Gabriella Bond Receives 2022 Ghausi Medal
BME senior recognized with top COE award for 4.0 GPA, research and volunteerism
Gabriella “Gigi” Bond ’22, a BME senior known for her work-ethic, joyful energy and passion for academic research by many in the College of Engineering, is this year’s recipient of the M.S. Ghausi Medal—the college’s highest honor for undergraduate students.
Bond’s passion for biomedical engineering started in high school when, at the one-day workshop from the Perry Initiative, she saw the “impact on medicine due to the intersection of engineering and life sciences.”
Since then, Bond’s passion for scientific research drove her to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering at UC Davis, where she has earned a spot on the Dean’s list for ten quarters and a 4.0 GPA, in addition to being awarded a Regents Scholarship, Panhellenic Woman of the Year, and a scholarship from the Pedrozzi Foundation.
“Gigi is an energetic person, and her joy and passion truly impact those around her,” said one faculty advisor.
In addition to achieving a perfect GPA, Bond conducted intensive scientific research throughout her undergraduate career. She worked for many years in the lab of Professor Kent Leach, where, despite the lockdown of most labs during the COVID-19 pandemic, she made tremendous contributions to applying granular microgels for the engineering of osteochondral tissues such that Leach expects she will be a co-author of one to two research papers.
“My current undergraduate research position has furthered my love for exploration and personal inquiry,” said Bond, who was awarded the 2022 Ronald and Lydia Baskin Research Award. “Initially, I was timid when asking questions and working around the lab. As I grew comfortable in the position, I realized that making mistakes and asking questions to fix them was necessary for me to progress in my education. These inquiries allowed me to grow stronger in my lab skills and grasp the purpose of my physical experiments, making me more enthusiastic about continuing my research.”
In addition to excelling academically, Bond has actively volunteered in the community, working at EquiVax Sacramento Vaccine Clinic during the COVID-19 Pandemic and BMES Mentor Program. She was also an executive council member of the Society of Women Engineers, where she successfully organized an online event with over 100 high school attendees from underrepresented communities.
Through her job at the Academic Assistance and Tutoring Center at UC Davis, Bond discovered her love of teaching and her desire to pursue a career as a professor. “I received a handwritten letter from a student I tutored about the impact I had in her learning experience in organic chemistry,” she said. “From this, I made a lasting personal connection with someone and know that, as a teacher and mentor in my future, I will be able to do the same on a larger scale.”
Bond sees the role of a professor as means to pursue both her professional aspirations. The first is the goal to pursue research that could have positive clinical applications in medicine. The second is to mentor students in STEM and help them develop confidence and resilience, just as she has experienced since that one-day workshop in high school. After graduating in June 2022, Bond plans to pursue a doctoral degree at Columbia University in the labs of Professor Nadeen Chahine and Professor Clark Hung.
“I want to become a professor because I aspire to make a difference in academic and medical communities through research,” she said. “I am excited to continue my education getting a Ph.D. and am happy to say UC Davis has prepared me wonderfully for this journey.”