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Graduate Student Profile
Courtney Dumont
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Courtney Dumont

Hometown: Windsor, VT
Degree Sought: Ph.D.
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Faculty Advisor: Deanna Thompson
Expected year of graduation: 2014

Degrees
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – M.S., 2011
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – B.S., 2009

Background and Accomplishments:
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Council Chair (responsible for organizing BME graduate students in outreach, social events, mentoring, and acting as a liaison with the department)

Undergraduate Research mentor (7 undergraduates, 1 high school student) CBIS Graduate Student and Post-Doc Committee (responsible for promoting events among the post- graduate population in CBIS)

Outreach Responsibilities: Art-Science Exhibit of the Nervous System, Science Olympiad at Susan Oden Taylor Elementary School, Explore Engineering Day, FIRST LEGO League Regional Qualifier Tournament Judge, Women in Engineering at Rensselaer Middle School

Awards/Fellowships:
Founders Award, Most Valuable Teaching Assistant in Biomedical Engineering

Scholarships from undergraduate years at RPI:
Rensselaer Medial, Rensselaer Alumni Award, Gilman Foundation Academic Excellence Award

Why did you choose to enroll at Rensselaer?
Rensselaer is one of the top schools in my field and has excellent facilities to conduct research. Any state of the art equipment I could possibly imagine using for my research is housed in CBIS. Ph.D. level core directors are in charge of the CBIS facilities to help me understand and use the equipment in my research, which not only helps me get the work done but provides me with the peace of mind that it was done right. I also like the location and the area, it’s a mix of my small hometown and a city.

What are some benefits of being part of the Graduate Community at Rensselaer?
Great research facilities, a growing community that has experts in a broad range of fields with which to collaborate, there are many programs and committees that generate a sense of community to build connections and enjoy the time at RPI, great institute and departmental commitment to programs that provide experience and knowledge to help obtain careers after RPI whether academic and industry

What would you tell a prospective student about choosing Rensselaer?
DO IT! I love everything about Rensselaer (research, facilities, environment, surrounding community, transportation, athletic facilities, Rensselaer community, faculty, mentoring possibilities, etc.). I am especially spoiled in the BME department because we have a great department head that is growing our department and striving to ensure a Ph.D. in 4 years with substantial contributions to the field. Our department also provides us with some many tools to ensure success at RPI and afterwards.

Describe your graduate research and its purpose/applications?
I study how physical and chemical cues produced by endothelial cells that regulate adult neural stem cell fate, as they apply to the neural stem cell niche. Understanding how to control neural stem cells will be important for developing safe therapeutics to be used for the regeneration of central nervous tissue following injury or disease.

What are your plans following graduation?
Post-doctoral research in an academic setting followed by starting my own research program at an engineering institute as an assistant professor

Professional affiliations:
Biomedical Engineering Society, Society for Biomaterials, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society

What are your hobbies/interests/special talents?
I genuinely enjoy mentoring young students and conducting research. Outside of that I enjoy running, strength training at the Mueller Center, cooking, trying new restaurants in the Capital District, doing any number of outdoor activities, and traveling.

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