Gianna Elias

  1. About Gianna
    1. Year: Class of ‘23
    2. Hometown: Spring Valley, IL
    3. Hobbies: Golf, painting
  2. Major & Why
    1. Gianna is majoring in bioengineering with an interest in cell and tissue research. She always knew she wanted to go to med school, but also wanted the problem solving skills of an engineer, so bioengineering turned out to be the perfect fit.
  3. Life at UIUC
    1. Favorites: Gianna’s favorite thing about UIUC is the community. Coming from a high school graduating class of only 60 students, she expected such a big school to be overwhelming, but made lots of friends and built a community through classes and WIE Orientation.
    2. Why she chose UIUC: She really liked the atmosphere at UIUC and how it was an academically strong school with a great engineering program, while also having a fun and relaxed environment.
  4. Student Organizations
    1. Biomedical Engineering Society: Gianna is very involved with Engineering Open House projects through BMES. This year, she is the co-lead on a project to create biodegradable surgical gloves to reduce waste from plastic gloves.
    2. Phi Delta Epsilon: Pre-med fraternity on campus
    3. Engineering Student Alumni Ambassadors: Gianna works on the outreach committee to facilitate connections between engineering alumni and current students.
  5. Extracurriculars 
    1. Gianna just recently started research in the Cellular Neuroscience Imaging lab on campus with a professor studying traumatic brain injuries.
  6. After Graduation
    1. Gianna plans to go to med school after graduation. Her dream job is to be a doctor and to work on medical start-ups in countries that lack access to healthcare.
  7. Being a Woman in STEM
    1. Gianna’s interest in STEM was piqued by two major role models in her life – her mom and her aunt. Her mom is a computer programmer and teacher and her aunt is an engineer; both helped to spark her interest in STEM and inspired her to persist, even if she was one of the few women in a class.
  8. Advice to Freshmen
    1. Something Gianna wishes she knew as a freshman is to not compare yourself to others. She says “you’ll meet a lot of super impressive people doing a lot of impressive things, but you shouldn’t compare your path to theirs.” Everyone comes into college with different background and different experiences, so it’s important to remember to do the best you can and avoid comparing yourself to others.

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