Spotlight on Engineering Alumni: Katie Litts

klittsName: Katie Litts

Occupation: Graduate Student

Education (UR and additional): BS in Biomedical Engineering, University of Rochester, 2010. Currently in the Vision Science PhD program at University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Current city/state of residence: Birmingham, AL


Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

I picked UR because of the academic freedom. I knew I liked math and science but I wasn’t a hundred percent certain that I would like engineering. With the UR curriculum, I knew that I could easily change to another major or take a random unrelated class and not affect when I graduated.

When and how did you choose your major(s)?

I picked my major randomly. As a freshman, I was assigned a BME advisor and I took BME 101, which I really enjoyed. After taking an optics course in the fall semester of sophomore year, I decided to declare my major as biomedical engineering with a concentration in medical optics.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

I was involved in a variety of different groups including the Society of Women Engineers, varsity track and field team, Class Council, Tiernan Project, St. Sebastian Society and Catholic Newman Community. Being involved helped me to know my classmates better, become involved with the community, and gain leadership, time management, and networking skills.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

In the fall after graduating from UR, I started graduate school. I decided I wanted to earn a PhD after doing research while at UR. I received help on the graduate school application process from my BME advisor and advisors from the Kearns Center. My research interest in vision sparked from my education in BME and Optics at UR.

How are you still connected with the University?

I am an alumni interviewer for the UR Involved program and I interview prospective students around the world and share my UR experiences. I keep updated on everything happening at UR through social media and I still read the Campus Times.

What advice would you give to current Hajim students?

Get involved in clubs, academic groups, sports or intramurals, and even a research lab as early as possible. Your years at UR will probably be the best years of your life. Enjoy them, have fun, build your network, take advantage of all the opportunities you can find, and grow academically. Also, find a mentor to help you achieve your goals.