December 13, 2009
Senior engineering student Angela Zachman has enjoyed her time at UGA. As a freshman, she had a music scholarship and was part of the Redcoat Marching Band. As a sophomore, she accompanied the band on a tour of China. She has studied abroad in Australia with UGA’s Studies Abroad in the South Pacific program, and she worked as an Honors Teaching Assistant. She works in the lab of engineering professor William Kisaalita testing the changes in morphology of neural progenitor cells on nanobead substrates, and she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering after graduation.
B.S. in biological engineering with an emphasis in biomedical engineering
University highlights, achievements and awards:
I’ve enjoyed doing so many different things during my time at UGA. During my freshman year, I had a music scholarship to play trombone in the Redcoat Marching Band. That was a crazy learning experience since I had never seen a college football game before. The summer after my freshman year, I performed with the Redcoats in a tour of China. I loved that experience so much that in 2007, I studied abroad in Australia through UGA's Studies Abroad in the South Pacific program. I still play trombone at my church and in Symphonic Band during spring semesters. As a member of the Honors program, I also was an Honors Teaching Assistant for two years. Being an HTA was a great way to get involved with the university and help freshmen students succeed in the Honors program. Other awards I have received include the Hollingsworth Scholarship for excellence in multivariable calculus, two scholarships from the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and the Driftmier Scholarship from the Engineering Department. I was also the vice president of the engineering club and the president of the Society of Women Engineers.
Parkview High School
I currently work in Dr. William Kisaalita’s cellular engineering lab testing the changes in morphology (shape) of neural progenitor cells on nanobead substrates. We hope that we can find the size of the beads that would model in vivo (real life) cell growth better than the traditional flat surfaces of petri dishes. I enjoy the work most of the time, but when we encounter problems like cell contamination, it is very frustrating.
Family Ties to UGA:
My brother is currently a second year law student at UGA.
I chose to attend UGA because...
I received a scholarship to play trombone in UGA’s marching band and I really liked the idea of taking classes at a small engineering school where the professors get to know you well while still having the resources of a large university. I am so happy with the engineering department here because it is like my own little family. I knew that at UGA I would be encouraged to go for my dreams. All of the professors I have met have always helped me to accomplish whatever I have wanted to do, and I am extremely grateful to them.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
...to go to a concert at Hodgson Hall, people watch on the campus buses or sit on the bench outside the Honors College and read. I try to attend several concerts a year, and I am certain to never miss the Atlanta Symphony when they come to perform. I am so thankful that as UGA students we have the opportunity to see these phenomenal musicians. I have envied them since I began learning music more than fifteen years ago and I am always appreciative of their talent (especially the trombonists).
When I have free time, I like...
...to play trombone or piano or to dance. I took ballet, tap and jazz for thirteen years, and I miss my formal dance classes. I like to dance to relieve stress. If it’s been a really stressful day though, there is nothing better than blasting a few low notes out on a trombone to get my mind away from engineering!
The craziest thing I've done is...
...performed with the Redcoat Band in China. Playing trombone in front of thousands of Chinese people who had never seen a marching band before was both terrifying and a great honor.
My favorite place to study is...
...the benches next to the courthouse downtown that are dedicated to United States war veterans. Each bench section is dedicated to a different war. My friend showed me this great place during my sophomore year, and we enjoyed sitting there while doing homework and people watching downtown.
My favorite professor is...
...Mike Yoder. I was in his class for both electric circuits and sensors and transducers. He always went out of his way to help me, whether it was with an academic or personal problem. He always smiles in the hall and gives 110% to help his students learn, often sacrificing his scarce free time and money. Dr. Yoder made it both easy and fun to learn subjects in which I am not very interested. I think that is the mark of a great teacher.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
...Theodor Seuss Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss). I have loved Dr. Seuss books ever since I can remember. I think he is an absolute genius when it comes to helping children learn, and I certainly give him credit for making me enjoy learning at a young age. Oh the Thinks You Can Think is still my favorite book, and it has encouraged me to explore new academic areas. In my dream meeting with him, I would want to ask Dr. Seuss what his inspiration was for all of his great characters and how he envisioned such creative stories. Engineering professors are always telling us that we need to be creative, so I think I could learn a great deal from him.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
...design an implantable kidney. It has been my dream since I was in high school when I decided to major in biological engineering. Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States need dialysis, and I think it would be amazing to develop an artificial device that could be permanently implanted in the body to eliminate the need for frequent and painful hospital trips. A wearable kidney has recently been developed by Victor Gura in Los Angeles, but it is bulky and can use improvement.
After graduation, I plan to...
...get a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and then work for a pharmaceutical or medical supply company. I may not be designing an artificial kidney, but almost everything in the field of biomedical engineering interests me.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
...traveling around Australia for study abroad. Everything about that trip was magical: from hiking in the Australian bush, to touring the bustling city life of Brisbane, to snorkeling with manta rays on the Great Barrier Reef, to seeing a Sydney funnel web in the rainforest. That was a long-time dream of mine because I love spiders!