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Kennedy Salamat

Kennedy Salamat graduated from the Science, Math, and Computer Science Magnet at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Kennedy first discovered her interest in biomedical engineering, after attending a Women in Engineering Conference where she saw a video of biomedical engineers designing a robotic arm to aid paraplegics.

At Columbia’s Fu Foundation School, she is excited to learn how to use engineering as a tool to meaningfully improve peoples’ lives.

Kennedy’s favorite subject in high school was math. Over the years, she designed math projects, ranging from examining the orbital stability of Lagrangian points to statistically examining the evolution of language complexity in the press. For her research, she won several awards at the Montgomery County Science Fair as well as the Curtis Jacobs Award from the Washington Statistical Society. In addition to exploring her interests in math, Kennedy has also pursued medical research as an intern and special volunteer at the National Cancer Institute of the NIH, where she used cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to image biomolecules at near-atomic resolutions. Specifically, this past year she used cryo-EM techniques to image sickle hemoglobin, the protein associated with sickle cell anemia. She is excited to join a lab and continue conducting research next year.

Kennedy is also interested in the intersection of the arts and medicine. During her Senior year, she was Vice President of the National Art Honor Society and has created paintings for hospitals through the Youth Art for Healing program. She has also explored music’s therapeutic value as one of the Tacy Foundation’s Chief Interns, where she organized music events and taught piano at a local facility, in addition to performing at hospitals and senior living facilities.

As a woman in engineering, Kennedy is committed to making STEM more accessible to everyone. In high school, she was an apprentice at the KID Museum, where she helped lead children in activities that were designed to get them excited about STEM. Moreover, she has volunteered at events for women in STEM such as KID Museum’s Girl Power Day and Blair’s Females in Science and Technology Conference. She hopes to get involved in Columbia Women in Tech.

Kennedy also enjoys dancing, writing, and spending time with family and friends.