Rebekah DeFusco

Rebekah DeFusco

Year: Senior
Major: Biological Systems Engineering
Hometown: Lincoln, NE
Emphasis Area: Environmental and Water Resources

What do you like best about your major?:

I love so many things about Biological System Engineering, but the biggest thing is the other dedicated students and faculty. Engineering isn’t easy, but having such a great support behind you is of immeasurable value. They have been constant encouragers in pursuing my goals in life, all while keeping me sane. I also really like that the department is located on East Campus—there’s less hustle and bustle compared to City Campus.

What would you say about your professors?:

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the professors I’ve had in the BSE department. Coming into college, I had all these preconceived notions that professors were unapproachable and that you would be given no leniency in any kind of situation. That couldn’t be more untrue, as I have found the faculty to be so caring and willing to help you when you are struggling, going beyond just the classroom. The professors have such a breadth and depth of knowledge and are able to effectively transfer that knowledge to the students.

Why did you decide to major in BSEN? Were there any events in your life that made you interested in your major?:

Ever since I was young, I have always loved math and science, but in high school I didn’t know where I wanted to take these passions, and I came into college undeclared and unsure. My sister, Rachel, majored in civil engineering, and she was a big factor in introducing me to the different engineering disciplines. It was through one of Rachel’s friends in BSE that I decided to try out a BSE introductory class. It was the people that I met in BSE that really sold me, the students and the professors. Biological systems engineering is also such a diverse major, I knew I could take my career in a variety of directions.

How has UNL prepared you for your future career?:

Academic advisors are basically life savers. They know what classes you need to take, what semester to take them, what clubs that would be good to get involved in, and are there to encourage you when school and life gets rough. The university has given me such opportunities to get involved, meet new and diverse people, and have a variety of new experiences. Coming into college, I didn’t have a good idea of what I wanted to do as a career, and my time at UNL has really shown me all the incredible things I can do in engineering.

Why should a student choose to major in BSEN?:

If students like math and science and are up for a challenge, biological system engineering might just be for you. But I think a lot of students fall into the trap of going into engineering because of the expectations of others, the potential earned income, or because engineers are typically labeled “smart,” but students should choose these majors because it will be something that aids them in following their passion. In the BSE department, students can find other dedicated students, wonderful staff and faculty, and such a wide variety of ways to get involved. These 3 majors are so diverse, so there are many career paths you are able to take after graduation.