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Pratt Profile: Oscar Carrasco-Zevallos
PhD candidate, Biomedical Engineering (Expected Graduation: Spring 2019)
Developing novel technologies for retinal surgery and measuring corneal tissue with Dr. Joseph Izatt.
Where are you from?
I am from Peru, but I moved to Texas when I was 7.
What was your undergrad degree and where did you get it?
I have a BS in biomedical engineering from Texas A&M University.
Why did you choose Duke?
I chose Duke mainly because of the professor and research. That’s how I narrowed down my options, but there were several schools that I was a good match for in terms of research. Duke came out on top because the labs seemed very collaborative and willing to help each other out. That made a much less tense environment, where everyone can get along and there is no cut-throat competition from your peers.
Duke seemed to really look after their graduate students. There are numerous functions and events specifically to help graduate students socialize, like the E-Socials held on the engineering quad every Friday. You do not see much of that in other schools. Duke is a great school, and I am happy to be here.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy playing sports, especially soccer. I also enjoy hanging with my friends at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. The weather is nice here much of the time so you can really enjoy the outdoors.
What organizations are you involved in?
I am a part of the Optical Society of America and also am active in helping to recruit minority graduate students to Pratt. We have a number of outreach events throughout the year, like visiting undergraduate schools and hosting breakfasts during recruiting season to help prospective students get to know us better.
Why would you encourage other students to choose Duke?
The labs are great. Duke is one of the top schools, but as I mentioned before it also seems less stressful than other universities. We have a really friendly and cooperative culture here at Pratt and across the university. This is a place where you will not only receive a good education, but also have fun.
What’s ahead for you after graduation?
I’d like to become a professor at a top-tier research university.