience is not being able to give myself fully to the activities I was involved. Yes, I helped grow the clubs I belonged to, but a greater focus could have helped me transform these organizations to change not only the campus but the community.
- Ailon is a good example. She was not heavily involved in any biomedical engineering RSOs until Engineering World Health (EWH) started. When she became involved, she gave her all to the organization. In one year, Ailon built EWH into an organization known for the involvement of all the members. There are several successful committees to engage the members, and they are making a difference on campus and in the community. They are even making strides to impact the world by sending supplies to third world countries.