Submitted by Virginia Weir, Assistant Director of Advancement Communications on June 20, 2013

The connections I have made here will last a lifetime.

Rafique Vahora ’13

Hometown: Norwalk, Conn.

Major: Electrical Engineering

Recipient of Hardiman Scholarship, NASA Undergraduate Research Scholarship

About coming to Fairfield 

I was born and raised in Norwalk, Conn. My parents are from India. They came to America in the 1980s because of the promise of a better education for their children. When starting my college search I knew I didn’t want to be too far from home. Fairfield was my first choice because it had such a prominent reputation. I I knew as a Jesuit Institution it had a strong value system.

After taking a tour of the campus, I saw first-hand the small class sizes, attention to each student from the professor, and the close-knit community. These were what appealed to me the most. I wanted to know that I could have an impact on campus, and at Fairfield I would have that opportunity. One of my brothers, Haasim Vahora ’16, is also a student at Fairfield, majoring in electrical engineering and computer science.

My experience at Fairfield

I am most grateful for being able to participate in cultural student groups, such as the South Asian Student Association and the Muslim Student Association. I also really enjoyed my time in mentoring programs, first as a mentee and then later as a mentor. I feel like these programs were key to my success at Fairfield. I hope I can continue to support these programs as an alumnus.

Fairfield has given me so many memories over the past four years. These years have been the best of my life. I have met so many new people, and learned invaluable lessons both inside and outside the classroom. Being able to communicate and work with other in arrange of activities, from research projects to event planning, has made me a diverse and well-rounded individual. The connections I have made here will last a lifetime.

Favorite professor

The professor who has helped me the most over the past four years was Professor [Ryan] Munden in the Electrical Engineering Department. He served as my academic advisor and research and senior design project advisor. Professor Munden has always been able to help me find answers to the questions I’ve had, and provided valuable insight for the projects I’ve worked on.

In my junior year I received the NASA Undergraduate Scholarship for my research proposal on a non-invasive infrared bone densitometer that could be used to monitor bone health of astronauts during their time in space. I continued this research throughout my junior year and over the summer, and it became my senior design project. I received additional funding through the Hardiman Scholarship, a research grant offered through the University. My attendance at Fairfield would impossible without the financial aid and scholarships I’ve received.

Future Plans

I will be continuing at Fairfield in the graduate program to get my master’s in electrical engineering with a specialization in biomedical engineering. I would like to enter the biomedical engineering workplace and develop biomedical devices, especially those utilizing new emerging technology.

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