Humanity through Biotechnology
A chemical engineering student at the University of California, Berkeley, G.V. Basbas has his vision set well beyond classrooms and labs. "I feel quite passionate about what I study and how my future work will impact people," says the president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Berkeley chapter. "The survival of humanity depends on how chemical engineers view their work, whether it is working as a petroleum engineer in the Middle East or as a process engineer for a firm that is trying to produce the HIV vaccine for Africa."
With such a mission in mind, Basbas says he plans to work for a biotechnology firm that has "cutting-edge businesses helpful to humanity" when he graduates in the spring of 2004. A few years down the road, Basbas adds that he may get a combined JD-MBA degree, which he hopes will help him manage a business and navigate through the legal system.
His ultimate goal is to set up a biotechnology enterprise in the Philippines, his home country before college, where he could help the third world while also furthering the research of biotechnology.
G.V. Basbas can reached at email@example.com
Engineering in Her Genes
In Jessy Baker's family, an engineer's mind seems to be something the females have in common. "My dad would break lawn mowers and my mom would put them back together," says the mechanical engineering graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
As early as her high school days, Baker had developed an interest in big sling shots and conveyer belts—the nuts and bolts of engineering problems. So by the time she became a junior at MIT, it was no surprise that she was determined to bite the bullet and excel in her major. Her hard work was rewarded; one of her designs was chosen for an international engineering competition held in Osaka, Japan.
And while she had to compromise her love for music and sports—given the workload at MIT and her duty as the VP of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, MIT chapter—Baker has decided to continue her green design research at Stanford University or the University of California, Berkeley, after her graduation in June 2003.
E-mail Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org
From Learning to Teaching
Describing himself as a "math and science nerd," Dan Rokusek is a lot more than that. A nuclear engineering junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rokusek is also an experienced officer and now the president of the American Nuclear Society, UIUC chapter, and someone who is genuinely grateful for the teachings from all of his mentors.
Just this past summer, Rokusek successfully finished an internship with the Argonne National Laboratory under the sponsorship of Dr. Ahmed Hassanein and the supervision of his long-time mentor, Dr. Jean Paul Allain. Rokusek says he'll look into similar internships next summer, and will likely pursue his graduate study at Northwestern University or the University of Chicago, where he could continue working with Dr. Allain in radiological sciences. "There's so much you can do with fusion, especially given the energy situation," Rokusek says.
Meanwhile, Rokusek is the teaching assistant for the freshman nuclear plasma and radio engineering class, and is one step closer to his other goal—being a teacher. "I had a couple of really good teachers in high school who did such a good job and they really made me want to do a good job in return," Rokesek explains, adding that he's prepared to let go of his ego and learn from his students as well.
E-mail Rokusek at email@example.com