BCoE Student Hall of Fame 2024: Emma Van Epps

February 22, 2024

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

Emma Van Epps

What is your name, age, classification and major?
My name is Emma Van Epps; I’m 21 years old and a senior in biomedical engineering.

What year did you begin studying at MSU, and when is your expected graduation date?
I began studying at MSU in August 2020 and am expected to graduate in May 2024.

Why did you choose to attend MSU, and why did you choose an engineering field of study?
Even after applying to ten universities, MSU’s outstanding engineering program, scholarship opportunities, and welcoming atmosphere made choosing to become a Bulldog easy. I am honored to be a member of the Presidential Scholarship Program, which afforded me the funding, mentorship, and supportive student community that helped me to achieve and exceed my goals. After talking to MSU professors and career counselors, I chose to study biomedical engineering because I could combine my desire to work in healthcare with my interest in math and science. I can say with confidence that biomedical engineering is right for me, and I can’t wait to use my passions and problem-solving skills to transform patients’ lives.

What are your favorite campus organizations you have become a part of?
My favorite campus organization I have been a part of is Students for a Sustainable Campus. It is such an inspiring community of students who care deeply about helping MSU and Starkville make sustainable changes and educating the community on environmental topics. They are some of my best friends, and my experience at MSU would not be the same without them.

What has been your favorite course you have taken at MSU and why?
My favorite course I’ve taken at MSU is Dr. Lauren Priddy’s Tissue Engineering course. I already knew that I was interested in tissue engineering going in, but this class made me truly excited about the topic and all its potential applications. It was a career-validating experience, and the greater breadth and depth of tissue engineering knowledge gained from this course will undoubtedly inspire and influence my future graduate research.

Which course has been your most challenging at MSU and why? What was something you learned about yourself after taking that course?
The most challenging course I took at MSU was Bioinstrumentation 1 because I struggled with its lengthy tests and circuit analysis problems. However, it taught me that if I persevere and adjust my study strategies, I can succeed in a tough class (even if I start with a less successful first test). I also learned that I was not interested in electrical engineering, especially at 8 a.m.

What is one thing you have learned related to engineering during your time at the Bagley College of Engineering?
I have learned that you can be the most knowledgeable person about a topic, but your ability to collaborate and communicate your work with others will ultimately determine your success.

How has MSU, specifically the Bagley College of Engineering, prepared you for professional life after college?
The knowledge I’ve gained from my classes and the mentorship I’ve received have transformed my experience at MSU and prepared me to face the challenges of professional life. The opportunity to have three years of undergraduate research experience both inspired my future career path and helped set me apart from other graduate school and internship applicants. Most of all, MSU and the BCoE have pushed me to solve interdisciplinary problems and given me the confidence to excel in biomedical engineering.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering with a tissue engineering focus. I plan to become a research and development engineer in the biomedical industry so that I can bring new tissue engineering technology to the patients who need it most.

What will you miss most about MSU after you graduate?
I will definitely miss the people at MSU the most after I graduate. Faculty mentors like Dr. Priddy, Dr. Shaffer, and Dr. Hoffman have pushed me and advocated for my success for four years, and for that, I am infinitely grateful. I will also miss my fellow students, who have inspired and motivated me to accomplish more than I thought was possible. And I can’t forget MSU ice cream.

Emma Van Epps

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.