The Dean’s Team

The Dean’s Team is a diverse group of engineering students who serve in a recruiting capacity for the College of Engineering. The students span the disciplines available within the College and have had important, transformative co-curricular opportunities (co-ops, student design teams, student organizations, etc.) during their Akron Engineering Experience.



Shahid Abdul-Muhaimin

Hometown
Cincinnati, OH
Major
Biomedical Engineering (Biomechanics), Business minor
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
National Society of Black Engineers, President 
Choose Ohio First STEM Scholar
Black Male Summit Ambassador

Co-op/Internships
Team Wendy

Why UA College of Engineering
I chose to transfer to UA upon deciding on the discipline of engineering. UA was at the top of my list because of the biomedical engineering curriculum and co-op program. Also, I wanted to ensure that upon graduating I acquired working experience in the field and I knew UA would give me that opportunity. UA has given me a lot of different opportunities that I know I wouldn't have received at any other school.

Why did you Choose your major?
I chose biomedical engineering because I was amazed at how the human body could be seen as a system in which we could fix and improve as engineers. During wrestling in high school I suffered from an injury that required rehabilitation. During physical therapy, it amazed me how my body was improving and how through therapy it healed itself. Also, during that time I had been interested in building and remodeling and the idea dawned on me that the human body could be rebuilt and remodeled to be better through engineering and that's when I decided that BME was my field of choice.  



Ana Bacco

Hometown
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Major
Corrosion Engineering 
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
Corrosion Squad (President 2013-2014, 2014-2015), Materials Advantage Chapter (Vice Chair 2015-2016), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (2012-2013)
Co-op/Internships
BP America
Why UA College of Engineering
UA has a good engineering program that includes co-op opportunities.
Why did you choose your major?
I chose corrosion engineering because it gave me the opportunity to be hands on working in the lab with my professors. I started learning advanced corrosion before the start of my 2nd year at the university. The major also has many scholarship and networking opportunities, as well as some training classes.


Abbagail Ballas

Hometown
Newton Falls, OH
Major
Civil Engineering
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
AK Rowdies 
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Concrete Canoe team
Steel Bridge team
Women in Engineering (WIE) Living-Learning Community
Why UA College of Engineering?
UA is known for their engineering program; after looking at many other programs across the state, I couldn't find another one like Akron's. The community is large enough that there's something for every interest, yet reasonable enough that you don't feel like just another face in the crowd.
Why did you choose your major?
I have always been extremely curious and very adamant about finding the answers to what puzzles me. When I was eleven, my late grandmother introduced me to the world of Imagineering, and the magic instantly stuck. My interests have evolved over the years from just Disney to theme parks, stadiums, resorts, and the like, but engineering has always been the constant. I decided to go with civil engineering over architecture because I have interest in knowing the technical side to projects: what soil a structure rests on, what material will survive in the environment, how we can control where the storm water goes, and other issues that may arise. 


Melissa Boswell

Melissa Boswell

Hometown
Copley, OH
Major
Biomedical Engineering (Biomechanics Track)
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
Leadership Honorary, Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, Biomedical Engineering Society, Society of Women Engineers, Women in Engineering, Honors Book Club, Sigma Lambda Honorary, Emerging Leaders
President, BME Design Team
Corresponding Secretary, Tau Beta Pi

Co-op/Internships
Toyota, Research Assistant in UA lab
Why UA College of Engineering

I chose The University of Akron for its stand-out biomedical engineering program as well as the many opportunities available to better yourself as a student, a leader, and as a person.
Why did you choose your major?
I chose biomedical engineering because I am fascinated with learning about the way the body works and knew I wanted to go into engineering - biomedical engineering is the perfect balance of both.  I want to be able to use engineering and problem solving skills to have a direct and positive effect on the quality of life for people.


Sophia Chinchilla

Hometown
North Olmsted, OH
Major
Biomedical Engineering (Biomaterials and Tissues), Chemistry minor
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
EUREKA
Co-op/Internship
Summer Research Intern at both the Cleveland Clinic and NEOMED
Why UA College of Engineering?
I chose Akron for a great education and great opportunities for a reasonably low cost. 
Why did you choose your major?
I wanted to go to medical school but instead of being just a biology major I picked BME so I could have a back up plan in case I changed my mind. Biomedical engineering is the perfect mix of math and science and medical applications and I have really enjoyed it thus far.


