Inspired by a passion for academia, Mostafa Ismail is graduating with a BS/MS Electrical Engineering thankful for the diverse experiences he was able to partake in during his five years at Drexel. As a first generation college student, and the eldest son in his family, things didn’t always come easily-- but Ismail was able to persevere, graduating this spring with summa cum laude Latin Honors.
“I chose to major in ECE because I was interested in learning how to communicate with brain computer interface. I wanted to learn how all devices work, like televisions and computers, and how to communicate with them,” Ismail explains.
“Everything was an eye-opening experience, everything was new. I’m very passionate about learning, and ended up taking more classes than I needed to graduate.” These include an array of courses from each concentration in ECE, enabling Ismail to have a thorough understanding of many areas of study in his specialty. He felt prepared for any demands in he faced in his two co-ops as an Electrical Engineering Intern at KaVo Kerr, a dental instruments and imaging company, in 2017 and 2018.
“When I worked [at KaVo Kerr], it was my first time in the industry. I worked on a lot of projects with imaging devices, and it taught me a lot about schematic and PCB layout, embedded design and programming, analyzing, sorting and designing the hierarchy of millions of data points, and scripting for digital communication analysis,” Ismail recalls. “I really love the company, and was happy I got to work with them for two co-ops.”
Diverse interests also extended to outside interests he was able to participate in. His love for learning and teaching allowed him to spend four years as an ACE Tutor, while his passion for his Egyptian heritage influenced his participation in the Muslim Student Association (MSA).
“I’m an international student, so in my first year, everything in the U.S. was very new to me. I actually met a lot of friends who were a part of the MSA, so that really helped me when I came here,” says Ismail. “They were really nice -- they showed me the city, the university, local Middle Eastern restaurants, and we played football together. Even just as a member, the events they held were always very interesting, and allowed me to socialize more.” Having grown accustomed to Philadelphia during his first year, Ismail felt encouraged to make the most of his time.
By taking all of the extra coursework, Ismail was able to complete credits for graduation two years early, enabling him to apply to the BS/MS Program. This included research into optimization of maxing terahertz structures, suiting his thesis to applications.
“I got so much from attending Drexel, in the diversity of classes I took in the ECE department, the research opportunities that led to my Master’s Thesis, the BS/MS Program, and the one year co-op in the industry,” Ismail concludes. “These experiences and opportunities will definitely help me in my future and in my PhD studies, which I will begin at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.”