FIRST Alum Sarah Rudasill, from FIRST Robotics Competition Team 4266, the New Oxford GhostBotics, from New Oxford, Pennsylvania, received the Bart Kamen Memorial FIRST Scholarship. Participating in FIRST inspired Sarah toward research in the translational sciences, and her FIRST Scholarship has provided financial freedom and mentorship as she pursues an academic surgical career.
What did you do after becoming a FIRST Alum?
After I graduated high school, I attended Wake Forest University. I graduated in 2017 with a degree in Economics and now I’m at UCLA for medical school.
What are your future plans?
I intend to pursue an academic surgical career, where I will balance patient care, clinical research, and teaching responsibilities. I’m so excited to study medicine, see patients in our volunteer clinic, and conduct clinical research.
How has your FIRST experience impact your post-graduation life?
FIRST demonstrated how abstract scientific principles could be applied to practical problems, which inspired me to pursue research in the translational sciences. Medicine is a fantastic avenue for translating scientific discoveries into tangible improvements in healthcare. Being the recipient of the Dr. Bart Kamen Memorial FIRST Scholarship gave me the financial freedom to pursue research projects of interest, and I am fortunate to have met many great researchers and physicians who have shaped my career trajectory.
You shared that you’ve made and kept great FIRST friends – any advice to current Participants on how to do that?
I was a fortunate recipient in the first class of Bart Kamen Scholars, so I’ve kept in touch with other scholars and subsequent classes. I look forward to mentoring future generations of Bart Kamen Scholars through the long medical training process.
What is your favorite FIRST memory?
I helped to found a brand-new team, and our first competition in Baltimore will always be a fond memory. We didn’t come close to winning, but it was a thrill to be surrounded by so many passionate and brilliant future scientists.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
When starting any new endeavor, your attitude and effort will determine the outcome.