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Douglass Residential College

Student Spotlight - Shelley Merhav DRC'23

Shelley Merhav DRC’23 is a biomedical engineering major, volunteer EMT, and active Douglass community member. This month, she will serve as a student moderator on the Post-Graduation Education Opportunities panel at the Christiana Foglio DC’84 Douglass Career Conference. In this role, she will help facilitate conversation between panelists and students as they discuss how to navigate graduate school opportunities and pathways.

“I am greatly looking forward to hearing more about the perspectives of graduate students at the Career Conference,” she said. “As an undergraduate student, I am still figuring out what is the best path for me, and I am eager to learn from other students who have gone through similar processes. I'm excited to ask important questions that will help not only me, but also every other undergraduate student who attends to discover our paths and aspirations for life after graduation.”

Merhav is a wonderful role model for other Douglass students due to her experiences in STEM professional development outside the classroom. She has interned at MCRA in their orthopedic regulatory affairs team and will soon start a co-op position at Ethicon in their product management division. Currently, Merhav works as an EMT, where she has developed a passion for assisting people in times of crisis.

“As a volunteer EMT, I developed a deep respect and appreciation for first responders,” said Merhav. “I learned a lot about how to handle high-intensity situations, and how to guide people through what may be the most stressful night of their lives. As a first responder, you never know what you're walking into when you get on scene, but you're always there for the same purpose; to help.”

For Merhav, Douglass was an important stepping stone to earning these career experiences necessary to thrive post-graduation. After graduation, Merhav plans to pursue a Masters of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering to specialize and better prepare herself for an industry engineering job.

“What helped me most to figure out my path and get started was the services and support provided to me by Douglass,” said Merhav. “I was able to get into research through the Introduction to Scientific Research course, which gave me something to talk about in interviews, allowed me to present myself as a strong candidate, and helped me land my first internship. As a first year student, many professors were reluctant to offer me space in their labs, but with the help of Douglass, I was able to get my foot in the door and learn more about what I wanted to do with my degree.”

Merhav recommends that all Douglass students become involved in the programming the College has to offer. She is involved in the Reilly Douglass Engineering Living-Learning Community, where she is a mentor to underclass students. As a Douglass STEM student, she has participated in Project SUPER and presented at the Douglass Project SUPER Research Symposium twice. You can watch her 2020 presentation here. She is also a Public Leadership Education Network ambassador where she helps connects students to opportunities that expand their professional development skills in public policy.

“The best advice I could give other Douglass students is to use the resources provided to you,” said Merhav. “Douglass has an amazing network of advisors and Deans who can connect you to programs that can launch your careers and enrich your education at Rutgers. Don't be afraid to schedule a meeting or send an email asking how you can get more involved or what is out there for you, because you never know what you'll find! It's never too late to get started.”