Extraordinary Engineer: Tia Shorter

Tia Shorter

Tia Shorter

Loganville, GA

High School
Archer High School

Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, December ’26
B.S., Biological Engineering, Biology Minor, ’21

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UGA?

My favorite thing about being a student at UGA is having the community I built over the years amongst peers. I have met some life-long friends here while attending UGA! Whether if it was fighting through General Chemistry together or working together as Resident Assistants, I am truly proud of the diverse group of friends I have made!

Why did you choose engineering?

I chose engineering simply for my love of math and building things with my hands. Since a young age, I have always enjoyed problem-solving and collecting legos! I specifically chose biomedical engineering because I always had a love for medicine. This makes sense being that Grey’s Anatomy is my favorite tv show! My decision was pretty set once I learned from my father that I could combine both engineering and medicine together.

Why is it important for the university to have a diverse community?

It is important for the college to have a diverse community to be able to interact with peers from diverse backgrounds and who have various perspectives in life. This allows for our community to grow and learn from each other and not be fixed minded individuals. As engineers, having a diverse population is essential for us to develop interpersonal skills; it also allows more educational opportunities for underrepresented groups. Representation is especially important as our overall population continues to become more diverse over time.

What has been the greatest challenge you have faced while at UGA, and how did you overcome it?

The greatest challenge that I faced while at UGA was adjusting to the rigorous coursework. I had to find my niche as well as a way to balance work, school, and leisure activities. Once I was able to find that perfect balance, I began to thrive here at the university. Finding that balance lead to fun memories and long-lasting relationships that I still have today!

What have you learned that has made a difference for you?

I  have learned prioritizing self-care is majorly important! As an engineering student, you work hard to learn complicated subjects and to complete your assigned tasks. Carving out time for yourself will greatly improve your mood and overall performance! This especially helps me now that I am doing research!

Collage of photos of Tia Shorter and friendsWho has helped you become a successful student at UGA?

Definitely my parents and my brother have been impactful regarding my growth as a successful student at UGA. They helped me develop the foundation that I have today as a hard working research student who is resilient beyond measure. I also have to thank my friends who have lend their support and encouraging words throughout my studies. The graduate resident assistants I had during my time as an RA taught me how to lead and manage responsibilities as a student. And lastly, there are a few professors that I am grateful to have had who helped me become a successful student with my studies.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

My favorite spot on campus is hands down the Sci Li. I would go there all the time to study with my friend, Sammy! We made many memories there and a lot of work got done there! Also, that is the same building for math courses so I enjoyed going there for calculus.

What has been your favorite class at UGA?

This is going to be funny, but my favorite class was actually Engineering Statics (ENGR 2120)! I had an amazing professor (Dr. Carnell) who made the course easy for me to understand. I enjoyed every second of that class, which could explain why I liked Strength of Materials too! Outside of engineering, I would say my favorite class was my Introduction to Anthropology course (ANTH 1102). Learning about the differences in humanity and cultures was pretty cool!

Collage of photos of Tia Shorter and friendsWhat has been your best memory at UGA?

This is quite hard. I would say my best memory at UGA were the times I spent with my close RA buddies either doing power weekends, 1 am rounds, or hosting programs together. However, my most favorite memories are those when we hung out before our residents moved in and when we stayed up for late night rounds!

What advice do you have for younger students who wish to pursue engineering?

Always go to office hours. I know seeking help may be hard sometimes, but just do it. I promise it will help your studies! Even if you understand the material, still go to office hours to listen in on concepts and potentially build a relationship with your peers and professors! This is how I met one of my best friends!

How do you hope to impact society with your engineering degree?

I hope to inspire young women of color to pursue challenging degrees like engineering. My goal is to use my career to help make a way for others to travel the same path as me! I also hope to impact the healthcare field through my innovative thinking and problem-solving skills to aid in the problems faced with biomedical device applications.

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