Jessica Chio

Hometown
Wooster, OH
Major
Civil Engineering and B.A. Music
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
Women in Engineering
Internship/Co-op Positions
Ohio Department of Transportation District 13
Thrasher Group
Why UA College of Engineering?
I chose The University of Akron because it has a lot to offer for the future and it allows me to study both engineering and music. The campus is very inviting, too. 
Why did you choose your major?
I grew up around construction and was always fascinated by how things were built. In high school I participated in a pilot program of PLTW and that really influenced my decision for civil engineering. 


Heather Fairborn

Hometown
North Ridgeville, OH
Major
Chemical Engineering with Polymer Specialization
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Mortar Board National Honors Society
Co-op/Internships
The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.

Why UA College of Engineering
I picked The University of Akron because it offered the opportunities and resources of a large university while still maintaining the community atmosphere of a small college. The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department was particularly impressive, as the effort each faculty and staff member put into taking an active role in the education of the students through advising and mentoring was immediately obvious. Specialty classes with an emphasis on important industry skills such as team building, research, and project management rounded out the awesome benefits of choosing to complete my journey into engineering as a Zip.

Why did you choose your major? 
From cooking to cleaning products to science experiments, I have been interested in the various forms of chemistry since childhood. Chemical Engineering was a challenging way to partner my childhood chemistry adventures with my aptitude for math and problem solving.


Daniel Gerber

Hometown
Kidron, OH
Major
Biomedical Engineering (Biomechanics)
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
Biomedical Engineering Society, Society of Hispanic Engineers
Internship/Co-op Positions
NEOMED and Zimmer
Why UA College of Engineering?
I chose to attend The University of Akron because of its closeness to home, scholarships from COFSTEM and IDEAS, and a growing and recognized biomedical engineering program where I could directly learn from professors with a great learning community. 
Why did you choose your major?
I chose biomedical engineering because of my combined interest in the medical field and a challenge to my curiosity in materials and how mechanical parts work together.  Through the Biomedical Engineering program, I have learned more about myself and also how I want to help people. I want to eventually help those in need of medical devices who cannot attain them easily. This program has assisted me throughout my journey of learning and I could not have asked for a better opportunity.   


Josh Geyer

Hometown
Louisville, OH
Major
Corrosion Engineering
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
Corrosion Squad
Internship/Co-op Positions
AT&F Advanced Metals, Colonial Pipeline
Why UA College of Engineering?
I picked UA because I love the campus style and how visually appealing it is in the summer. I also picked UA for its strength in engineering and the co-op program associated. 
Why did you choose your major?
I picked Corrosion Engineering because it was a brand new program that sounded like a great balance between nearly all engineering disciplines. The future of Corrosion Engineering is bright and I wanted to be a part of that.


Tyler Harbert

Hometown
Canton, OH
Major
Computer Engineering, Computer Science minor
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations 
IEEE, Senior Design Team
Internship/Co-op Positions 
RoviSys

Why UA College of Engineering?
The choice to go to Akron was very simple for me after deciding that I wanted to pursue a degree in computer engineering.  I had heard nothing but great things about the university’s engineering program as well as the many opportunities provided by the Co-op program. Being able to earn money and get real on the job experience, while studying at Akron’s many new and growing facilities made the choice a no brainer.
Why did you choose your major?
My entire life I have always had a passion for mathematics, science, and problem solving. I knew that engineering was something that I wanted to pursue even though I wasn’t first sure which discipline I wanted. In the end, my interest in all things technology and robotics made it very clear that computer engineering was the right choice for me. Having the experience I have had thus far, I can’t imagine having chosen any other degree.


Luke Held

Hometown
North Canton, OH
Major
Aerospace Systems Engineering
Graduation
2019
Professional/Student Organizations
Aero Design Team
Internship/Co-op Positions
NASA Glenn Research Center
Why UA College of Engineering
When I first visited The University of Akron, I knew it was for me. Not being a very quick decision maker, this was surprising. I knew that if I wanted to have the best education I could in terms of engineering, it would be at UA. The one thing that really grabbed my attention was the new aerospace program. It was the only degree of it's kind in the United States - and it was exactly what I loved. I didn't pick UA - that implies that my choice had been rivaled by other universities. I had to go to UA.

Why did you choose your major?
I have always loved building and designing things. Of course my skills in doing so before college were minimal, but I tried my best. I knew I wanted to be an engineer and I knew UA was world renowned for it. On top of that, I had a unquenchable thirst for anything and everything that flies. I wanted to be in the air and above it all. With those two things clicking almost perfectly at UA, I had to apply. 



