Student Spotlight: Regen Li

Author: Chloee Robison
Meet Regen Li!

Regen is a senior in IE from Beijing minoring in statistics. Regen has volunteered as an IE 200 mentor, participated in club tennis, and worked on research with Dr. Pitts!

Regen came to Purdue directly after finishing high school. He chose Purdue for its outstanding engineering program and opportunities for exploration. Like many international students, he didn’t get the chance to visit Purdue in person before committing to the school– he had to trust the pictures and videos he saw online to show him his new home! 

When it came to choosing a major, Regen’s father, who works in automation, helped him decide that industrial engineering was the best fit for him. It was a difficult decision, he says, and he wasn’t sure what kind of engineering interested him most. Luckily, IE has proven to be a fruitful endeavor for Regen, and he now plans to complete his PhD and go into teaching at a university or college. His solidified interest in IE is largely in part to his participation in research work in Dr. Brandon Pitts’s lab. Under his guidance, Regen has been able to explore the field of human factors and get involved in human-centered projects. Currently, he is working on a project with older adults and their interactions with video conferencing platforms.

Regen says one difficulty he had to overcome during his college career was the language barrier when he first came to the US. He had been studying English since he was in middle school, but jumping straight into the language and culture of America was intimidating at first. Thanks to the support system provided by the IE advising staff, this transition was made a little easier. He says, “If there’s anyone I would like to thank, it would be my advisor Morgan Kuryla for all her recommendations and help with classes, as well as activities I could join outside of class.” Our advisors are certainly excellent!

Regen says that if he could give his younger self any advice, it would be this: “Ask lots of questions, whether it's in class or with an advisor.” He says, “I used to hold in my questions, but it’s best to just ask. It would solve a lot of problems faster.” Asking questions and speaking up are valuable tools for any student or aspiring professional, and we are so glad to see Regen now thriving here in IE. We’re excited to see what he heads off to do next!