University of Calgary

Accolades for top biomedical engineering grad students

UToday HomeApril 5, 2013

By Jennifer Allford

Biomedical engineering student award winnersBiomedical engineering student award winners, from left: Quinn Thomson, Swathi Damaraju, Emily Bishop, Taryn Ludwig, and Saleem Abubacker. Photo by Dave BrownGraduate students in biomedical engineering have been awarded inaugural Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program Director’s Prizes for Program Leadership, for their extraordinary accomplishments and outstanding contributions to their program. Each student received a $3,000 cash prize.

“We have some of the top students, not only academically, but also from a leadership point of view,” says Mike Kallos, director, BME Graduate Program. “Their dedication, enthusiasm and innovative ideas should serve as inspiration for all graduate students.”

He says he received a number of nominations and had a “very hard time” selecting the two recipients for the Director’s Prize for Program Leadership.

Emily Bishop is “a superstar role model” who has shown great leadership and made a huge contribution to the program, says Kallos. “Emily is always challenging herself and contributes wherever she can.”

The other recipient, Swathi Damaraju, has led, mentored, and volunteered her time for many events and “played an integral role in their successes,” says Kallos. “Swathi is an outstanding and incredible student and we are grateful she has been part of our BME community.”

The women are co-editors of the Journal of Undergraduate Research in Alberta (JURA), members of the executive of the graduate student organization (BMEG) and the Community Outreach team for the McCaig Institute as well as organizers of the annual Alberta Biomedical Engineering conference.

Three other students, leaders of the BMEG, also received awards for “assisting us with achieving our vision of a great graduate student experience,” says Kallos. The three have each been awarded a Special Award for Founding BMEG Leadership.

Quinn Thomson spearheaded the establishment of the BMEG student association and was the founding president. Taryn Ludwig served as president and later VP Events for BMEG and Saleem Abubacker, the current president, has also served as VP Events.

“They’ve gone beyond the call of duty in starting and maintaining a student society for the program,” says Kallos.


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