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Whitaker Scholarship to Provide Senior with Oxford Adventure

April 23, 2013

By Dale Long, Director of Media Relations

Betsy Jones’ bright smile reflects her excitement about the opportunity to expand her biomedical engineering studies at England’s prestigious University of Oxford.

“I can hardly wait. I’m living a dream right now,” she says.

         Jones Profile
  International Trailblazer: Senior biomedical engineering student Betsy Jones is among a select group of U.S. college students receiving Whitaker International Program fellowships for 2013-14. She is also among the first class of Rose-Hulman students to complete the new international studies major degree program. (Photo by Larry Ladig)

Jones is one of only 40 American college students chosen to study abroad in 2013-14 through the Whitaker International Program, administered by the Institute of International Education. The program encourages emerging U.S. biomedical engineering leaders to see the career from an international perspective through a self-designed overseas project.

This will allow Jones to conduct research in orthopedic biomechanics while earning a master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Oxford—continuing a journey that has featured educational opportunities at Rose-Hulman and industry experience with global medical pioneers Cook Medical and Eli Lilly and Company.

“I love biomechanics,” she says. “I want to contribute to research that will improve the quality of life for people by improving their mobility.”

In 2010, Jones designed and implemented a testing procedure to examine several variables regarding the implantation of total hip replacement acetabular components. This research for the Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana (JRSI) Research Foundation, a surgeon-driven research foundation designed to advance clinical orthopedics, was in partnership with a leading orthopedic device manufacturer. She was one of only 11 U.S. undergraduate students invited to present her research at the Biomedical Engineering Society’s Annual Meeting in 2010, and further research at Rose-Hulman’s Orthopedic Biomedical Engineering Laboratory was the basis of a major research paper published in the biomedical journal, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

“Betsy has demonstrated remarkable technical acumen, analytical decision making, and articulate communication resulting in high-quality orthopedic research,” states Scott Small, JRSI’s engineering director. “Her body of work as an undergraduate student, researcher, and engaged global citizen has given her a strong foundation to excel in international research.”

Jones also has a deep passion for international studies, specifically British culture and society, and will be among three students being awarded Rose-Hulman’s first undergraduate degree in international studies. She lived for a time in England as a child and took classes last summer at the University of Cambridge in a study abroad program. Her senior international studies thesis on the approval process for medical devices in the U.S. and Europe combined her interests in biomechanics and international studies.

“Betsy epitomizes something of the new ideal of a Rose-Hulman graduate, combining a high level of technical competence coupled with a deep knowledge of the political and social world around her,” remarks Terrence Casey, head of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. “As she pursues her graduate studies at Oxford, I am confident that she will impress many on the other side of the Atlantic.”

Small adds, “Betsy’s continued study of engineering and the technical sciences within the British environment is the perfect merger of her professional and personal ambitions—an environment in which she will thrive.”

Jones has also thrived at Rose-Hulman, where her brother, James, was a 2010 mechanical engineering alumnus. She has organized a Society of Women Engineers event to encourage high school senior girls toward engineering careers, and a Chi Omega sorority community service event to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation send an Indiana boy and his family to Disney World. She is also a member of the campus’ Blue Key Honor Society.

Before heading to England Jones will have an internship at Eli Lilly.

“I wanted to do as much as I could,” she says. “When I entered Rose-Hulman four years ago, I knew that it would be challenging, but the faculty and staff have been so supportive. I have been encouraged to pursue every opportunity, like the Whitaker Fellowship.”

Jones added, “I’m thrilled and grateful to study what I love at Oxford as a Whitaker Fellow. I can’t wait to experience biomedical engineering from an international perspective.”



“Betsy epitomizes something of the new ideal of a Rose-Hulman graduate, combining a high level of technical competence coupled with a deep knowledge of the political and social world around her.”

-          Terrence Casey, PhD
Head, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences