IsaBelle Kranz is a senior at Trine University.  She is majoring in Biomedical Engineering and will graduate in May of 2021.  She is working on the Guitar Pick Challenge.  For this QL+ Challenge, IsaBelle and her teammates are tasked with designing and building a device that will allow Army veteran, Shane Heath, play the guitar more naturally.  

While deployed and on patrol, Shane stepped on an IED and lost part of his arm and leg.  The team is creating a device that will allow him to hold a guitar pick steady, without deformation, to allow for a natural strumming motion.

Why did you choose your major?  I chose my major because of my youngest brother who was born with bilateral clubfoot. Getting to see how much his orthotics helped him to be able to walk and other patients’ orthotics and prosthetics just stuck with me and I knew that is what I wanted to do.

Describe your experience working with QL+ so far.  What is the biggest challenge?  What has been rewarding?  The biggest challenge has been working with and around COVID. With having to wear masks and communicate through them as well as not being able to personally meet the challenger. Not being able to meet the challenger made it so that the team was not able to personally take measurements, which had to be done by the challenger and then sent to us.
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The most rewarding thing is being able to see the challenger get excited about the design and the potential of the device as well as knowing we get to help a veteran. Return a small service for the sacrifices he had and is still making.

What was it like working with your Challenger?  Did you learn anything from this experience?
Working with Shane Heath, our Challenger has been incredibly easy. He is incredibly easygoing and great to work with. Through this experience, I have learned to start early on projects but also keep an easy-going attitude. Getting overly stressed over little things just slows the process and the project down.

What would you say to other students about QL+?  It is a great opportunity, and you get to work with great people, both for the company and the challengers.

What are your plans after graduation?  After graduation, I plan on attending Eastern Michigan University in the fall to obtain my Master’s in Orthotics and Prosthetics. After getting my Master’s, I plan on being able to find a job either working with children, like my youngest brother, or with veterans, like Shane Heath.
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What has been the proudest moment of your college career? The proudest moment of my college career was getting into graduate school and finally getting my diploma from Trine University.