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Michelle Bakker Selected to Receive ASME Auxiliary FIRST Clarke Scholarship


Incoming freshman, Michelle Lynn Bakker, has been selected as one of the 2013 ASME Foundation/ASME Auxiliary FIRST Clarke Scholarship recipients.

ASME defines itself as a professional organization that publishes technical journals, forms codes and standards for the science and technology field, and holds world-renowned conferences and seminars. Since 1996, the organization has been involved with FIRST, as they collaborate to encourage careers in engineering, while recognizing the achievements of those who have made contributions to the field at a young age.

FIRST is an acronym for the phrase, “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” As its name suggests, the public charity harvests interest in science and technology careers through programs that develop engineering skills in a hands-on way. Additionally, the organization stresses the fact that these skills can be applied to a broader range of subjects, including those outside the realm of engineering.

“This program is not necessarily just for engineers,” Bakker said. “It has helped me to become a much better-rounded person.”

ASME Auxiliary FIRST Clarke Scholarship is granted to high school seniors who are active members of either the FIRST Robotics Competition or the FIRST Tech Challenge. Bakker who has participated in the former, was familiarized with her high school’s robotics team, Team 74 Holland C.H.A.O.S., at a young age. Her older brothers had set the stage with their involvement, and Bakker stood as a dedicated member of the FIRST team throughout her four years of high school.

I learned project management, time management, and safety procedures during my year as safety captain, leadership skills during my year as team captain, and various engineering skills,” Bakker said.

From her experience on the team, Bakker has a clear vision of what she hopes to accomplish at the university and later in her career.

“FIRST is what ultimately made me decide I wanted to be an engineer,” Bakker said. “I am hoping to pursue a Bachelors in ME at the University of Michigan, and then go on to graduate school for Biomedical Engineering.”

Ultimately, she aspires to be an integral figure in research on the development of prosthetics and medical devices.