Megan Andrade at Colorado State University

Hello! My name is Megan Andrade and I am a sophomore at Colorado State University from , California. I am studying Chemical And Biological Engineering (CBE) here at CSU and I am one of the Student Ambassadors for The Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering. I am also a Resident Assistant here at CSU.

As an out-of-state student, what drew you to CSU for engineering?

When I was considering different universities  during my college search, I had two majors in mind: I was either going to major in veterinary sciences or engineering. CSU has a great program for both of these majors and once I had decided to stay with engineering I needed to determine which of the engineering disciplines I wanted to study–when I was researching the different reaches of engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering (known as CBE at CSU) was the one that caught my eye and seemed to be the one that I would most enjoy. CSU is the only school that I was interested in that offered a Chemical Engineering program that also had a heavy focus on biology as well, hence the name. I also chose CSU because of my campus tour experience– I loved the campus and Colorado and ultimately could see myself living at CSU.

What about CBE was so appealing to you starting the program at CSU?

CBE was interesting to me before beginning college because I liked all the different fields and jobs that the degree could offer me. I also loved the fact that it was chemistry focused with a large immersion in biology as these have always been my two favorite areas of the sciences. This degree program drew me in because I ultimately want to end up researching and developing synthetic organs, reducing the need for organ donors. Having been a part of the program now for two years, I can confidently say that this program will help to prepare me to do just that!

Looking back, what was your first year in engineering like? Was it what you had expected?

My first year in engineering went really well for me in every aspect, however it took a lot of work and a handful of long nights studying. The friends that I made stayed up late with me studying for tests and doing homework–to this day, these are some of my best friends because of that shared experience freshman year. I lived in Academic Village: Engineering my first year and it was the best experience that I could have possibly had as an incoming freshman to engineering. I liked being surrounded by like-minded people that had the same goals, interests, and classes as me. I expected to spend much of my time doing homework and studying, which I did, but it was a pleasant surprise that (with the right time management and study habits) it is very possible to have a social life and be involved with many other things outside of just engineering course work!

What are you involved with on campus?

I am a member of the Society for Women Engineers (SWE) as well as the committee for outreach and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AiCHE). These are engineering focused organizations, but I have found that they are very helpful for professional development and networking as they will often bring in industry members to talk with us about various aspects of the Chemical Engineering industry, current innovations, and even ethics as an engineer. It is also fun to take trips to different engineering employers and see the different facilities–my favorite so far has been our visit to Woodward’s complex in Fort Collins. I am also a Resident Assistant (RA)  on campus so I live in the dorms with incoming freshmen every year and help them to make the same transition to CSU that I experienced my freshman year: I am currently an RA in Corbett Hall.

From what you know about your upcoming CBE curriculum, what are you most looking forward to?

I am looking forward to taking Heat and Mass Transfer, which I will be taking my junior year and I am also excited for the Introduction to the Transport Phenomena that I will take my senior year. I have heard that these classes are challenging, but the content of the class intrigues me and that is a reward in itself. I am also looking forward to taking more of the courses that have lab sections which allow me to  get hands-on with many of the engineering concepts and fundamentals that I learn in class.