Mixing the energies of seasoned alumni with the aspirations of budding students is like concocting a potent elixir of excitement, curiosity and mentorship. Recently, Bioengineers Connect, a UW Bioengineering staff-led initiative, brought together alumni and students for a networking dinner to share experiences and aspirations. Nine alumni, including three panelists, and 29 students attended the event that took place on April 16.

Conversation flowed freely as attendees enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner while mingling with alumni. They then settled in to hear from three alumni panelists, each representing a unique career trajectory. Led by UW Bioengineering Professor, Michael Regnier, Connie Cheng, J.D., (Ph.D. ‘13), Karen Gaffney, (B.S. Bioengineering/Data Science ’22)  and Cameron Turtle, D.Phil. (B.S. ‘12) illuminated the path beyond academia with their diverse journeys and invaluable insights.

From Cheng’s innovative foray into patent law to Gaffney’s important research in biotech startup HDT Bio, and Turtle’s roles as industry consultant and CEO of Sypre Therapeutics, the panelists inspired the students by sharing helpful advice and the myriad possibilities awaiting bioengineers beyond graduation.

The engagement didn’t end with the panel. As the evening progressed, students eagerly mingled with the panelists and fellow alumni, their enthusiasm clear as they sought guidance and inspiration for their own career trajectories.

In the happy glow of shared wisdom and mutual encouragement, Bioengineers Connect looks forward to the next event to help pave the way for the next generation of bioengineering trailblazers.