Posted on February 25, 2022 by Rory Dew

FEBRUARY 25, 2022 – This weekend, UTSA will host the Fourth Annual South-Southwest Medical Device Make-a-Thon. Event chair, Sherry Daniel, a junior studying biomedical engineering at UTSA, is a dedicated student who has spent the spring semester organizing the 48-hour event that takes place from today through Sunday, February 27.

Sherry explains that the event’s purpose is to “challenge [teams] to design and prototype a medical device that solves a given clinical or medical problem.” The teams will learn the issue they have to resolve at the event’s start. She says the suspense of not knowing the prompt prior to the day of “ultimately adds to the intensity and excitement of the competition.”

Sherry expressed that her undergraduate studies greatly assisted her in understanding and planning of this Make-a-Thon. “Classes such as cellular biology and physiology have built my understanding of biological [and] anatomical relevance, biomaterials and biomechanics taught the importance of biocompatibility and functionality while product development brought awareness to the business side of things.” Lastly, she says, “everything I’ve learned in my academic career is brought to life in this competition.”

It is an excellent opportunity for the students from eight universities across Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma to put their majors into practice in an environment that encourages their creativity and challenges their innovation. Sherry’s goal is to provide a setting that allows students to transfer the knowledge they acquire while competing into real-life medical industry scenarios.

Although the competition is geared towards students pursuing biomedical engineering degrees, it is open to all majors. Thus, advocating various perspectives within the competition provides a new skill set not typically required within contrasting majors.

While the Make-a-Thon is, first and foremost, a competition, it also serves as a two-day aid to help future students succeed. While UTSA encourages Sherry’s accomplishments, her ambition equally uplifts her college and the community within it. Her goals do not stop there, for this event will expand the studies of over one hundred students, many of whom are outside UTSA and even Texas.

Sherry’s desire to inspire other works and designs within this competition is a positive example of what it means to be an accomplished student. In addition, it is undeniable that her leadership characteristics will continue to motivate her after the Make-a-Thon and her time at UTSA.

Written by Elise Trumbull

— Rory Dew