Ben Kitson

Hometown
Sharon Township, OH
Major
Chemical Engineering, Polymer Specialization
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
ChemECar Design Team, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AiChE), Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society
Internship/Co-op Positions
Bridgestone Firestone

Why UA College of Engineering
I chose The University of Akron because I found that it had one of the best engineering programs of any university in Ohio. The highly regarded Coop program heavily influenced my decision because it gave me real career experience that many other universities could not replicate. Also, since the University was within driving distance of my hometown I could easily visit my family.

Why did you choose your major?
I have always had a passion for problem solving. I specifically enjoyed learning about chemistry in high school. Discovering how the world works on a molecular level greatly interested me and these traits led me to choose chemical engineering as a major in college.


Dounsavanh Letdara

Hometown
Akron, OH
Major
Chemical Engineering, Polymer Specialization
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Chem-E-Car Design Team, National Society of Leadership and Success, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Phi Omega
Internships/Co-op Positions
Bridgestone Firestone, The Hygenic Corporation

Why UA College of Engineering?
I chose the University of Akron because it has an established and respected engineering/co-op program. It also has numerous scholarship and other financial aid opportunities, and a diverse selection of student organizations and societies. The University of Akron has provided me with a well-rounded college experience, while allowing me to remain close to my family.  

Why did you choose your major?
As a junior in high school, I considered becoming a chemist. I knew I really enjoyed chemistry and wanted to pursue something in that field. During my research of chemistry-related degrees, I came across chemical engineering. I researched the difference between a chemist and a chemical engineer, and I found that engineering would more than likely provide the challenge that I was seeking.

 


Marisa PappMarisa Papp

Hometown
Green, OH
Major
Biomedical Engineering (Biomechanics)
Graduation
May 2017
Professional/Student Organization
Alpha Gamma Delta, Biomedical Design Team, Omicron Delta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, Emerging Leaders Freshman Program
Internship/Co-op Positions
GlamNatural Cosmetic Company, US Endoscopy
Why UA College of Engineering? 
It had a great reputation for engineering specifically and had an amazing campus atmosphere when I visited.

Why did you choose your major? 
I enjoy the internal reward of helping people live a better and higher quality life, and I love applying the mechanical aspect to this!


Amanda Pinheiro

Hometown
Green, OH
Major
Biomedical Engineering (Biomechanics), applied math minor
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
Biomedical Engineering Society, Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Mid-American Conference Student Athlete Advisory Committee
Internship/Co-op Positions
National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at Mississippi State University and MIT Summer Research Program
Why UA College of Engineering? 
I was basically born a Zip because my father is a professor here at UA. I enjoy being close to home.

Why did you choose your major? 
I picked BME because it provides many opportunities for career options. I wanted to challenge myself and help people by advancing the medical field.


Maria Rizzo

Hometown
Green, OH
Major
Mechanical Engineering, Business minor
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
Tau Beta Pi, Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, EUREKA Honors Engineering Alliance, Newman Catholic Campus Ministry, Office of Multicultural Development Peer Mentoring, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Healin’ with Harmonies, Honors Peer Mentoring, Up ‘til Dawn, and Rhythm and Roo’s

Internship/Co-op Positions
HJ Heinz Company, Moen, Inc.
Why UA College of Engineering? 
I picked UA because of the amount of respect the College of Engineering receives from students, professors, alumni and other universities and the opportunities for students, like career fairs and design teams. I also chose UA because it is affordable and close to home so I can commute to school.

Why did you choose your major? 
I chose mechanical engineering because I always enjoyed and excelled in math and science in high school. I also chose my major because I enjoy learning about how machines and devices work and how they are built. I decided to minor in business because I realized how important management skills are in order to grow as an engineer or project manager.


Bradley Ruhaak

Hometown
Akron, OH
Major
Mechanical Engineering, business minor
Graduation
May 2017
Professional/Student Organizations
Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Omicron Delta Kappa, Eureka, Men's Soccer Team
Internship/Co-op Positions
Engineering Consultants Group, Inc.

Why UA College of Engineering? 
I chose UA because of its excellence in engineering in both the classroom and the connection with the co-op program. UA gives students opportunities to grow as students and leaders to be ready to contribute in great ways upon graduation.

Why did you choose your major? 
The idea of designing something and seeing it come full circle was the first draw to engineering, and I know I have made the right choice.


Deboshri Sadhukhan

Hometown
North Olmsted, OH
Major
Electrical Engineering, applied math and philosophy of science minor
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
NASA Robotic Mining Team, IEEE, EUREKA Honors Engineering, Engineering Student Council, Society of Women Engineers, Women in Engineering Program, Honors Delegates, Akron CARES

Internship/Co-op Positions
NASA Glenn Research Center, Rockwell Automation, Ohio Aerospace Institute

Why UA College of Engineering? 
UA College of Engineering was my choice because of how affordable it was compared to the cost to other schools. It was also just far enough away from home to be on my own, but just close enough to go home for holidays. Visiting campus, the atmosphere was beautiful and quaint and the newer dorms seemed comfortable and affordable.  

