Shipra Verma

Who are you?

Name: Shipra Verma

Major: Biomedical Engineering, Pre-medicine

Minors/Certificates: Chemistry minor

Year: Junior

Hometown: Bettendorf, IA

What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming freshman?

Get involved on campus! There are numerous opportunities to gain experience and make friends outside the classroom including research, work experience in internships or co-ops, sports, volunteering, and my favorite--student organizations! There are more than 500 student organizations on campus for tons of academic and interest groups, so finding something you love is easy! Even if they don’t relate to your career plans, they can help you meet new people, gain leadership experience, and have fun!

What organizations outside the college of engineering do you belong to?

I am currently the Executive Vice President of the South Asian Student Alliance (SASA) which is a multicultural philanthropic organization. I am also a peer mentor for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE). I have also been on the Indian Student Alliance (ISA) Executive Board in the past as well as involved with the Minority Association for Pre-Medicine Students (MAPS). This past summer I was a leader for the amazing OnIowa! Program as well!

Have you had any international experience? If so, where did you go, for how long, and what did you do?

I have not studied abroad but I do wish I decided to. However, I love traveling with my family so if I had to choose a country, it would probably be Italy or India for the amazing food options!

How are you an "engineer ... and something more"?

I am not only involved heavily in SASA and WISE (and other orgs in the past), but am also a volunteer at the UI Hospitals and Clinics, and a research assistant in the UI Hospitals and Clinics Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Have you done research with a professor? If so, what department was the professor in and what was your research about?

I currently do research with a neuro-ophthalmologist in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the UI Hospitals and Clinics. It is clinical research in which we are using a brand new device for retinal blood flow imaging in LVAD and mental health patients.

Is there something else you'd like to tell us about yourself?

I have lived in three different countries throughout my life! I was born in India and lived there for 5 years, then lived in Canada for 7 years, and of course Iowa after that.

What is your favorite part about being a student at The University of Iowa?

My favorite part of Iowa is the diverse groups of people you get to meet daily. Not only do your classes help you meet amazing people, but attending tutoring or review sessions or getting involved on campus can introduce you to life-changing experiences that you never would’ve imagined you’d enjoy. I have met tons of influential people during my time here and continue to be inspired daily.

Who is your favorite professor and why?

I have loved having Professor Dillard since he is so passionate about his field and sitting in his classes doesn’t seem like you’re in class but rather having fun with the concepts.

What has been your favorite course?

I love Biomaterials and Biomechanics which was taught by Professor Dillard!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time at The University of Iowa?

I love trying all of the new and unique restaurants and shops downtown with my friends! There are so many hidden gems in Iowa City and it’s a UNESCO City of Literature so even though I spend my days surrounded by math and science for my major, I love exploring the artsy side that the city has to offer!