ESG President Kyle Smith Ends Term

Kyle Smith is officially a lame duck.

Smith has been president of Engineering Student Government for a year.
His successor, Sumit Shaw, was elected Feb. 28, and Smith will pass the
reigns of leadership over to Shaw at the end of the semester. The new
president will continue to expand many of the projects on which Smith and
his predecessors have worked.

For several years, Smith said, the focus of ESG has been increased
inclusiveness and building a stronger community through social events.
Smith, in particular, has been trying to find better methods of bringing
freshmen and sophomores into the Pratt community. Pratt students in
their first two years don't meet many engineers because most of their
courses are pre-requisite math and science classes.

Smith, a senior from Fort Wayne, Ind., spent the last year organizing
events aimed at bringing freshman and sophomore engineers in the
school's community. Under his leadership, ESG hosted a
freshman-upperclassman mixer and a Pratt School field day, which
attracted nearly 100 students.

All this was done while Smith and other ESG officials took on traditional
student government responsibilities such as investigating student safety,
sponsoring engineering student events and organizational recruitment.

"We do a lot for our size. We only have eight members," he said of the
ESG organization.

Smith accomplished this while taking on a substantial academic load.
This year, he served as a Pratt fellow, which allows students to receive
course credit and a summer stipend to conduct research under the direct
supervision of faculty members. Fellows are selected their junior year
based upon research interests, academic record, intellectual ability and
maturity. Smith's research, under Associate Professor of Biomedical
Engineering Wanda Krassowska, focuses on designing theoretical
models to study mechanisms of delivering DNA to cells using electric
pulses.

"I have a great adviser, and I really enjoy my research," he said. "When I
started she was there a lot, always there to help out when I needed it, but
as I learned more she let me have more independence. It's just been a
really great experience."

Smith, who has been accepted to the University of Pennsylvania and the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, plans to continue his research in
graduate school next year. From there Smith hopes to continue in
academia.

"I'd like to go into teaching and research. In academia, I feel people are
given more leeway and freedom to explore their interest and passions."