Major: Biomedical Engineering
Graduation Year: 2023
Hometown: Hockessin, DE
Q: Why did you choose to become an engineer?
Mottel: Growing up, I enjoyed every subject in school — from literature and organic chemistry to philosophy and ancient history. I innately possessed a strong love of learning. I did everything within my ability to read anything I could get my hands on, driven by a desire to simply know more. As a result, I developed not only an analytical perspective to solving problems, but a passion for creative writing to share what I’ve learned. This wide breadth and depth of knowledge also caused me to strongly gravitate towards interdisciplinary applications, which as I would later discover, was at the heart of engineering.
I decided to be a biomedical engineer so that I could work at the intersection between biology and chemistry at the forefront of medicine. I wanted to be an engineer so that I could not only perpetuate my love of learning, but to further connect and collaborate with others in narrowing the gaps of knowledge in the medical field.
Q: What is your favorite course or who is your favorite instructor?
Mottel: This is a very difficult question. Even with the influx of problem sets and group presentations (and their respective sea of deadlines), I still enjoy most of my classes. Biomechanics I ranks very high on this list, largely influenced by the fact that it was among the first courses we took in the fall that we had returned to in-person classes since quarantine. My year was sent home at the start of our freshman spring, and we particularly missed out on a lot of fundamental, hands-on lab experiences, so to be able to dissect ACLs out of bovine knees within the first weeks of the semester and interact with peers face-to-face again strongly resonated with me.
Q: What advice do you have for new students?
Mottel: Be kind to yourself and take each day one step at a time As a freshman, college felt like a step into the unknown with so many things to try. Don’t overwhelm yourself in trying to check off everything on your bucket list in one go. Take things at your own pace as you explore this newfound independence — to admire the contrast of the leaves against the blue sky on the way to class instead of rushing between five different meetings, and during weeks when you feel
especially burnt out, recognize that time spent resting is never time wasted. Do what you can, when you can.