Between working toward a Ph.D. researching pediatric heart pumps and serving as a liaison between medical and engineering team members, Carnegie Mellon's Arielle Drummond still finds time to do more.
She's been involved in numerous graduate student organizations. For younger students, she's been a science fair judge, tutor, inner city Girl Scout Troop leader and day-camp organizer. She mentors undergrad students in the lab.
When teased, she laughingly insists, "I do sleep!"
And in response to what seems to be her tireless service, Drummond was recently awarded the Student Leadership Award at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference. Carnegie Mellon's Dr. Gloria Hill was also honored at the Feb. 16 ceremony, with an Education Leadership Award.
It's easy to see why Drummond was recognized. The soft-spoken 27-year-old inspires glowing accolades like "selfless," "compassionate," "generous" and "dedicated."
Since arriving at Carnegie Mellon in 2004, she's been highly involved in student groups, including the Black Graduate Student Organization, Graduate Peer Mentoring Program and the National Society of Black Engineers — chairing their Graduate School Conference.
Now a Ph.D. candidate in Carnegie Mellon's Biomedical Engineering program, she acknowledges, "I wouldn't be here if it weren't for other people that helped me out."
Drummond is working toward her Ph.D. on the Pediaflow project under Dr. James Antaki. Her research focuses on the surgical issues involved in implanting pediatric artificial heart pumps.
"She has been able to accomplish all of these scholarly achievements while also being one of the most dedicated leaders of outreach to the minority community," Antaki said.
Drummond's and Hill's distinctions made Carnegie Mellon the only school represented at the 2008 awards ceremony with two recipients. Drummond also received Carnegie Mellon's 2006 Graduate Student Service Award.
Were it not already clear, Sheun Ogunsunlade, a chemical and biomedical engineering major who Drummond mentors in the lab, underscores why she merits the distinction.
"I do not think that I could thank her enough for the wonderful opportunity and the investment she made into my future."