Martha Leplae-Arthur

Hometown – Glendale, WI
Undergrad – Duke University, Biomedical Engineering
Current – Student, Politecnico di Milano pursuing a Master’s in Design and Engineering

Risk-taker. If someone were to describe Martha Leplae-Arthur, this is what they would say. She finds it important to step outside of her comfort zone, extend herself, and seek opportunities to make a difference. This life attribute was engraved as a result of her upbringing. Her father, born in Cape Coast, Ghana, overcame barriers to attend a University in Beijing, China. Her mother traveled the world to pursue a career in international advertising and more recently to create a travel magazine. Through her parents, Martha learned the value of self-confidence and taking risks to address things that matter.

Academically, Martha has always excelled. In middle school she was a straight A student, and the first to receive a 100% average for a semester. She was a three time winner of the Wisconsin Fair Housing essay competition and a second place winner in an annual Dr. Martin Luther King speech competition. As an active member of a “First Lego League” robotics team, she spent hours fine tuning, programming, and troubleshooting a robot to perform the annual challenges. As captain, she enjoyed mentoring team members, and helped them win the judges award, the best robot design award, and two research awards within three years.

This experience sparked Martha’s interests in science and engineering and as a sophomore, she collaborated on a more professional level at the Medical College of Wisconsin. There, she was introduced to the technology that researchers use to amplify DNA. The equipment that they used in this lab inspired her to learn more about the engineering and medical fields. Eagerness to apply her new knowledge allowed her to produce an award winning project for the Badger State Science and Engineering Fair.

In the summers of her junior and senior years, Martha combined her passion for engineering and medicine with her adventurous nature. During the summer of 2011, while at the Noguchi Institute for Medical Research at the University of Ghana, she learned about the primary parasites that afflict rural Ghana and the steps taken to eradicate local diseases. The next summer, in Patzún, Guatemala, Martha served as a team medic for her church’s youth missions trip. In Guatemala she witnessed how people suffer from untreated ailments due to inaccessible healthcare.

Recently, Martha was reminded that she did not have to go far to find cause when she worked at Omni Family Clinic in an impoverished part of Milwaukee, and again, when she started volunteering at the “Bread of Healing Clinic” at her church.

At Nicolet High School, Martha has worked hard to become an AP and National Achievement Scholar. She has been involved in the French and Spanish Honor Societies, tennis, star tutoring and student council. Additionally, she is the vice president of the National Honor Society.

With the knowledge and expertise that she plans to acquire, she aspires to use a major in biomedical engineering to eventually attend medical school. With these degrees Martha is excited to become part of the medical community worldwide.