Every February, the Department of Biomedical Engineering invites prospective graduate students from around the country to Salt Lake City for a visitation experience. This 3-day event provides these prospective students first-hand experience on what it’s like to attend the University of Utah to pursue their degree, and live in Salt Lake City.


Some things the visiting students were able to experience this year include:

  • A welcome orientation with special presentations from Dr. David Grainger, BME Chair, Dr. Alan “Chuck” Dorval, Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor, and BME’s Graduate Student Activities Committee (GSAC) and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.
  • Special driving tours of Downtown Salt Lake City.
  • A personal welcome breakfast with Dr. Richard Brown, Dean of the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering.
  • Tours of BMEs main buildings on upper and lower campus, with short lab tours and faculty introductions in each building.
  • Track Socials for BMEs 7 Graduate Tracks with their respective Faculty Track Chair.
  • Faculty interviews and specialized networking opportunities.
  • A poster display session with current BME Graduate Students from each PI lab.
  • Group activities and meals.


This unique and exciting opportunity was wrapped up beautifully by the visiting students choosing a day on the Brighton Ski Resort slopes, or an insiders-tour of the Salt Lake area.


When asked about the weekend, Priyanka Arunachalam, a BME Ph.D. graduate student working in the Ghandehari lab serves as recruitment chair for the BME GSAC responded “It was a rewarding experience to coordinate recruitment events and convey the unique story of our BME program to attract great talent. Getting to know prospective students and sharing experiences with them is always exciting!”.


Hundreds of hours of preparation were poured into ensuring this event was interesting, well-rounded, stimulating, and overall pleasant for each visitor. A large portion of planning was completed and overseen by Arunachalam, supported by Recruitment Committee members Nejra Mujkanović, Joshua Whiting, and Jérémi Godbout. These students truly showed that they not only have brilliant engineering minds, but also know how to make the visiting students feel welcome, included, and valued. Mujkanović was particularly excited about helping visiting students foster new friendships. She said “It was truly an honor to have served on the recruitment committee. Our aim this year was to impart our sense of our professional yet personal community. Many of the close friendships I hold were developed during my own recruitment weekend, and it was my goal to hopefully have our recruits share the same meaningful experience.”


The weekend closed with tired smiles by all who both attended and supervised the events, and a renewed atmosphere of hope and belonging across the entire department. Everyone looks forward to the entrance of the new graduate class in August.