alert Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Group 4 email out facebook fax flickr grid instagram LINK linkedin location Group 47 Group 9 Group 9 Group 47 PHONE play Group 4 " Search twitter video face_white youtube
faculty and student research

Something Greater

Dr. Xiaomu Song does not hesitate to share student success stories.

In fact, the assistant professor of electrical engineering remarked how the achievements of many international engineering students are linked to a determination to get involved in faculty research.

Widener’s close-knit campus community includes about 300 international students from more than 43 countries across the globe. Many have landed jobs or were accepted into advanced degree programs because of their work here.

“Strength comes from people with different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences (working together),” said Song. “It can promote specialization, creativity, and problem solving capability and change the way we think.”

This global perspective is why Luis Aguilar, a biomedical engineering major, chose to study at Widener as an international student. He said the university was the right fit because it created the perfect bridge between his academic ambitions and his career aspirations.

“A connection to something greater,” as Aguilar puts it.

“Having those connections here and breaking out of your comfort zone, those things are going to help you succeed.”

Aguilar of Venezuela is currently working alongside Song on brain computer interface research. The technology uses sensors and a computer to acquire and analyze brain signals and associates identified brain intentions with machine operations, such as a wheelchair for handicapped people.

“It’s interesting what the brain itself can do,” said Aguilar, a junior. “It’s a limitless technology.”

On the graduate side, Babitha Tom, a native of India, has been leading a team of students to research the outcomes of a combined treatment model in animals with spinal cord injuries, specifically focusing on reducing spasticity or tightness in muscles that the injury can cause.

“This field is very much about putting your theories into practical use,” said Tom, who will graduate in May with a master of science in biomedical engineering. “We are hoping we will have good results.”

Assistant Professor Dr. Anita Singh added that research projects go beyond the obvious academic benefits by teaching students how to communicate complex ideas with a large audience. Several of her students have already presented their research findings at national and local conferences and few are currently working on publishing their work in scientific journals.

“Overall they become more independent,” said Singh. “They become leaders.”

Tom, who is now a permanent U.S. resident, added that the personal attention she received from faculty at Widener was incredibly different from her time as an undergraduate in India.

“I do encourage international students to come over here and do research,” she said. “It’s really great.”