Emily Chernich, E’19, always loved engineering and the medical field, but wasn’t sure how to combine them in her studies. She found the perfect program to pursue her interests at Northeastern, joining its first graduating class of bioengineering majors.

She participated in three co-ops during her time at Northeastern, the second of which brought her across the globe to Murnau am Staffelsee, Germany in an academically and socially educational experience. At BGU Murnau, a clinic specializing in treatment of trauma victims, she participated in biomechanics research, setting up testing procedures and drafting research for publication among other tasks.

“Being 21 years old and living independently in another country and working with international researchers was an opportunity that I don’t think a lot of kids my age have been able to have,” Chernich said. “It felt like it opened my eyes to so many more opportunities.”

Working for a predominantly German-speaking lab, Chernich initially struggled with the language barrier, but she went out of her comfort zone to engage in discussions. She found a sense of community with her coworkers and stays in contact with many of them.

“I find I will start conversations a lot more easily with new people now,” Chernich said.

Her first co-op was at Boston Scientific in endoscopy research and development performing a number of tasks, including building prototypes and helping with root-cause analysis. She also worked for Canon USA in the mechanical engineering department conducting optical imaging research.

Aside from her international work experience, Chernich is an educational leader on campus. Joining The Center for STEM Education her second year, she has assisted with numerous programs that bring engineering activities to local public school students, such as weekly field trips to Northeastern and after-school programs. She teaches students how to code and build robots two times a week at Mandell Elementary School.

Chernich loves working with kids, and one of her favorite parts about her involvement with the Center is “getting to see them excited about stuff they never understood.”

She is also the coordinator for the Center’s Young Scholars Program in which rising high school seniors come to campus for six weeks over the summer for a hands-on research experience with professors.

Chernich plans to continue her work with the Center for STEM after graduation this year, also assisting their two-week academic program for middle school students over the summer.