October 26, 2023
Elijah Feret

Elijah Feret is a senior in the School of Engineering, pursuing a Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry. He is also pursuing his Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering through the School’s Accelerated Bachelors/Masters Program, and is set to graduate with both of these degrees in Spring of 2024. 

Elijah is from Schenectady, New York, and came to The Catholic University of America to study engineering. The field of engineering always excited him, and he looked forward to studying it one day in college. As a child, Elijah suffered from a degenerative eye disorder, resulting in time spent in and out of doctors offices, with frequent visits to eye specialists. Seeing engineering and medicine come together to help heal his injury first hand, inspired his curiosity in biomedical engineering, helping him to identify the field as his true calling. 

Like many students starting college in the Fall of 2020, Elijah found his first semester challenging due to partial online courses and Covid-19 restrictions. Nevertheless, he pushed through his first semester, and experienced a more traditional and immersive experience in the Spring of 2021. With the opportunity to finally realize the full college experience, Elijah took advantage of all that he could inside and outside of the classroom. He met new friends, participated in study groups with fellow Biomedical Engineering students, and joined the Men’s Swimming and Dive team. 

In discussing his academic experiences in the School of Engineering, Elijah said he has really enjoyed the small class sizes offered, which gave him the opportunity to connect with his peers and learn amongst friends in his area of study. Additionally, he found approaching professors for guidance and insight easier and more productive, because the classroom sizes encouraged a collaborative environment between students and faculty. This academic environment helped Elijah to balance his academic workload with other interests outside of the classroom. He has enjoyed the flexibility of studying what he is passionate about without compromising his other interests, and has managed his time more effectively and purposefully.

In one of his first semesters, Elijah took a course with Professor Christopher Raub, Chair of the Biomedical Engineering department. Elijah was interested in Dr. Raub’s research, and got the opportunity to learn more about it in subsequent one-on-one discussions and meetings after class. In the spring of his junior year, Elijah was ultimately invited to join Dr. Raub’s research team as an undergraduate research assistant, working on biological printing and hydrogel cross-linking and networking. Elijah said the opportunity to connect with a faculty member has considerably helped him as a student and thinker. These opportunities have also inspired Elijah to pursue a career in biomedical research as a future professor of engineering. He intends to apply to Ph.D. programs in Biomedical Engineering this year, and hopes to start a program in the Fall of 2024.  

In addition to taking undergraduate and graduate courses, participating as an undergraduate research assistant, and competing on the Swimming team, Elijah is also the co-president of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honors society. Working alongside co-president Maria Erquiaga, he has helped to increase Tau Beta Pi membership over the last two years, initiating 93% of eligible students just this year. He said that participating in the leadership of the organization has taught him many valuable skills that are especially important in the field of research and engineering.     

Elijah was excited to share his story and experience at Catholic University. He felt that the opportunities available in the School of Engineering and the university have contributed to his positive academic and personal experience here. Furthermore, he felt that the opportunities he received and worked for have expressly prepared him for life after Catholic University. In concluding remarks, Elijah said that if there was one piece of advice he could give to a new engineering student, it would be to “...do everything you can, and make the most out of what you are offered, but make the most out of it all by doing what you enjoy.”