Isabella discusses the added value of conducting research and working as a lab assistant.
Why did you choose to attend UMass Dartmouth?
"I had toured a number of different colleges, but something about UMass Dartmouth felt like I belonged. It is a relatively small campus, meaning the student-to-faculty ratio was much smaller than most other ABET-accredited institutions, and it is extremely affordable with many scholarship opportunities."
What sparked your interest in electrical engineering?
"I have always loved tinkering with electronics, building, and engineering problems to find solutions. Since joining UMass Dartmouth as an electrical engineering student, there has never been a moment I questioned if this was the right choice or the right major."
How has your education prepared you for the real world?
"In the College of Engineering, we have assignments where we are required to do research on a topic with other students and present our findings in front of our classmates. Also, throughout every electrical and computer engineering course, you are working with other students and problem solving as a team. This alone is one of the best preparations for life after graduation as an engineer."
What advice would you give to incoming UMassD students?
"My greatest topic of advice to a younger UMass Dartmouth student is to connect with as many other students and faculty as you can, inside and outside of your major. Ask and answer questions. It helps your professor gauge your understanding and recognize you as a student."
What leadership experiences did you pursue?
"I served as a lab assistant. The lab is somewhere I was able to help and guide other students. Being a lab assistant was essentially like teaching. You are in a room of students who are relying on your knowledge, skills, and capability when they need it.
This is such a rewarding feeling. It has also prepared me in a professional sense because I have learned how to modestly explain information to others while still having reasonable expectations for their growth and progression as well as their baseline knowledge and understanding."
Would you like to tell us about your research involvement?
"In my junior year, I enrolled in a graduate course in Underwater Acoustics with Dr. David Brown. He invited me to participate in undergraduate research studying acoustics and acoustic transducer calibrations. In this, I found an entirely new field of opportunity and adoration for engineering acoustics and acoustic communications. I have also had the opportunity to collaborate with other engineers conduct experiments and lead my own experiments.
These experiences have prepared me to be an engineer by allowing me to engineer during my undergraduate studies. Research has been a welcoming place to test hypotheses and ask questions with a level of liability and accountability, which I think is essential in learning."