Ophelia Johnson awarded prestigious Marshall Scholarship

Ophelia Johnson awarded prestigious Marshall Scholarship

September 10, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


It was just life-changing. It was
seriously life-changing. I saw this as the moment where I can actually change
the world. It came real, that came real for me and and just thinking back
of the entire journey to this point, thinking to where I didn’t know if I was
going to make it past 11 years old in Hurricane Katrina to coming here it’s been such a
beautiful dream. I went from pre-med, which I guess all of us came in thinking we were going to do pre-med. I figured out no, I want to be an engineer.
So I went through biomedical engineering research and understanding the research
aspects of engineering and then moved into medical device design which is what
I’m doing now and the master’s of engineering and design and
commercialization. It’s a glucometer or a way to measure blood glucose implanted in your body and
then an external insulin pump, so I kind of took that and ran with it and created
this graphical user interface in my MATLAB class to help patients track
their glucose levels and take back control of their health really and
promote personalized healthcare. I was really proud of that, I copyrighted it
and hopefully I can advance that a little further, fingers crossed. Right
now we’re working on a way to weigh patients who are recumbent, or they have
to remain flat because they’re in such a critical state, in the emergency rooms over at UAB. This is truly the grace of God. It has been such a blessing honestly I went to Ashley’s office and started crying because of just seeing how far, you know
coming from losing my home, losing my father to being put in this new culture,
to where I was failing math. To coming here at UAB and being able to tutor other
students in calculus. I thought. that’s just mind-blowing and to see me continue
on that path has just been such a blessing. I love not only the program, the
biomedical engineering program, but the support here. There’s so much culture so
much family, such a family atmosphere here. That’s what I really loved and then
there was also the opportunity for undergraduates to do research and I knew that’s the path I wanted to start out in. I’ll start in October. I’ll be
studying medical device design and entrepreneurship and hopefully kind of
backing that up with bioprocess engineering and learning about how the
process of designing medical devices and manufacturing really plays into lowering
the cost of health care, and using medical technology and advances in medical
technology to lower the cost of health care. I definitely want to use this
as a platform for ambassadorship and showing connecting bridges
really, bringing bridges together from the US and UK and showing others in
the US how much the UK has to offer, showing the UK how much the US has to offer, bringing us
together and really building a lot of bridges. Here at UAB we offer the support and
the family environment that you need here to thrive because I know I needed that, I was an out of state student, no family close around, so coming here and
being able to reach out to graduate students reach out to undergraduate
students even faculty who are willing to take you in and help you move along
and really excel in your academics that’s exactly what UAB offers.