Paulo Garcia '06
Paulo Garcia '06 came to Randolph-Macon College planning on a career
in engineering, grew interested enough in medicine to fulfill all the pre-med requirements, and graduated with a physics major and a
math minor. Put all those interests together, and in Garcia’s case
what they led to was a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the Virginia Tech –
Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.
As a student at R-MC, Garcia, a native of Cali, Colombia, had participated in the
Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program with Physics Professor
Deonna Woolard. “Participating in the SURF program with Dr. Woolard sparked my interest
in research and investigation,” he says.
At Virginia Tech, he began working in the Bioelectromechanical Systems Lab of Dr.
Rafael Davalos, joining a research team that includes engineers, oncologists and
neurosurgeons, all focused on developing a novel bioelectromechanical treatment
for cancer. Garcia was awarded the prestigious Paul E. Torgerson College of Engineering
Student Research Excellence Award for Best Ph.D. Presentation based on his work
with the team, and he was North American Finalist in the IEEE Engineering in Medicine
and Biology Society Student Paper Competition.
Now a post-doctoral associate in the lab, Garcia continues to be part of the team
led by Davalos.
“We are developing a new treatment called "Irreversible Electroporation” (IRE) to
kill brain tumors. An IRE treatment involves delivering a series of low energy electric
pulses through minimally invasive electrodes inserted into the tumor,” Garcia explains.
The team has successfully used IRE for treatment of a canine tumor; now, says Garcia,
“the Lab is continuing to develop and refine IRE so that we can take it to clinical
trials and treat humans with brain cancer.”
About his R-MC education, Garcia notes, “R-MC prepared me extremely well for my
graduate studies. I was very lucky to be part of a small department in which all
the professors not only were extremely knowledgeable about the subject area but
also were widely available for guidance and help.”
Paving the Way for Success
Rather than prepare students for one career, Randolph-Macon College prepares students
for a lifetime of careers in an ever-changing world. Exceptional faculty work with
students to cultivate their ability to think critically and analytically and to
find creative solutions for solving problems. R-MC graduates are well-prepared for
successful careers, often far outside of their areas of study.
The Randolph-Macon EDGE, the
cornerstone of the Center for Personal and Career
Development, helps Randolph-Macon students lead the pack when competing
for jobs and top graduate schools. Students have the support of faculty, career
coaches, alumni and staff as they focus on their personal and academic ambitions.
Students may choose to pursue paid or volunteer internships in a wide variety of
settings. The Bassett Internship Program
has been successfully placing students in academic internships both in the U.S.
and around the globe for 30 years. Coordinated with the Center for Personal and
Career Development, the program helps students identify their interests and matches
them with an appropriate internship opportunity. Randolph-Macon’s alumni provide
a strong network of support for students throughout their time at the college or
in assisting them after graduation with career direction and opportunities.
The college’s Four-Year Degree
Guarantee guarantees in writing that freshmen who meet the Four-Year Degree
Guarantee requirements will graduate within four calendar years. If not, Randolph-Macon
will waive tuition costs for courses needed to complete the degree. Currently, 95
percent of R-MC graduates complete their degree in four years or less—an important
value-added benefit for parents to consider when visiting colleges with their students.
Study Abroad programs offer students
a beyond-the-classroom global perspective and opportunities to immerse themselves
in other cultures. Students can choose from a host of travel courses during January
Term and semester-abroad programs.
The Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
program gives students the opportunity to conduct 10 weeks of original research
under the guidance of faculty mentors. Many students present their findings at national
and international conferences.
Read more Alumni Success stories.