Alexa Malaspino  |  Weldon School Ambassador

Why did you choose Purdue?

I am from Seattle, Washington and actually had never moved homes before coming to Purdue. Originally I was completely against going to school anywhere but the West Coast, but Purdue was persistent, so I thought why not, I'll apply. I visited Purdue after visiting many other schools (including Notre Dame). I loved the campus and all of the opportunities available, so I chose Purdue! One of the things I liked about Purdue was the First-Year Engineering program. Going into freshman year, I wasn't sure if I wanted to do biomedical engineering or chemical engineering, and Purdue had both, which gave me an extra year to figure things out!

What's it like being a Weldon School Ambassador?

Through the ambassador program, I have been able to work with many of the faculty and staff members, which makes me feel more connected to the program. I also love talking to younger students and then seeing them in the BME building later. I like that being an ambassador has encouraged me to be more involved and meet more people. One of my favorite ambassador events was the BME Tailgate. Many of the professors and alumni brought their children, and one particular child was right by our sides entertaining us the whole time. It was fun to see a different side of the alumni and professors!

Are you involved in other student organizations?

I was a BGR Team Leader. I play intramural volleyball. I have been a member of both the Women in Engineering and BME mentors and mentees programs. I participated in the Women in Engineering Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (IGED) for three years, and I am a leadership team coordinator for I2D2, the K-5 Women in Engineering outreach team. I love community involvement and sharing my experiences with others, and I am passionate about engineering outreach. There is a negative stigma around engineering that sadly causes many students who would be a good fit turn away from engineering. I think it is important for those of us in engineering to represent engineering in order to allow students to make decisions based on experiences with real engineers, rather than based on stereotypes they've learned. I also think there is a stigma that math is hard and I think part of the reason this exists is because many students think math is boring or not useful. Through I2D2, I show students (boys and girls alike) that math can be fun and engineering is all about using your skills, whether it's creativity or math, to solve problems that will improve people's lives.

What do you like about the Weldon School?

I am most thankful for the community atmosphere in BME. Since the school is smaller, I have been able to develop friendships with my classmates. I also appreciate how welcoming the advisors and faculty are. I appreciate that I have been able to develop relationships with many faculty and staff members, and I love that they know me by name! I also like that many BME courses and labs are focused on teamwork. I think it is very important to learn how to work in teams, because most places in industry require the ability to work with other people.

Professor Babbs is very inspiring. He teaches physiology during the second semester of our sophomore year as well as an upper level elective for BME. I love that he is so passionate about his work. He was always animated in class and I truly felt like he loved what he was doing. I found this inspirational because it showed me that it is possible to love your career! I loved his class so much that I ended up taking his tech elective fall of my junior year.