Story by Allison Wdowiak
Arizona State wide receiver Kyle Williams is this weeks Valle Luna “Making a Difference” Athlete of the Week.
The Southern California native is a student athlete, emphasizing the student portion comes first.
Williams is a student in Barrett, the Honors college at ASU majoring in Biomedical Engineering. He will move onto medical school after graduating with hopes of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
I reached out to Marco Santello, the school of Biological and Health Systems Engineering director and professor who is highly decorated and knowledgeable, to learn more about the major and school’s program.
Santello said the major prepares students for medical school because “the biology-related courses, and the emphasis of the major on applying engineering principles to design solutions for medical problems such as stroke rehabilitation, assistive devices, drug delivery, etc.”
The professors teaching core classes under the Biomedical Engineering major have expertise in neuroscience, tissue engineering, synthetic biology, neurorehabilitation and other related areas.
The Biological and Health Systems Engineering school is always revamping its program, however, and Santello said they are “making important changes to our curriculum, including online offerings and major concentrations to better serve our students to acquire skillsets that are valued by academia and industry.”
Biomedical Engineers work to find solutions to treat brain aneurysms, monitor blood glucose levels without skin punctures, enhance recovery from neurological disorders, identify an unhealthy kidney before disease onset, and engineer sensors to measure and change brain neurochemistry.
On November 2, 2017, Williams shadowed Dr. Anikar Chhabra at the Mayo Clinic, learning Chhabra’s clinical procedures throughout the day of orthopedic practice.
“I learned how to treat patients and deal with the workload of a physician,” Williams said.
The 5’10” and 180 lb. athlete said he learns more than just plays from his coaches at ASU.
“I have learned how to be a man of faith and also play football for a cause greater than me,” Williams said.
During the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, the ASU football team took a trip down to El Paso Children’s Hospital.
At the Children’s Hospital, Williams and other teammates visited 10 kids and gave them a few trinkets of autographed Sun Devil gear.
That day Williams said he “learned to not take life for granted and that we are so lucky and blessed to live full healthy lives.”
When it comes to juggling school with athletics, the wide receiver said the Sun Devil football coaches focus on making schoolwork a number one priority and enforce a minimum 2.00 GPA requirement. Williams said as he balances the two he has learned time management and keeping his schoolwork from piling up. He currently upholds a 3.25 GPA.
In a press conference recently, receivers coach Rob Likens said, “I don’t know if you guys know this, but this guy’s going to be a surgeon one day.”
Outside of class and football, Williams also enjoys other extracurricular activities around campus. He will work out at the gym and attend other sporting events when football season isn’t in full swing. Williams lives on campus and has explored some tasty spots in Tempe, and exclaimed, “I love Lolo’s Chicken & Waffles!” He added he likes Oregano’s as well.