Congratulations to 2018 Engineering Achievement Award For Student Welfare Recipient, Eva Chen!

Eva Chen, graduating with a B.S. in Bioengineering, received the 2018 Engineering Achievement Award for Student Welfare, which is awarded to undergraduate and graduate engineering students who have made outstanding contributions to student welfare through participation in extracurricular activities and who have given outstanding service to the campus community.

What was your favorite class at UCLA and why?

Our first Bioengineering upper division class is BE100, Bioengineering Fundamentals, taught by our wonderful BMES (Biomedical Engineering Society) advisor, Dr. Kamei. It is notorious for being probably the hardest class in the major, and it is almost like a rite of passage for Bioengineers, since it marks the beginning of our specialization into bioengineering upper division classes. It was such a change from our huge lower division classes – Dr. Kamei knew all of our names, I felt comfortable asking tons of questions, and I actually looked forward to coming to class with my friends. It was definitely a hard class, but people bond through adversity, and it really brought our class and my group of friends together by struggling through the class together. Also, a lot of the logic, problem-solving skills, and pure perseverance that I learned from that class has really stayed with me throughout other classes, research, and work.

What’s next for you after graduation? 

Two days after graduation, I will be starting my summer internship with the Glucose Sensor R&D, Advanced Engineering group at Medtronic. After that, I’ll be starting my Master’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCLA! I actually loved UCLA so much that I chose to stay here for graduate school. Eventually, I would like to work in the field of health wearables (hence the Bioengineering/Electrical Engineering intersection).

Your favorite UCLA memory?

My group of friends is called the Amino Acids – we had to memorize the amino acids in BE100, the class I mentioned above, and so we each took an amino acid name. Together, we are a polypeptide! (Yes, we’re really nerdy). Every memory with the Amino Acids has been amazing, and they have absolutely made my college experience.

One memory that stands out a lot to me was in the Engineering V building, junior year. I got accepted for an internship with the Health Technologies team at Apple for 9 months, which meant I had to move up to NorCal and miss school. I was super excited for the opportunity, but I also have a massive case of FOMO, and so I was very sad about leaving my friends at school. However, on my last week, they threw me a surprise and sent me off on a great note. That had been my first time being surprised before, and it meant so much to me, knowing that my friends cared and would always be there for me!

Were you a part of any other clubs or student organizations? 

I was very involved in high school, and thought I would be able to do the same in college. My freshmen year, I was part of USAC (UCLA’s student government), BMES, and a few other clubs. However, college is much harder than high school, and I burnt out very quickly. When I joined a research lab end of freshmen year, trying to balance everything took a toll on both my physical and mental health. I had to reprioritize, and for the rest of college, I chose to only focus my time and efforts on friends and family, BMES, research, and school. Although I wasn’t able to be a part of everything I wanted to, it worked out very well for me and made my college experience absolutely perfect!

What would you recommend for an incoming freshman who’s looking to find a niche on campus and get the most out of UCLA?

For me, what made UCLA home was my friends and BMES (and much of those two groups intersected). I don’t think I would have been able to enjoy college without these two facets of my life, and so I strongly believe that every college student needs to find their niche! So, to incoming freshmen, I would recommend for you to go out and have fun and check out all the groups and clubs that you’re interested in early on! Talk to people and see who you connect with, and see what causes you feel that you are willing to spend your time for. As I mentioned before though, prioritize! Once you’ve been involved in a few groups, figure out 1-2 groups you feel the most at home with, and stick with that! It is better to funnel your efforts into one or two things, than to spread yourself out too thin. And above all, have fun and enjoy your time in college – it really is the best four years of your life!

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