Sarah Ilkhani-Pour | Philadelphia, PA
University of Michigan, B.S.E., Biomedical Engineering, Dec 2009; M.S.E., Biomedical Engineering, May 2010
Sarah is currently pursuing a PhD in Bioengineering at University of Pennsylvania. Upon completion, she hopes to teach as a professor. Sarah describes a typical day: My research is on tendon injuries and rotator cuff repairs. I spend my days in the lab doing mechanical testing and histology on rat tendons. Currently, one project in which I'm involved investigates the effects of high cholesterol on tendon mechanical properties. The other project investigates the effects of immobilization (versus normal activity) following a rotator cuff repair surgery. Essentially, I get paid to learn.
Sarah recalls her favorite memory of the WISE RP: As a peer mentor my sophomore year in the WISE RP, I organized for my mentee group to decorate picture frames together. It was a fun way for us to chat and unleash our creative sides. I felt like we all opened up a bit more.
Words of wisdom from Sarah: It's okay to not know what you want to do with your life, and you may not know the answer for a while. My advice, though, is to pursue something-- anything-- rather than waiting for something to come to you. It's better to be active than passive; you'll gain new skills more quickly, more easily learn what you like and don't like, and build a network to help you along the way. The best part is you can ALWAYS change your mind and switch to something else if you determine that your original (or second, third, fifteenth...) plan isn't really what you want. So join that new club, declare that major, try that sport, and live your life!
Sarah passes on some advice: Everything happens for a reason. It's cliche, but when you live your life thinking in this way, you begin to see puzzle pieces fitting together perfectly.