Muskan Kanungo’s interests in biomolecular engineering peaked during a high school field trip.
“I had the opportunity to take a field trip to Madison to work in one of the biotechnology labs where we conducted experiments related to genetic transformation, bioluminescence, restriction enzyme digest, and gel electrophoresis of DNA,” said Kanungo. “This field trip encouraged me to choose my current major, biomolecular engineering.”
Kanungo’s early interest in biotechnology drew her to explore MSOE. “It is the only university in Wisconsin to offer biomolecular engineering as a major.” Additionally, the Wauwatosa native liked being close to home and the small school feel of MSOE.
With her degree, Kanungo hopes to pursue a path in genetic engineering, bioinformatics, cosmetology, water sciences or neurosciences. She currently works at the Medical College of Wisconsin as a lab aide within the Center for Imaging Research.
Kanungo stays busy by participating in a variety of campus groups. She is involved in the University Honors Scholars Program, Next Door BrainStop group, American Society for Chemical Engineers, Society for Biological Engineers, CREST (Connecting Researchers, Educators and Students), and she is a part of the Water Council.
Kanungo was recently inducted into the University Innovation Fellows (UIF) program to support her mission to create change at the school, local and even national level. She feels honored to be part of a global movement alongside a dedicated team.
“Anyone can serve the community but doing it with a hardworking team makes the experience better,” said Kanungo. “UIF can be an avenue to work with great people and learn from them.”
As a Fellow, Kanungo hopes to encourage people to engage with new individuals and expand their networks. “As students at an engineering school, we get so busy studying and socializing with our small group of close friends that we forget to relax and talk with new faces. I want to encourage people to talk with people they never knew before. Imagine how many friends we could have if we talked to someone new every day—imagine how we could leverage those connections both in college and after graduation.”
To increase interactions amongst peers, Kanungo plans to get students involved in activities that are focused on entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity and networking. Kanungo believes boosting students’ people skills will help everyone lead a fulfilling life after graduation, no matter what path they take. Increased engagement also will help students understand other individuals and support another pillar of UIF, empathy.
“We need to communicate with each other and comprehend what our peers are going through in order to be more empathetic. In today’s world, we have more diversity within our country than we did 50 years ago, which is something we should take advantage of. In order to do that, we need to understand each other and be more empathetic.”
Outside of school, Kanungo exercises her creative side by creating and selling her art and photography. She also plays piano and violin, and is learning guitar.