Ling named biomedical engineering student marshal


By Jamie Overdick

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Melissa Ling has been selected as the student marshal for the biomedical engineering baccalaureate degree program for Penn State’s spring commencement, to be held virtually on May 9. Ling will receive a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering.

College of Engineering student marshals are selected for their outstanding academic achievement and contributions to engineering student life. Esther Gomez, associate professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering, will be the student’s faculty marshal, an honor chosen by the student because of Gomez’s mentorship and guidance.

A Schreyer Honors Scholar, Ling completed an undergraduate honors thesis titled “The Role of Lamin A/C and the LINC Complex in TGFB1-induced Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition.”

Ling said she found a lot of value in the opportunities for research as an undergraduate that she received as part of her Penn State experience.

“I am so grateful to have been able to work closely with graduate students and professors throughout my time here and to be able to use the amazing research facilities at Penn State,” Ling said. “Through my research, I was able to gain skills in the lab, conduct my own experiments, analyze the results, troubleshoot and even document all of this in an undergraduate thesis. This is a profound experience that is specific to the Penn State Schreyer Honors program.”

Ling’s academic honors include the President’s Freshman Award, the President Sparks Award and the Evan Pugh Scholar Award. In addition, she has received the Schreyer Academic Excellence Scholarship and the CSL Behring Biotech Scholarship.

Ling completed two internships, one as an analytical chemistry intern with Bristol-Myers Squibb, and the other as a bioprocess development purification intern with Seattle Genetics.

Ling’s dedication to learning has left an impression on all of her faculty. One example is Justin Pritchard, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Early Career Entrepreneurial Professor in the Penn State College of Engineering, who taught Ling in his data science course.

“Melissa is incredibly smart and talented, and we were really lucky to have her in the class,” Pritchard said. “Her course work would always speak for itself. It was clear, thoughtful and detailed. In addition, she was thoughtful and generous with her time when helping other students.”

Ling’s additional extracurricular activities included serving as a learning assistant in fall 2017, an undergraduate teaching assistant in an organic chemistry instrument room in fall 2018 and the service chair for the Society of Women Engineers in fall 2017 and fall 2018.

Ling is the daughter of Jessie Ng and Ted Ling of Downingtown and is a 2016 graduate of Coatesville Area Senior High School.

Following graduation, Ling will attend the University of Washington in fall 2020 to pursue a doctoral degree in molecular engineering.


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Megan Lakatos

Melissa Ling headshot