Honors Spotlight: Kylee Schaffer

Periodically throughout the academic term, the Honors Program seeks to recognize an outstanding student member.  Senior Biomedical Engineering major, Kylee Schaefer, is very much worthy of this recognition.  Kylee was recently awarded the Euroscholar’s grant, a fund reserved for students pursuing a research-based semester in a European nation.  This privilege Kylee had earned sent her to the Netherlands, where she would garner a unique and unforgettable experience and expertise in an entirely unfamiliar place.

Kylee spent her 15-week term working for a laboratory under the name of UTRECHT where she primarily studied the finer details of cartilage repair.  She describes her work as engaging in experiments in which the focus was on printing cartilage.  She and her colleagues seeded cartilage cells onto scaffolds and analyzed how they aligned in order to develop an idea of how the bodily material healed – and how it could, perhaps, be healed faster.

During my interview with Kylee, she made a point to mention her supervisor while in the Netherlands, a student herself on her way to earning a doctorate.  So as not to undermine Kylee’s study and performance ability through an unpleasant mood, she reasoned, her supervisor encouraged her to visit other countries – six others, to be exact.  Kylee had the opportunity to experience France, Belgium, Italy, Austria, England, and Ireland. Florence, Italy was her favorite destination.  This she appreciates greatly, because chances to tour half a dozen countries do not fall into one’s lap every day.
kylee-schaffer.jpgConcerning her involvement in the Honors Program, Kylee applauds the adamant promotion of scholarships including the one she was awarded.  If not for the persistent and appealing advertising, as well as the amount of help the Honors Program provides in facilitating it, she would never have been aware of this incredible opportunity.  What’s more, she obtained an experience of profound quality all while earning credit for the Honors Seminar Course students in the program are required to enroll in, and the Final Thesis all Honors seniors must have completed.  Learning, especially within the RMU Honors Program, yields very rewarding and substantial outcomes.

Currently, Kylee is looking into an employment position with the Mayo Clinic, and is also waiting on four graduate schools’ decisions on her acceptance.  In the future, she states, she would love the chance to travel day-to-day with a professional athletic team.  Preferring softball, she looks forward to the day when she can track a team as they play, predicting injuries before they happen so she can work towards preventing them.  The Honors Program, she credits, assisted her in viewing these goals as an ecstatically possible reality.

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