Bioengineering program graduates first majors

Publication Date

Among the 520 members of the Class of 2011 were Union’s first graduates of the bioengineering program.

Alexa Hebb, Kristin Kennedy, Kathleen McLean, Marc Nash and Anthony Cassese were juniors when the College started a new bioengineering major in 2009-10.

“The students really took a risk because as juniors, they had to switch majors,” said Jennifer Currey, assistant professor of bioengineering. “They were also going into a program that had yet to receive accreditation. But they signed on for it and even started a chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society with the faculty.” The program is awaiting accreditation by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

The major, which combines Union’s strengths in biology and engineering, has grown quickly. Nearly three dozen students are currently enrolled in the program, which is awaiting accreditation from ABET (Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology). One of the prerequisites is to graduate a class.

“It’s a viable program that’s proving to be very popular,” Currey said. “But if not for the enthusiasm of this first class, the program would not have gone as far as it has.”