BCoE Student Hall of Fame 2024: Kari Oppedal

February 19, 2024

Congratulations to the 2024 Bagley College of Engineering Student Hall of Fame class!
Over the next few days, we will be highlighting each SHoF recipient.
The new members participated in a Q&A reflecting on their time at Mississippi State.

Kari Oppedal

What is your name, age, classification and major?
My name is Kari Oppedal, and I am 21 years old and a current senior majoring in biomedical engineering.

What year did you begin studying at MSU, and when is your expected graduation date?
I started studying at MSU in the fall of 2020, and my expected graduation is December 2024

Why did you choose to attend MSU, and why did you choose an engineering field of study?
Growing up in Starkville, MSU always had a large influence on me as I would go to campus for field trips, competitions, and classes. Something that always stood out to me was the community present and the opportunities for students to grow academically and individually. I decided to focus on biomedical engineering as I am interested in the opportunities available to work in healthcare, especially with medical devices and regenerative medicine. So, it was a really easy choice for me to go to MSU, and I am so grateful to have called MSU home all these years.

What are your favorite campus organizations you have become a part of?
I am extremely grateful for all the campus organizations I have been involved in. Some of my favorites have been the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), the Montgomery Leadership Program (MLP), and New Maroon Camp. All these organizations and more have taught me valuable lessons and skills that played a role in helping me grow. They really helped me to get out of my comfort zone and learn more about leadership and the importance of community. I’ve really enjoyed working with others and connecting with incoming MSU students.

What has been your favorite course you have taken at MSU and why?
My favorite course has been Biomedical Materials taught by Dr. Hendrix. In this course, we worked in groups and were challenged to develop novel research plans to treat different diseases. This course required me to apply the knowledge of a variety of courses and learn more about biomedical engineering research. Although it was intimidating at times, it was exciting to have the freedom to develop solutions and collaborate with my peers.

Which course has been your most challenging at MSU and why? What was something you learned about yourself after taking that course?
One of the most challenging courses I had at MSU was Physics ll. I found myself really challenged by the material and, specifically, my course load that semester. However, I learned how to incorporate better study practices and time management, which ultimately allowed me to finish the course with a good grade. These skills have greatly helped me as I moved on to my upper-level classes.

What is one thing you have learned related to engineering during your time at the Bagley College of Engineering?
One thing I have learned is the importance of teamwork and collaboration. During my time here, I have worked in many different group settings for projects. Although sometimes it was challenging, I’ve seen how important collaboration is to design. Being challenged by my peers has allowed me to think more creatively and sometimes learn more than I would in a classroom setting.

How has MSU, specifically the Bagley College of Engineering, prepared you for professional life after college?
The Bagley College of Engineering has provided a lot of resources and mentorship to me during my time here. Being a part of student organizations and having advice and mentorship from professors has really helped me to feel more prepared for a career in engineering. Being able to attend conferences and networking within the college has especially helped me feel more confident.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to attend graduate school and work in the medical device field. I am specifically interested in working within cardiology.

What will you miss most about MSU after you graduate?
The thing I will miss most is all the friends and mentors I have made at MSU. These people have had a great influence in shaping me into who I am today. I have definitely been challenged here, but having this community has helped me to stay motivated and focused. I am so honored to have been able to be a part of the MSU culture and for all the guidance I have received. Although I am sad to see my time ending here, I am excited to see what the future will bring!

Kari Oppedal

The Bagley College of Engineering is online at bagley.msstate.edu and can be found on FacebookX, Instagram and YouTube at @msuengineering.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at msstate.edu.