Major: Biomedical Engineering
Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering
Why did you choose your major?
I decided to study biomedical engineering because I aspire to improve human health and wellbeing. As a biomedical engineer, I will be able to apply creative problem solving and critical thinking toward the development of new medical technologies. When deciding on a future career, my major objective was to find a way to make a meaningful contribution to global society while nurturing my intellectual curiosity for science and technology. I could not think of a better way to accomplish both of those goals than the be an engineer in the medical device industry. In general, an engineering degree gives one the knowledge to turn an idea into reality. I find that capability to be incredibly empowering and it was a major motivational factor in my decision to pursue a degree in an engineering field.
What does receiving this particular award mean to you?
Receiving the Dean’s Scholar Award is motivating. Working toward a university degree in any discipline is a lot of work. Achieving academic success requires an even greater amount of effort and sacrifice. Sometimes it can feel like there is not a clear payoff for getting better grades than one’s peers. C’s get degrees, right? All of the extra time spent on assignments and studying can wear at a student’s determination when gratification is delayed until graduation. The Dean’s Scholar Award showed that my efforts were not going unnoticed. It demonstrated to me that SJSU was invested in academic excellence. The award distinguishes me from many of my peers and advertises my work ethic and technical aptitude, qualities that are difficult to substantiate to potential employers without such a form of certification.
Who has had the greatest influence of impact on your life? In addition, tell us about a SJSU faculty member who contributed to your academic success.
My father has been an incredibly influential guiding figure in my life. As a student in Turkey, he achieved great academic success that eventually allowed him to continue his studies in the United States. His example demonstrated that education has the power to change a person’s life dramatically and inspired me to pursue an education in a STEM field. My father’s honesty, discipline, dedication and thoughtfulness forms a model which inspires my own value system. His unwavering support of myself and the rest of my family must be credited with helping to form the identity that I hold today.
SJSU faculty member, Dr. Guna Selvaduray, has contributed greatly to my academic success. He recognized me as a promising student as a freshman and this had the effect of instilling in me a sense of duty and purpose to continue to set ambitious goals for myself. Dr. Guna also encouraged me to become involved in my community and to become a student organization leader. Becoming actively involved in the Biomedical Engineering Society at SJSU allowed me to grow my support network of friends and peers who, without a doubt, greatly enabled my academic success.
Describe an experience that has shaped who you are today.
The most formative experience of my life was that of spending many of my adolescent years in Malaysia. I attended an international school with children from many different countries and cultures. The time that I spent in Malaysia gave me an awareness of the wealth of cultural identities that the world contains and an appreciation for the unique and valuable human perspectives that such diversity allows. The experience has directed my focus to more universal issues and contributed to my choosing biomedical engineering as a degree so that I could improve healthcare, a global necessity.
What would you say to other students to encourage or inspire them to attain academic excellence?
Going to college can be so much more than getting a degree. In fact, I would say that going to college is too expensive if it is just about getting a degree. Attaining academic excellence is a byproduct of extracting as much knowledge and meaning as you can out of your coursework, beyond what is essential. In the process of doing so you can form lasting relationships with your peers and find powerful mentors in your instructors, both being groups of people who can be an invaluable resource when trying to find a job or research opportunity.
What makes you a Spartan?
I am a Spartan because I view education as a mechanism of social empowerment. Education goes hand-in-hand with community and I have been proud to serve the SJSU student body as an organization leader. Giving students the social context of their technical coursework is a strength of SJSU as a university. I hope that in my time at San Jose State I have helped my peers to see the power of community and to realize their potential as leaders.
Nominated by Guna Selvaduray
"Sean is the current president of the SJSU Chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society. Under his leadership the chapter has undertaken a broader range of activities to maximize the benefits that accrue to the student membership."