Why did you choose your major?

Electrical Engineering was my major of choice because it was something that we couldn’t see. We live in a very mechanical world with electrical components inside and since technology today involves a lot more electrical and computer, it seemed intriguing and new. 


Jordan Shaffer

Hometown
Akron, OH
Major
Chemical engineering, business minor
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
Club Baseball, Chem-E-Car Design Team, Lone Star Fraternity, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, AIChE 

Internship/Co-op Positions
The J.M. Smucker Company

Why UA College of Engineering? 
When looking at schools my senior year, I saw that The University of Akron had great engineering programs, a fun and growing campus, and it provided me with a generous financial aid package. On top of all that, UA was right in my backyard. Choosing UA was a no-brainer for me. 

Why did you choose your major?

Chemical engineering has no limitations when it comes to choosing a career path. There are so many avenues to choose from when you graduate with a chemical engineering degree. When I picked my major, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do after college, but I knew I wanted to be an engineer and I knew that I wanted to give myself an array of options after graduation. Chemical engineering fit that description and that’s why I chose it.


Joshua Thomas

Hometown
Columbus, OH
Major
Civil engineering
Graduation
May 2017
Professional/Student Organizations
National Society of Black Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, Steel Bridge Team, Engineering Student Council 
Internship/Co-op Positions
Messer Construction Company, MS Consultants, Inc.

Why UA College of Engineering? 
I picked The University of Akron because it felt like home. I was scared to go to a school where I would be a number rather than a person. Akron is big enough to meet someone new everyday, but is also small enough to see people you recognize everyday as well. I was also intrigued by the co-op opportunities here, and the great success of past students who have jobs waiting for them before they graduate. 

Why did you choose your major?
I always knew I wanted to become an engineer because of my passion in math and science my whole life. It was my junior year of high school when I fell in love with roller coasters and the structural design of them. That is when I knew I wanted to become a civil engineer and while being in college so far my passion has grown from just roller coasters to buildings, bridges, and roads as well.  


Matthew Trowbridge

Hometown
Bellefonte, PA
Major
Electrical engineering
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
UA Ski Club, UA Rocket Team, IEEE, UA Racquetball Club
Internship/Co-op Positions
Pepperl+Fuchs

Why UA College of Engineering? 
Great engineering program, good out-of-state financial aid, alumni father and brother (both engineering). 

Why did you choose your major?
Engineering in general was decided since I have always enjoyed fixing, designing, and improving devices; electrical engineering itself was ultimately chosen once I realized that I have always tinkered with electrical devices since I was quite young, often modifying or reconfiguring them.


Igor Vinograd

Hometown
Akron, OH
Major
Electrical engineering
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
NASA Robotic Mining Competition
Internship/Co-op Positions
TTI Floorcare North America (Hoover), Avid Technologies

Why UA College of Engineering? 
The University of Akron has an excellent well known engineering program. The program is even further enhanced by an outstanding Co-Op program.  

Why did you choose your major?
I have always been fascinated by all things electrical. Ever since I was a little kid I would take everything apart that I could get my hands on. When I was an automotive technician I was always the go-to electrical guy. I took that love and decided to take it one step further and learn how the things I was fixing worked and went back to school. 


Julia Wood

Hometown
Dominica
Major
Mechanical Engineering with Polymer Specialization
Graduation
May 2016
Professional/Student Organizations
Golden Key Honorary Society, Society of Women Engineers (SWE), EUREKA Honors Engineering, Women's drag racer for Human Powered Vehicle Team, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Tutor for Increasing Diversity in Engineering Academics (IDEAs), UA Table Tennis Team

Internship/Co-op Positions
LORD Corporation in Erie, PA

Why UA College of Engineering? 
In addition to UA’s outstanding Mechanical Engineering program, I chose UA because I wanted to explore beyond what my island had to offer. I wanted to gain insight into a different place, a different perspective, and a different culture. However, the key reason I chose to attend UA was that there is no higher education in Dominica. Not to mention UA has one of the most well established co-op programs in the nation. 

Why did you choose your major?
At an early age, I was always intrigued by my father's work as a mechanical engineer. He has inspired me to become that source of knowledge to the future generations as he was to me. I wish to further my education into graduate school for a PhD so I can one day become a college professor. I believe that engineering will allow me to the opportunities to improve our world today by solving real problems with basic engineering concepts.