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EMBS relaunches on campus

Project C.U.R.E.

Like almost all other aspects of life at UIC, student organizations in the Richard and Loan Hill Biomedical Engineering Department had to adjust to a semester back on campus after being remote for a large part of 2020.

One group that has hit the ground running this fall is the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), which offers professional preparation, networking opportunities, and projects and workshops for students interested in neural engineering and bioinformatics.

This fall, it has hosted speaking events, recorded podcasts, volunteered, held social and networking gatherings, and started a journal club.

“One main goal we’ve had this year has been to provide undergraduates and graduates with more opportunities to grow their technical prowess as future engineers,” said EMBS President Haley Calderon.

She noted that with the ongoing pandemic, it has still been difficult for students to participate in hands-on building experiences together like EMBS has done previously, so they have focused on improving technical skills like programming, CAD, and rapid prototyping.

In addition to their on-campus activities, EMBS participated in and took third place at the Drive For Disability Inclusion (D4DI) event this semester. For the event, Group Secretary Maria Gamez, Vice President and Treasurer Julie Gawenda, and Calderon put together a presentation on EMBS and what their plans for disability inclusion are, given their current practices. Since EMBS placed third, Calderon said, they were awarded grant money to put in action all the ways they outlined to make their organization more disability-friendly.

Next semester, EMBS plans to introduce more workshops, such as an introduction to intermediate Python and machine learning, as well as start its first hands-on project since the start of the pandemic.

 “If you’re interested in solving biological-related problems, then you’re going to find a home in EMBS,” Calderon said. “Both undergraduates and graduates interested in neural engineering or bioinformatics will have an opportunity to learn more about their respective fields through EMBS.”