Victoria Gonzalez Canalle

Victoria is the type of person who likes to have her feet in multiple worlds, whether it’s Venezuela and Boston, engineering and prose, or clinical research and philanthropy.

Appropriately, the pre-medical student said it was two distinctly different classes her first year on campus that catapulted her academic journey.

“Everyone who is part of STEM probably says that chemistry is one of the hardest classes at BU. But the class definitely challenged me in how I study and taught me to be more disciplined. But there’s a lot of good support within the community. Students will collaborate and work together and try to figure out solutions.”

The other class that opened the biomedical engineering major’s eyes? Creative writing.

“I came out of that class a much better writer than when I came in.”

“There were 12 or 13 of us, and it was the most talkative class I’d ever been in. Very interesting writers from various parts of the world. Our teacher Stacy Mattingly created such a great, safe environment. She really pushed us and gave great feedback. She made me realize that I could actually write well. It was a very revelatory class.”

Victoria has also harnessed her varied interests to create meaningful social impact. For example, with the help of BU resources and support, she launched a company that produces and sells family-made food products to raise funds for teachers in South America.

“I was able to pursue my start-up because of Innovate@BU and the BUild Lab, which is an amazing place,” she recalls. “Such great mentors, such a great program. If you have a venture, a business, or even a project, you can apply to the program and get funding up to $3,000, which is really nice, especially if you’re a college student trying to fund your own venture.”

Victoria is currently on a gap year, working full-time at a cancer research lab at Massachusetts General Hospital. Ultimately, she wants to pursue research in women’s health and intends to enroll in medical school.

“I don’t know if I want to be a principal investigator in a lab or a physician or become involved through a biotech company. But biomedical engineering (BME) allows me to keep all those options open.”

And knowing Victoria, she may end up being all three.