Congratulations to Dr. Sarah Furtney for receiving the 2022 Career Influencer Award. The University of Florida Career Influencer Awards celebrate the collaboration and innovation of our partners who have had an exceptional impact on career development and career engagements during the preceding academic year.
As noted by her colleagues and students, “Dr. Furtney has been a fierce champion of our BME students’ career development.” She teaches two core courses in our curriculum: Introduction to Biomedical Engineering (for our freshman) and Cellular Engineering Laboratory (for our juniors). She establishes career preparedness and growth mindset themes in her introductory course and revisits those themes when she sees her students again in her junior level laboratory course. The Introduction to BME course is one of the first college classes taken by BME students; the course provides students with an introduction to different topics in BME, but more importantly, introduces students to what is expected of them as biomedical engineers. Dr. Furtney has developed class discussions that prepare our BME freshmen to make the most of their time here at UF and empower them to find opportunities that align with their career goals. Coming back to her themes of career preparedness and growth mindset in the junior-level Cellular Engineering Laboratory course, she encourages her students to add laboratory techniques from this course onto their resume and practice communicating this course laboratory experience as preparation for other regulated facilities for the future when interviewing with employers.
Dr. Furtney is also the Undergraduate Coordinator for BME. She oversees the advising for the undergraduates and helps with many programmatic activities for our students. Her contributions to the BME undergraduate experience include: the creation of the Undergraduate Research Guidebook, offering workshops on how to get research internships, facilitating department events like Alumni and Industry Connect, mentoring individual students, mentoring design teams for national competitions and facilitating programs like the Medtronic summer internship program and BME Summer Research Internship Program. As can be seen from this list, Dr. Furtney is an influential support for our students as they seek career-building opportunities.