What makes Washington State University’s Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture stand out from the crowd for those looking to get a degree?

We ask bioengineering major Zaya Tsengelmaa for her thoughts on what makes WSU such a special place.

Zaya Tsengelmaa.

Name: Zaya (Delgerzaya) Tsengelmaa

Expected Date of Graduation: May 2022

Major: Bioengineering (Pre-Med), minor in Mathematics

High School / Community College: Lakewood High School/ Everett Community College

Activities: Harold Frank Engineering Entrepreneurship Institute, Frank Society Scholars, Biomedical Engineering Society, VCEA mentor

Scholarship: Harold Frank Engineering Entrepreneurship Scholarship

Q: What have you learned during your time at WSU, that will help you most in your future?

A: I have learned technical skills as well as to think and problem solve like an engineer. I realized that working in industry would not be just about engineering, so I applied to the Harold Frank Engineering Entrepreneurship Institute. Entrepreneurship classes have taught me important soft skills such as working     in a multi-disciplinary team and communicating effectively to develop complex engineering solutions to real-world problems.

Q: What made you decide to attend WSU? Why did you choose your major?

A: In my sophomore year, I received a call from Mongolia saying my father was in the ICU. My father was on a bed with many tubes hooked up to him, and next to him was the dialysis machine that was keeping him alive. That was when it hit home for me that this machine was the only thing keeping my dad alive long enough for me to see him again.

I realized that not only do the doctors and hospital staff help people in their most vulnerable moments, but the medical equipment and technology can help in the most crucial times. When I returned to the US, I searched who makes this technology and medicine, which led me to bioengineering. As I researched bioengineering, I realized I could combine my math skills and my passion for medicine. I realized that my life path was bioengineering.

I eagerly transferred to Washington State University because it offered an excellent bioengineering program and research opportunities. WSU and Pullman offer a welcoming, safe environment where I can focus on my education. WSU provides the best collaborative environment, encourages team collaboration, and feels like home. As the Coug saying goes, “We always find our way back home.”.

Q: Why would you recommend attending Washington State University? How have you benefitted by attending WSU?

A: Everyone in Pullman and WSU wants the students to succeed, and the students want each other to succeed. The comradery as a Coug is unmatched. The professors are welcoming and helpful. In my major, we have small classes, and you really get that one-on-one help from professors and create relationships that will last forever between my classmates.

I have grown in so many ways by attending WSU, and it has helped me become who I want to be.

Q: What advice do you have for fellow or prospective students? What can you recommend they do to succeed in your major or at WSU?

A: Enjoy the journey. It is not a race. I would recommend asking for help and seeking more opportunities and connections. Everybody wants you to be successful, so use the resources, join clubs, and, most importantly, get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable because it will make you grow so much. If it is getting complicated, talk about it. I promise you are not alone in this journey, and people will help. I would also seek mentorships and advisors.

Q: What has been your favorite class, club, or program that you’ve been involved with at WSU, and why?

A: My favorite class would be Bioengineering 411, Senior Design Capstone. This class gave me the opportunity to use all the skills I learned in my degree to develop a real product. We work as a group and problem solving together is the best part. Due to our project, I shadowed a lactation specialist in Pullman Regional Hospital. It was very nerve-racking and fun at the same time. We are very excited to present at the end of the semester.

My favorite club I am involved in is the Frank Society Scholars. The program helped me become a leader, contributor to a team, and professional. I have so many mentors and connections because of this club.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to mention about your experience at WSU?

A: I would not be who I am if I did not attend WSU. Thank you to my family, friends, boyfriend, and best study buddy/my dog Rosie.

Above all, thank you to all of my professors for impacting so many students.