First-Year Student Noor Abufares Embraces Biomedical Engineering Classes, Community Service and Performing in the Symphony Orchestra

Noor Abufares, a first-year student majoring in biomedical engineering, found herself in a quandary as she researched prospective universities. She knew she wanted to attend a college with a strong STEM focus, but was unsure whether to narrow her focus to the engineering or science fields. During the second half of her senior year in high school, Abufares had a realization: she could study both. That’s when she declared biomedical engineering her field of study.

Hailing from Zionsville, Indiana, Abufares applied to several highly ranked, science-focused colleges in Indiana. Ultimately, the biomedical engineering major combined with small and intimate class sizes were the deciding factors for Abufares’ choice to attend Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

“Your professors can actually get to know you since most class sizes are maxed out at 25 students,” says Abufares. “My professors have office hours or class time where we just work on assignments. During that time, I’ve been able to talk to some of my professors and learn more about them as individuals.” 

Engineering is a family affair for Abufares. She is inspired by her father, a civil engineer, and her older sister who is a biomedical engineer. While Abufares has not yet decided on a specific career path, she is thoroughly enjoying her classes at Rose-Hulman. During the fall quarter, she had hands-on experience creating with a 3D printer in the “Design Thinking and Communications” course. Students designed and created a smartphones stand using SolidWorks, printed them on the 3D printers, and displayed the creations in class for other students. Abufares and her partner created a baby shark-themed phone case. 

When she’s not focused on classes, Abufares is an active member of the Rose-Hulman community through clubs and organizations. She is secretary of the International Student Association, and member of Society of Women Engineers and Biomedical Engineering Society. But what she really looks forward to every week is playing violin with the Rose Symphony Orchestra. Abufares has been playing violin for nine years, since she was in the fourth grade, and knew upon making the decision to attend Rose that she would join the orchestra.

Abufares was also selected as a Noblitt Scholar. The Noblitt Scholars program guides and supports highly motivated, self-directed learners as they identify an area of interest to them, develop expertise in that area, and turn their passion and knowledge into action. She enjoys participating in the community service projects, including one this quarter where she helped beautify the Spencer Ballpark’s shelter.

Abufares looks forward to continuing her involvement in the Noblitt Scholars program. She sees the program as essential to help grow her leadership skills and challenge her to be more outgoing and build stronger collaborations with others. Abufares sees both those skills as essential for being a strong Rose-Hulman student and a successful biomedical engineer.

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