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Student Leaders in Bioengineering

Student Leaders have an important role to play in the Department of Bioengineering at CU Anschutz.  These students were nominated by their peers to represent each cohort in bioengineering.  Student Leaders meet bi-weekly to address issues important to students, including current events, mental health, and challenges faced by students who are a part of two distinct communities, the CU Anschutz Medical Campus and the CU Downtown Denver Campus.  Student leaders hold positions intended to represent the student body and should be contacted if you have any concerns that you are not comfortable sharing with faculty or bioengineering leadership.  Let us introduce you to our Bioengineering Student Leaders!  

Elise Carter, BS-Bioengineering
Student Leader, Co-Representing the Junior BS-BIOE students at CU Anschutz 

Elise moved to Colorado about 5 years ago for higher education and to enjoy the Rocky Mountains. She tried out a couple different programs before finally finding her place in the Bioengineering Department at CU Denver, where she is currently a junior in her undergraduate studies. She enjoys spending her down time traveling to national parks, reading non-fiction, cooking, and doing yoga.  Elise also works with the BioEngineering Empowerment Program (BEEP) as the Liaison Coordinator.  

Brittany Close, BS-Bioengineering 
Student Leader, Co-Representing the Junior BS-BIOE students at CU Anschutz 

Brittany Close (she/her) moved to Colorado from a small farming community in eastern Iowa with her family in 2012. After moving to Colorado, she attended Front Range Community College where she received her associate’s degree. She then transferred to the University of Colorado Denver where she is a junior in the BS-BIOE program.  Brittany is currently involved in the BioEngineering Empowerment Program (BEEP) as a liaison and is a student research assistant in the Friedman Lab. In her free time, Brittany enjoys cooking new recipes, spending time with friends and family, camping and spending time outdoors.  

Tala Obeid, BS/MS-Bioengineering 
Student Leader, Representing the Senior BS-BIOE students at CU Anschutz 

Tala Obeid (she/her) grew up in Tripoli, Lebanon and moved to Colorado at the age of 13.  Tala started college as a biology major on a pre-med track and shortly thereafter found her passion for bioengineering as it combines her scientific and artistic skills.  Some of Tala’s current academic interests involve mental and global health.  Tala is involved in the BioEngineering Empowerment Program (BEEP) as a school liaison and is also a student worker at Inworks CU Anschutz and is in the University of CO Denver’s Honors and Leadership Program (UHL). In the evenings you can find her teaching kids Muat Thai and training for a nearing competition. She also enjoys spending time drawing, painting, playing with her rubix cubes, or watching shows.  

Lauren Desjardins, MS-Bioengineering 
Student Leader, Representing the MS-BIOE students at CU Anschutz  

Lauren Desjardins (she/her) completed her BS in Biomedical Engineering in 2020 from the University of Tennessee. She has completed her first year of her MS-BIOE program under Dr. Robin Shandas. Her project is built upon her past industry experiences and current passion for entrepreneurship and innovation within health care. Lauren is also working with startup, EnteroTrack, to improve monitoring of esophageal diseases.  In her free time, Lauren enjoys skiing, hiking and supporting STEM K-12 education as a Program Coordinator of the BioEngineering Empowerment Program (BEEP). 

Amy Zhang, PhD-BIOE Candidate 
Student Leader, Representing the PhD-BIOE students at CU Anschutz 

Amy Zhang (she/her) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a multicultural family, became interested in STEM as an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University, and completed her MS Software Engineering a few years later. As a Stanford Health Care Principal Security Architect and IT Supervisor Amy managed technology and diverse staff for large-scale healthcare tech deployments. Amy returned to school to grow her research skills and is currently a PhD Student at the CU Anschutz Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering. Her volunteer background includes Title IX work and programs to overcome access barriers to higher education. When not learning about the latest healthcare technology, Amy can be found dancing on mountaintops, caretaking for family seniors, and fostering shelter kittens and puppies. 

Wendy Schadler, BS/MS-Bioengineering
Student Leader, Representing the BS/MS-BIOE students at CU Anschutz 

Wendy Schadler (she/her) grew up in Parker, Colorado with her medical field family.  Initially Wendy enrolled at CU Denver in the nursing program until she met someone from the bioengineering, who told her about the bioengineering program, that she had never heard about before. Shortly thereafter Wendy switched majors to join the BIOE program!  Wendy is heavily involved in the CU Denver Chapter of Society of Women Engineers serving as President this year and has been involved as a Board Member the last two years.  Additionally, Wendy has been an Assistant Coordinator since the inception of BEEP, the student run BioEngineering Empowerment Program (BEEP) for high school students.  More recently Wendy has been involved in working for the Department of Bioengineering as a research assistant, student services coordinator, administrative assistant, website coordinator, and apprentice. She also works as a research assistant at the Children’s Hospital Colorado in pediatric cardiology doing intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) analysis and data entry. When she is not on campus, Wendy can be found skiing, crafting, spending time with her family and friends, playing video games, and watching shows and movies.  

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