College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Divyesh Kumar: Outstanding senior in chemical engineering

Divyesh Kumar was nominated as a senior marshal, as a representative of the top students in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Major: Chemical Engineering

Hometown: Ames, Iowa

Clubs and activities: Working in Donald Sakaguchi’s neuroscience lab on projects that apply stem cell biology to central nervous system repair; working with Nigel Reuel, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering; group research that focuses on developing carbon nanotube-based biosensors; Undergraduate Research Ambassador

Awards and honors: Kenneth L. Garrett Scholarship in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering Scholarship Fund, Iowa State National Merit Scholarship Program, and the Ralph S. Millhone Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Engineering

Who was your most influential mentor while at Iowa State?

Donald Sakaguchi, Morrill Professor of genetics, development, and cell biology, has been an amazing role model and I am greatly thankful for his mentorship. When I first joined the lab as a freshman, I truly had no idea how to conduct sound, reputable research. Now, I play a role in designing and executing entire experiments. This growth has only been possible due to Dr. Sakaguchi’s mentorship and positive influence.

What would you consider your greatest accomplishments at ISU?

In Spring 2020, I was nominated for and awarded the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, which is the premier scholarship in STEM in the United States. I would consider receiving this award my greatest accomplishment during my time at Iowa State.

What’s your favorite memory of your time at Iowa State?

Playing intramural sports with my friends. I have been on volleyball, basketball, and soccer teams.

What’s your favorite place on campus?

Probably Howe Hall, because it is my go-to spot to study late into the night.

What’s your advice for first-year students just starting at Iowa State engineering students?

During the transition from high school to college (especially in engineering), be sure to take advantage of resources such as supplemental instruction, office hours, and help sessions to be successful.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am a fan of staying active. I like lifting weights, hiking, biking, and playing sports like soccer and basketball in my free time.

What’s one lesson you’re taking away from this challenging pandemic year?

The pandemic has really taught me to cherish quality time with my friends and family.

What are your plans for after graduation?

After graduation, I plan on attending medical school.