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SURF 2020 Students

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) is an eight-week program that brings approximately 20 undergraduate students from across the country to Stanford School of Engineering and provides them with an immersive research experience in one of our labs. In the stories below, SURF 2020 students talk about their backgrounds, their summer research projects at Stanford and their plans.

Learn more about the SURF program

 

Patrick Babb

Patrick Babb fell in love with engineering because it can make the magical appear commonplace by combining knowledge and creativity to solve problems on a societal scale.

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Ana Beatriz Bonfim

For much of her early life, Brazilian Ana Beatriz Bonfim assumed that the only path to studying, and possibly curing, diseases like the genetic condition that affects many in her family was to become a medical doctor.

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Daniel Echeveste

Daniel Echeveste was still a plebe — a first-year cadet at West Point — when he understood that he wanted to go into a STEM field.

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Andrea Flores

Andrea Flores has an autoimmune disease that has often left her bedridden. At times, she dipped into despair at the prospect of a life interrupted unexpectedly by illness.

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Stacy Godfreey-Igwe

When Stacy Godfreey-Igwe was in the fifth grade, she designed a poster for a class presentation showing a world in which one half was in the present, and it was green and lush, while the other half, 50 years into the future, was dark and black.

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Mohannad Jabrah

Jabrah’s SURF project was working on computer models to study the genes that control cellular features known as lysosomes, which are like the recycling and garbage disposal systems of cells.

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Zulekha Karachiwalla

Rising junior Zulekha Karachiwalla was undecided about her major until she took Engineering 101 at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland, and partnered with another student on a project to build an LED persistence of vision display.

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Jovana Kondic

At a relatively young age, Jovana Kondic’s research interests have already brought her around the world. A native of Novi Sad, Serbia, Kondic became a finalist in a Google Science Fair in her first year of high school.

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Maisy Lam is a senior at the University of Miami who dreams of someday making wearable or implantable electronic devices with the potential to improve, if not reshape, the way we live.

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Kalsuda Lapborisuth

Kalsuda Lapborisuth entered UCLA as a political science major, thinking it the surest way to help address the social inequalities of her native Thailand.

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Aaleyah Lewis

Aaleyah Lewis first became interested in science when her father gave her a childhood toolbox, and she still counts the aroma of fresh-sawn wood as among her favorite smells.

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Marigold Malinao

Marigold Malinao had always liked science and known she was good at it, but only after she was admitted to the University of California, San Diego, did she begin to imagine the discoveries and inventions going on around her and dream of becoming a scientist herself.

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Elena Martinez

Elena Martinez chalks up her love of math to a desire to gain a deeper understanding of her grandfather’s Alzheimer’s disease.

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Howard Nicholson

It was the sort of project middle school teachers devise to get teenage students interested in reading, new skills and science. That project, which ended up shaping Howard Nicholson’s dreams of a research career, happened to occur in a computer science class.

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Faith Olulana

Faith Olulana was 15 when she read an article about the massive shortage of organ donors and the innovative solution of 3D-printing hearts in a lab. This inspired her to dream of becoming a bioengineer.

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Lily Shang

For Lily Shang, the lifelong allure of biochemistry was born in the kitchen. In a household of emigrants from China, cooking was the unifying language in Shang’s family.

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Annika Thomas

Annika Thomas says her journey into science began beneath the stars, on the whitewater rafting trips she took with her family while growing up.

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Denisse Ventura

By her senior year in high school, Florida native Denisse Ventura had not yet considered a degree in STEM.

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