ESG President Kyle Smith Ends Term

March 1, 2003

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."