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Inspiration and support leads to success

Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius, “Blade Runner”

Oscar Pistorius, the South African phenomenon, double amputee and better known as the “Blade Runner,” is an inspiration to Laduan Smedley, ’09, Biomedical Engineer graduate of UC Davis. Pistorius became the first Paralympian to win gold in the 2012 London 400 meters sprint and 4×100 meter relay. Laduan now works in the field of orthotics and prosthetics and sees Pistorius’ “enabling movement hitting the world stage” as an exciting advancement for his field. Smedley recognizes “Knowing that my skills designing and engineering prosthetics may someday give a person the ability to walk, or run, is exciting.”

Thanks to yearly scholarships from the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and other support, Laduan was able to fulfill his goals volunteering for the UC Davis Medical Center’s Orthotics Department and gaining invaluable professional advice and guidance. “So many people have done so much for me to see that I was successful, and because of that, I feel the need to give back,” Smedley says. “As a student I tutored high school students, was active with the African Americans Cultivating Education club, the UC Davis Police community advisory board, a member of the Students of Diverse Association group, and president of the Black Engineers Association. I continue to work with K-12 students with the Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement Center (MESA) to pay it forward.”

“Although I didn’t receive a “full-ride,” the scholarships I received allowed me to afford college,” he says, “and now I’m working in a field where my dreams of operating my own orthotics and prosthetics practice can become a reality.”

Laduan Smedley, Biomedical Engineer Graduate, UC Davis

Laduan Smedley, Biomedical Engineer Graduate, UC Davis

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Categorised in: Anecdotes, Essays, Seen & Heard

2 Responses »

  1. He was wonderful this past summer in London. Cute, too.

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