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A Scientific Approach to the Liberal Arts

  • By: Abigail Franklin
  • Published:
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A liberal arts education is one of the foundations of Taylor’s educational mission. The focus on interdisciplinary study equips students to be life-long learners wherever God may take them. For Engineering alumna Rachel Klink ‘20, the liberal arts influenced her approach to science and learning as a whole, and opened doors to continue to pursue her education.

Engineering at Taylor

Taylor’s Engineering major degree gives students a path to pursue a career or a graduate program in their preferred engineering concentration: electrical, mechanical, physics, or general engineering. The program provides students with a robust engineering foundation that’s applicable to all engineering disciplines, and students apply these lessons in challenging project-based application classes. Students are guided through the whole engineering process, from interacting with the customer, through design and manufacture, to testing the final product.  

Throughout this process, students work in multidisciplinary teams, designing systems that no single team member could create on their own. As a result, students build skills in communication, collaborative problem solving, management, and conflict resolution. Taylor Engineering students graduate as knowledgeable, high-quality engineers with a strong Christian character. 

Managing Unexpected Changes

As a Taylor student, Klink completed two competitive summer biomedical engineering internships at the National Institutes of Health and University of Delaware. She knew she wanted to pursue PhD graduate studies in biomedical engineering, but chose instead to take a gap year doing missions work overseas. However, after she graduated in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic canceled those plans. It took a Klink some time to figure out her next steps; even though she could have gone directly into graduate school, she still felt that God was calling her to something else.

While at home, she reflected on some of her other Taylor experiences. During her time at Taylor, Klink had been a part of Middle East Collegiate Association (MECA) and served as one of the co-presidents during her senior year. 

“I had gone on a Lighthouse trip to Southeast Asia,” Klink said, “It made this desire to love the nations and tell them about Jesus super personal. My heritage way back is from the Middle East, so I thought ‘perfect, I’ll be part of MECA.’ I get to learn about the nations and Middle Eastern culture and get to, hopefully, educate my campus a little bit on how amazing the Middle East is."

Eventually, after much prayer and searching, an unexpected opportunity to go to the Middle East came Klink’s way. She was invited to work as a nanny for an American family that serves refugees in the Middle East. She homeschooled their four children, balancing educating the older children while engaging the younger children through units on music and simple physics. 

PhD Student in Biomedical Engineering

Today, Klink is a PhD student at the University of Utah studying Biomedical Engineering. There, she is splitting her time between going to class and doing homework, and conducting research work through reading publications, designing experiments, and practicing research techniques. 

“The skills built in the engineering program at Taylor are helping me because with engineering, and research in general, you’re always going to be in situations where you don’t have all of the knowledge you need,” Klink said. “A lot of my classes and projects feel that way. I find myself asking ‘how did I deal with this situation in undergrad?’ That prepared me, not always in the most traditional way, but probably the most helpful.”

Learn more about Engineering at Taylor

From building a robot that can construct buildings on Mars to exploring the growing area of virtual reality, Taylor Engineering students are involved in cutting-edge projects. Learn more here.