Savannah Hays, from Mineral Wells, will graduate with a degree in biomedical engineering. She has served as a teaching assistant for the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, STEM tutor for the TestWELL Learning Center and vice president of the WVU Society of Women Engineers.
A first-generation college student, Hays has engaged in rigorous coursework and conducted research since her freshman year while simultaneously volunteering her time to outreach initiatives that foster interest in engineering careers among female high school students in West Virginia.
Propelled by a passion to bridge the gender gap in STEM fields, Hays used her 2021-22 Newman Civic Fellowship to spearhead the Morgantown SWENext Club, an engineering mentoring and college preparation program for young women ages 13-17 across the state
During her first three years at WVU, she performed research at the Department of Neuroscience using functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the relationship between face processing and social behavior in individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
Hays, who has a keen interest in nuclear medicine imaging, cited her most valuable experience at WVU has been her appointment to be the chief engineer for her senior capstone project. In this role, she collaborated and led four of her peers in a research project designed to investigate the performance of PET and CT medical imaging for breast cancer detection.
Last summer, she was selected to participate in the Research Experience for Undergraduates in Computational Sensing and Medical Robotics at Johns Hopkins University where she evaluated the impact of different MRI contrasts on human brain segmentation performance.
Hays is the recipient of the 2021 WVU Statler College Diversity, Equity and Inclusion student award and Johns Hopkins University Percy Pierre Fellowship Award.
After graduation, she plans to attend Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering to earn a Ph.D. with a research focus on medical image analysis.