About the Honors Academy: Student Life - Tova Braun

Temimah "Tova" Braun

Student Life

The Engineering Honors Academy is home to a diverse community of students coming from different towns and cities from all over New Jersey, representing a plethora of ethnicities and backgrounds, with each student having a unique story to tell, distinguished in his or her own way. 

We take a closer look into the profile of one such member of the Honors Academy community, a graduate of Bruriah High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where she was a member of the debate team, manager of the soccer team, and captain of the physics team, Temimah “Tova” Braun. 

While still in high school, Tova had her sights set on studying engineering in college. Unique to her high school was a two-year engineering course, where, for each year, students would be assigned to groups and tasked to complete a project using Arduino that would be presented at a convention at the end of the year. In Tova’s first year taking this course, her group worked on developing a device aimed at preventing automobile drivers from falling asleep at the wheel. The device was implemented by having the driver wear a bracelet equipped with nodes capable of monitoring his or her heart rate, which could then be used as an indicator to detect if the driver was falling asleep. 

In her second year taking that course, Tova’s group chose to create an efficient way through which patients could summon a nurse in a hospital. This project also utilized a bracelet, worn by the nurse and capable of displaying a calling room number: rooms were to be fitted with a button or a voice-activated system that a patient could press or use to speak through respectively.

Taking that engineering course in high school helped Tova discover her passion for creative problem solving: she realized that as an engineer, she could spend the rest of her life creating solutions to different challenges using ingenuity and innovation. Her findings from taking that course significantly influenced her decision to pursue engineering and come to Rutgers. 

Regarding that decision, Tova has no regrets about joining the Engineering Honors Academy here at Rutgers. Coming from a small, all-girls high school, she yearned for a “big college” feeling, something that Rutgers’ 51,200 strong student body offers quite well. Four semesters later, Tova appreciates the chance to be part of both worlds, enjoying the largeness of Rutgers as a whole while basking in the intimacy offered by the close-knit Honors Academy community. 

For Tova, the opportunity to meet driven people who had similar interests as her is a major plus of being part of the Honors Academy: “It's really nice to have people who can relate to all-night study sessions or actually like math.”

She also enjoys being part of the REAL book club, an Honors Academy required program, as she found discussing books with her peers to be really interesting, something that she had not anticipated before coming to the Honors Academy. In addition, some of the other Honors Academy-specific programs, including attending keynotes and community-building events, greatly benefited Tova and gave her the opportunity to connect with her fellow peers. 

Overall Tova is thrilled to be part of the Honors Academy and is making every effort to make the best of its perks and opportunities, and the best of her time here at Rutgers. 

Tova is a Biomedical Engineering student, also pursuing a minor in Philosophy. She is part of the Rutgers Engineering Honors Academy Class of 2023.


Written by Irfan Peer (ENG'23). Edited by Parinita Jain (ENG'23).