Engineering is very structured but when you approach a problem you have to think from many different perspectives, which I tend to do, and I think that's because of dance.
"I applied to Bucknell because it was one of the few schools that had strong engineering and dance programs. This uncommon combination was something that was extremely important to me during the application process. The first time I came to campus was for the Arts Merit Scholarship weekend. From speaking with several current dance students and faculty members such as Kelly Knox, I fell in love with the dance program. A few weeks later, I sat in on an engineering class and met with Dr. Bieryla, from the biomedical engineering (BME) program. I realized that I could balance both of my passions here, which is really special.
"I've always liked physics and biology and am particularly intrigued by how the human body moves. I was unsure how to combine my interests, but then I thought, 'biomedical engineering, that's kind of perfect!' My favorite thing about out the Bucknell biomed program is how small it is. You get to know your faculty really well.
"I am an undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Kennedy, who is currently working on playground safety. His research involves impact testing to determine the head injury criteria of different playground surfaces and evaluating trends in the industry. This field is very interesting to me. I was drawn to it because of the focus on biomechanics and injury prevention.
"A lot of the biomeds have other interests and our professors really support that. We have BME bonding events where we get together as a group. We even have picnics at our professor's house! All our classes are with the same 18 students — it's like a family. All of our professors come to our events, like my dance shows. I've always danced and that has been my outlet. I don't think I could make it through the engineering curriculum without having dance. Engineering is very structured but when you approach a problem you have to think from many different perspectives, which I tend to do, and I think that's because of dance."
Ridhi is from Newtown, Conn.
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