Exploring Engineering Pathways, From Research to Startups

Marissa Redington has always loved solving problems, whether it’s navigating large blocks of code or figuring out how to make summer camp activities adaptive for children with different needs. 

“I learned that what kids need is someone to think outside the box and be able to adapt to make their lives just a little bit easier,” says Marissa.

Inspired by her mother, who is an occupational therapist, Marissa has a longstanding passion for helping people. Now she’s a biomedical engineering student with a specialization in medical imaging and a minor in computer science, with aspirations to design and improve medical devices. 

“I chose Illinois Tech because it was a small school in a big city, had a good biomedical engineering program with specialized tracks, gave me good scholarships, offered the accelerated master’s program, and had research opportunities for undergraduate students,” says Marissa. “I visited most of the colleges I applied to, and Illinois Tech made me feel the most at home and comfortable.”

At Illinois Tech Marissa has taken full advantage of the experiential learning opportunities on offer, including RES-MATCH and Elevate

Marissa participated in RES-MATCH in spring 2021, working with Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Keigo Kawaji to conduct research on computational image reconstruction research, through which she learned how to navigate large blocks of code, overcome remote-working roadblocks, and contribute to shared code.

“RES-MATCH was a very impactful and useful experience for me. I got to meet undergraduate students from other majors and to see how we can all work together and achieve amazing things,” says Marissa.

Through the Elevate program, she connected with the Sage Corps Summer Remote Career Development Program, which allowed her to spend 12 weeks over summer 2021 remotely working with mentors who gave her opportunities to hone her résumé, complete a virtual internship, and meet with Sage Corps alumni working at companies such as Nike, Google, and Accenture. Marissa says that she especially enjoyed the exposure she had to a variety of startup companies.  

“Having an internship at a startup company allows you to have a real impact. You may be working with the CEO or founder of the company and get to see what it's like at a young company,” says Marissa.

Marissa is on the pathway to creating engineering solutions in service to humanity. 

“I just want to help people. I want to look forward to going to work every day and be able to make a difference in someone’s life,” says Marissa.

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