bmesThe UC Davis Biomedical Engineering Society student chapter, the Biomedical Engineering Society at Davis, has been selected to receive the 2012 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), Commendable Achievement Award. The award supports travel for one member of the chapter to receive a plaque at the BMES awards ceremony on October 25th at the BMES annual meeting in Atlanta, GA. As part of the award, the chapter representatives will give a brief presentation about Best Practices at the Student Affairs and Chapter Development Session. The award is given each year to a student chapter that submitted a Chapter Development Report which demonstrates evidence of outstanding performance in enhancing the professional awareness and education of their members in the previous year.

Member Husein Rashid, who helped write the report, believes it was the chapter’s ability to spark collaboration between engineering students from many different disciplines and backgrounds that helped win the award.  “Our officers made connections with students from UC Berkeley’s and San Jose State’s BMES chapters and met and collaborated with them. We even worked with other engineering clubs on campus to host joint events and worked closely with the UC Davis Engineering Joint Council to keep all engineering students informed about our events. This year, our chapter really gained a reputation of bringing people together in the engineering community.” The chapter also hosted creative events, such as the first annual barbecue dinner in front of the Genome Building, including lab tours.

Husein thinks that the UC Davis chapter was one of the underdogs to win this award. “Having attended the BMES Annual Conference last year, I saw that other chapters had opportunities and resources that we don’t have.  For example, many chapters around the nation consist entirely of graduate students and therefore they have more funding than we do (and we’re talking an order of magnitude more funding!). Despite these differences, I knew for sure that we were going to be one of the leading candidates for this award for one reason–the talent inherent in our students and the rest of the BME department.”

The creativity and originality of a very cohesive officer team in preparing for and advertising events allowed the chapter to secure over 100 members.  Chapter members showcased their talent writing and designing a new newsletter, exercised their skills on an intramural tube polo team, and contributed to the community through various outreach and community service events. The chapter’s graduate student mentors were also very helpful in supporting the Mentor-Mentee program. Finally, the staff and faculty displayed great acting skills during the department’s annual House of Horrors Picnic Day event and some even showcased a hidden talent for bowling during the chapter’s annual Bowling Night.

“In short, joining BMES became a very cool thing to do because people from all levels of the department contributed their best to the chapter’s success.  So this award is really a result of the hard work and support of the entire department,” says Husein.