Fayetteville native receives national honor from the American Society of Engineering Education


Anthony Schwartz, a senior biomedical engineering major at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has been named the 2009 Co-op Student of the Year by the Cooperative and Experiential Education Division (CEED) of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE).  Schwartz, a 2005 graduate of Fayette County High School, received the award at a ceremony in Palm Springs, CA, earlier this month.

Schwartz’s selection was based on criteria including quantity and quality of co-op work experience, challenges faced and overcome at work, published papers or presentations, employer awards or recognition, community involvement and overall contributions to cooperative education. Supporting statements were submitted by Georgia Tech’s Division of Professional Practice (DoPP) Co-op Program and his co-op employer.

Schwartz joined Georgia Tech’s DoPP Co-op Program in the summer of 2006. Since that time he has completed five co-op work terms at the Medical Division of C.R. Bard Inc. in Covington, Georgia, a provider of medical products and services in the vascular, urology and oncology areas.

While at Bard, Schwartz has worked closely with the engineering staff on two of the division’s largest projects: a suburethal sling device for the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence and a surgical implant for anterior and posterior female pelvic floor repair. His responsibilities often required him to work 50 to 60-hour weeks, including nights and weekends, contributing to the final product designs, mechanical testing of the devices and writing technical documents and protocols. For his dedication, Schwartz was the first co-op student to receive the Bard “Caught on the Spot Award”which is given to employees who go above and beyond their normal job duties.

“Working at Bard has not only provided me with invaluable experience and insight into the world of biomedical engineering, but has also allowed me to serve as an ambassador to Georgia Tech and build upon its existing reputation of producing quality academics and driven graduates,” said Schwartz. “Using my knowledge obtained in the classroom, I’ve worked in the real world to help cure ailments that tens of millions of women suffer from every year.”

Although focusing in the area of women’s health research and development seems like an unlikely career path for a 19-year-old male Schwartz noted, “It was the single best decision of my collegiate career.”

In addition to his regular co-op duties at Bard, Schwartz worked as a research assistant in a preclinical study. Dr. Laura O’Farrell, the principal investigator of the preclinical study and director of the Georgia Tech Physiological Research Laboratory was so impressed by Schwartz’s work that she asked him to assist her for two semesters of undergraduate research. He is awaiting the upcoming publication of a paper that he co-authored in the International Urogynecological Journal.

Despite his busy schedule, Schwartz also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Relay for Life.
At Georgia Tech, he served on the Freshman Activities Board and is a Team Buzz volunteer.

After graduation, he plans to travel through Central America, South America and Africa before applying for admission to medical school in the United States or Australia with the goal of becoming a surgeon.

Schwartz, an Eagle Scout from Fayetteville Troup 76, is the son of Mark and Marie-Jose Schwartz.