Elisabeth Boulanger graduated from in 2010. During her time as an Indian, she participated in the school’s Ski Club for four years, played in the school’s band and pep band, was the secretary for the National Honor Society and was a member of the math team. While attending Grafton High School she held a job at the local , which kept her schedule very busy. As high school began to come to an end, Boulanger decided on Worcester Polytechnic Institute as her home for the next four years, hoping to study Biomedical engineering.
Upon her arrival in the fall of 2010, she fell in love with the campus and decided to pursue her interest of joining the crew team. She signed up for the team and over the course of eight months made her way from the fourth boat to the second boat and is helping the nationally ranked Engineers in a big way. Boulanger looks to help the team make it to the NCAAs and hopes to soon enough make the Varsity One boat.
Boulanger’s future looks bright at WPI and she owes a lot of that to her parents who she says has “encouraged me in every area of my life and support me in everything I do.” In her downtime at school she enjoys skiing, reading and spending time with her friends and family when they come to visit. Boulanger also enjoys photography and scrapbooking, even though she doesn’t get the opportunity to do much of that while at school.
Favorite food: Homemade Macaroni & Cheese
Favorite movie: Wedding Crashers
What’s on your iPod right now? Lots of popular music that I can exercise to or Josh Groban
Favorite book: Any of the books written by Jodi Picoult
What have you been up to since graduating from Grafton High School and how has the adjustment from high school to college life gone for you?
It went really well, I graduated and had the whole summer to vacation a lot with my family and I worked at Stop & Shop. I came here to WPI and joined the crew team. It was easy for me to transition [from high school to college], which I was surprised at because in high school I was pretty shy and quiet. So I was surprised that I lived here and stayed here, I thought I’d be home every day. They [WPI] made it really easy with the new student orientation to become adjusted and really easy to make friends, so it’s been a good time so far.
How has your spring crew season been going so far?
It’s going pretty well. In the fall I was in the fourth boat, so that was pretty bad, but during this season I made it into the second varsity boat. On the first weekend of rowing, which took place last weekend, the boat I was in came in first in one race and then this weekend we came in second in one race and third in another race.
Our team is doing really well this year; we are in 8th out of all the Division III teams. At the beginning of the season we were in 12th, but hopped to eighth and our whole team is ranked 5th in All-New England. We have to be 4th if we want to go to the NCAAs in California, so we’re pretty close.
What do you think the chances are of the team being ranked 4th by the end of the season and going to the NCAAs?
The way it works is if our 1V [first varsity] get into the top six teams they can automatically go, but if the whole team gets into the top six or something close to that then both boats [first and second varsity] can go. So the chances of the varsity one going is very high, and I would think that we [varsity two] have a good chance of going, but we’ll see.
Do you do any extracurricular activities or are you in any clubs at WPI?
I’m in the Biomedical Society. It’s just a club for networking and learning things about the major and careers, but crew takes up a majority of my time because we practice at 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every night and six days a week.
What made you want to come out for the crew team when you didn’t have any prior experience or history of doing crew in high school?
I had always wanted to try crew. I was going to do it one summer at a summer camp at Lake Quinsigamond, but I ended up working that summer and I couldn’t do the camp. So I just decided when I came to WPI to just sign up, so I just showed up. It took me a while to learn how to row.
Why did you choose WPI and what other colleges were you looking at?
I chose WPI because it felt like the right fit, I felt like I was at home and it was nice and small and it was pretty close to home and I liked how it had a strong BME Program. I also applied to The College of the Holy Cross, Providence College, RPI, UConn and Brandeis.
What’s your major and what interested you to want to pursue that?
I’m majoring in Biomedical Engineering. I wore a back brace in middle school to ninth grade, so I was into learning how to make prosthetics and that sort of thing. I also liked math and science so I really wanted to go into a field where I could do both, so engineering seemed like the way to go.
What are you looking to do after college? What would be your dream job?
I’m not sure if I’m going to do a bachelor’s or a five-year program for BME [Biomedical Engineering]. I don’t know if I’m doing that yet, but I definitely want to go into the BME industry…tissue engineering is my track so hopefully something in that area. I really want to improve people’s lives through that, maybe I can invent something or start some business.