Student/Faculty Interaction at its Finest

steve Uncategorized 0 Comments

Let’s start off this post with this exciting news:

A recent Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering meeting with the chair of the department may lead to a totally new class next spring! Talk about quick turnaround! Our department chair is awesome, read on to find out why.

How many chairs of departments are willing to come to student org meetings at 7PM?

I’ve blogged about ASBME before, because I really love our club! We do tons of great stuff, but recently we’ve kicked off an important and game-changing initiative that I’m more excited about than ever. Dr. Grzywacz (we just call him Norberto!), the chair of the BME department, not only agreed to our plan to have a series of open discussions between him and the student body, but was extremely excited! He sincerely wanted our input and couldn’t wait to hear student opinion! Our meetings are usually at 7PM, and he agreed to come to as many as we wanted.

Usually our events are presentations of cool research or corporate recruiters, but we decided to go with the informal circle of chairs for this event

We had our first meeting two weeks ago, and tons of students of all grade levels showed up to share their vision of what they’d like in the ideal BME curriculum, and Norberto listened and discussed them all! It’s not that the curriculum needs changing, it’s just part of why I chose USC: nobody is complacent here – everyone from faculty to students is constantly trying to improve!

One of the biggest issues that stuck out was that freshmen and sophomores weren’t sure what they wanted to do with the major, and juniors and seniors wish they had known more about their options with BME when they were younger. It’s a unique problem, because the BME curriculum here prepares you for a ridiculous amount of post-graduation options. My friends are going right into industry (biomedical or otherwise), getting masters degrees in many kinds of engineering, or sticking around even longer to get their Ph. D’s. That’s not even including those who are going to law school or medical school and probably like six other things I haven’t even thought of.

Anyway, during our meeting, the idea was brought up of offering an optional class to fully explore the many options within BME during undergrad and beyond. Norberto loved it, and the very next week, another member and myself sat down with him to figure out more concrete plans! I was amazed, thinking nothing could change for years, but here we are giving student voice on a class to be offered NEXT SEMESTER! Crazy, right? It seems like it’ll be a really cool class too, with tons of great guest lectures and exciting labs. We’ll be surveying upperclassmen to see what topics they would have wanted, and then we’ll be surveying sophomores to see what they’d actually want to learn about!

It’s just getting started, but in the next couple weeks, there should be a new class available, and who knows, maybe you’ll even take it if you come here! Even knowing the faculty at USC, I am still blown away by how this whole process went down. I think it’s crazy cool that we get the chance to have this kind of input and feedback on the school we go to! So glad I came here! Fight on!

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