Founders' Day: Melissa Ishii '13
Ever since she set foot in her Strength of Materials class, Melissa Ishii knew she wanted to be an engineer. And she’s come a long way since then.
At Founders' Day, Melissa presented a design for an eating utensil she developed for people with Parkinson’s disease. Because people with Parkinson’s have frequent problems with shaking, it can be difficult for them to eat. Melissa’s utensil mitigates the effects of tremors, making eating easier.
Although she studied mechanical engineering at UP, Melissa is now studying bioengineering at Imperial College London. She said her professors helped in the process of applying through the Whitaker International Program.
“As I was applying for graduate school, all of the professors and faculty were more than willing to help me through the process,” Melissa said, “and for that, I am so grateful.”
The Whitaker International Program funds 50 projects overseas each year for fellows and scholars in the field of biomedical engineering. The program provides many students the opportunity to attend seminars and conferences on biomedical engineering.
Melissa plans to continue studying bioengineering and eventually earn a Ph.D. But despite her strong academic bent, Melissa said her favorite part of UP was living in the campus community.
“My favorite experience at UP was being able to live in the dorms and be a part of the close knit community on campus,” Melissa said.
Throughout her time spent at the University, both in classrooms and in the dorms, Melissa gained the means to excel at Portland, in London, and beyond.
“UP has prepared me academically and given me the tools and support to use all of my available resources to achieve my goals,” she said.