Mikayla Moody is a third year PhD student at the University of Connecticut, where she currently engages with biomaterials in the field of biomedical engineering.
Throughout her academic career, Moody has been the recipient of countless awards, fellowships and stipends. There’s a lot to be proud of. But some of these most memorable moments were never saved on paper.
At her undergraduate graduation, Moody was selected by classmates to deliver a speech during the ceremony, and was later awarded ‘Most Distinguished Senior’ in the department of Materials Science and Engineering.
She describes of this experience, “It was a shock. I realized that I was capable of doing things I’d never thought possible before…and that maybe I wasn’t giving myself enough credit for all the work I’d done.”
And work she does. Moody’s current research focus aims to understand how acidosis affects bones structurally and mechanically. This ‘secondary disease’ has been glossed over for some time now, despite its wide-reaching effect.
As a result, she has put together a treatment study of her own creation. By this, Moody plans to analyze the effectiveness of current treatment plans in increasing bone strength. Meaning, she hopes to quantify the effect of bicarbonate on our bones.
In the future, Moody plans to enter into science policy and communications. She hopes to engage more with politicians and the general public, so as to “create more science-based decisions, and inform on public and climate health decisions.”
“There’s a lot of misinformation out there, which I want to help with.” Moody’s experience in the lab translates to hospitals and other medical facilities, which can then be communicated to the public, allowing for a safer, stronger future.
That being said, she didn’t always see herself working in public communication. John Lof strengthened her skills as a leader, helping Moody to make great connections and network with a variety of people and groups.
Now she’s John Lof’s first Social Media Director, where she spends a great deal of time raising awareness of the program, all while connecting with the community.
She aims to make the Academy visible to communities outside of UConn, in hopes that other universities will develop similar programs for graduate engineers.