Announcement of Whitaker International Program’s Concluding initiative Grants recipients

Original Program Objectives

The Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program, endowed in 2005 for 15 years, has enabled U.S. biomedical engineers early in their careers to spend one or two years overseas. In accordance with the original plan, the last group of grantees will receive support through 2018.

The Program was designed with two main objectives: to develop future biomedical engineering leaders with a global perspective, and to create linkages between the biomedical engineering community in the U.S. and the rest of the world. To further promote the achievement of these goals, the Steering Committee has authorized a short-term concluding initiative that will serve as the capstone of the Program.


Aim of the Concluding Initiative Grants

This initiative invites alumni of the Whitaker International Program to propose, organize, and carry out an activity that serves the original program objectives. Cooperative effort by two or three alumni is encouraged but not mandated. Devising the activity is left to the interest, creativity, and leadership of the applicant(s), but some examples that would be considered are the following:

  • Conduct a small workshop that encourages international cooperation in an important area relevant to biomedical engineering.
  • Share valuable experience with peers that is likely to enhance their ability to become leaders in biomedical engineering with an international outlook.
  • Organize one or more events to familiarize biomedical engineering students with gaining overseas experience in research, industry, or policy making.
  • Devise a self-sustaining mechanism that will continue to provide productive interaction between alumni of the program.
  • Create an online or social media offering that encourages others to gain a global perspective and connections as part of their biomedical engineering career.


Whitaker Neuroengineering Network


  • Christopher Proctor
  • Alexandra Rutz
  • Steven Walston
  • Ismael Seáñez

Summary: Establish the Whitaker International Neuroengineering Network (WINN). A two-day workshop to be held in Cambridge, MA will be attended by ~40 participants (domestic and international) in 2019. Small grants to be awarded to facilitate research visits for students and postdocs at participating institutions.


Whitaker Alumni TedTalks


  • Caitlyn Collins
  • Audrey Ford
  • Elliott Goff
  • Colin Smith

Summary: Facilitate the presentation of TedTalks in two forms: professionally recorded at an event, and self-produced. Then create a legacy website to act as a platform for the Talks, and as a legacy website for Whitaker.


Baltimore Alumni


  • Michael Hess
  • Adam Li
  • Michael Sikorski
  • Joseph Yu

Summary: Digital storytelling of global BME experiences. Building and maintaining various social media accounts targeting BME trainees of all levels, with weekly posts. Will include capturing and archiving Whitaker Alumni stories and visiting host institutions to generate international stories.


Whitaker Reunion


  • Hannah Meredith
  • Colin Smith
  • Karthik Prasad
  • Carla Winsor

Summary: Host a small-scale Whitaker Reunion at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in August 2019. Invited guests will include all cohorts of Whitaker Fellows and Scholars. Currently limited to 40 attendees.


High School Outreach and Online Resource


  • Rohan Thakur
  • Connor Verheyen

Summary: Create a high school outreach network of Whitaker Alumni to present on BME in classrooms across the US, aiming to generate more interest in BME and greater accessibility to the field. Proposal would also build a website with BME resources.