BMES Board Spotlight: Shannon li
Meet Shannon Li! Shannon is a 3rd-year Mechanical Engineering major, and one of the Academic Chairs of the 2022-2023 school year!
How have you been involved with BMES?
During my first year at UCLA online, I became a part of the Publicity Committee and then one of the Publicity Chairs the following year. I thoroughly enjoyed drawing and designing the graphics for BMES and running the Instagram account. This year, I am one of the Academic Chairs, which has been very rewarding. These past 3 years I have been a member of the Thymine mentorship family as well and believe fully in Thymine supremacy!
What are your primary responsibilities as academic chair this year?
As an Academic Chair, I get to organize and moderate events that provide academic and career support to undergraduates in the bioengineering or biomedical field. Each quarter, we have 2-3 panels which include talks from graduate programs, Alumni coffee chats, and class planning workshops. On top of the satisfaction of executing event plans, it is enriching to be able to connect with experienced people from the bioengineering fields and learn about their career development from when they were undergraduates. I like learning about all the different possibilities for career paths because there is a sense of comfort knowing there is so much out there for everyone to find success in.
Favorite BMES memory?
My favorite memory was the BMES Holiday Party during my 2nd year because it was my first year on campus and I was still trying to adjust to college life, which made the experience more memorable. I loved getting to dress up, take fun photos with props, and talk with all the people there, which was very exciting for me especially after a year of seeing people’s faces on Zoom. That excitement has not worn off either, as each year’s Holiday Party, BioE Ball, and other big events are things I look forward to every quarter.
Congrats on becoming next year’s BMES External VP! What is one thing you are excited about for next year?
Thank you so much! I am very glad to get the opportunity to be a part of leading BMES and moving it forward. As a whole, I can’t wait to welcome the incoming 1st years and see the dynamic of the new general board for next year. I am also excited about the ways that EBoard and general board can evolve throughout the year and hopefully execute some new things for BMES. There’s some new ideas we have that I won’t reveal just yet!
If you have had a research or internship experience, what was the most valuable aspect of the experience for you?
Through my research in the Lin Lab at UCLA, I’ve learned that a lot of engineering is about not knowing something and then trying out different ideas, adjusting each time until a solution is found. My lab environment encourages just doing and not being afraid to make mistakes, which is what has allowed me to gain the most knowledge and skill. There were times when I questioned if I was capable of learning a new protocol or operating a machine, but when I got to the point when I became capable, I was able to look back and remind myself that I’ll never know what I can do until I try it out.
If you could instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?
I would like to be able to expertly make jewelry through workshop tools and welding. I’ve seen videos of people effortlessly making jewelry like rings and necklaces so that was the first thing that came to mind. It would be crazy to be able to envision a design and quickly create it from scratch or the backs of metal cutlery, not to mention how satisfying and therapeutic it would be. But also honestly, I would want to be an expert in anything art-related like digital animation and drawing from memory.
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