Shah Baig, a recent graduate of Tech High in Cotati, is headed for Willamette University for studies in biomedical engineering. Press Democrat photo by Jeff Kan Lee


Shahalam Baig, 18, a recent graduate of Technology High School in Rohnert Park, gets queasy around blood.
Still interested in medical issues, he’d like to build instruments to help doctors.
“I don’t want to have to look at blood,” said Baig, who plans to major in biomedical engineering. “. . . creating devices is what I really would like to do.”
He’s already got one device he can list on his résumé.
Seniors at Tech High have to design and market an original project, and Baig and a partner designed a vibrating wristband alarm clock.
The device could help deaf people or those who don’t want their morning alarm to awaken their partner, he said.
The wristband alarm can be set from a phone. The teens created an application that had alarms for days, weeks and months.
“It took a long time to make it and have it work. We ran into a lot of trouble,” he said, adding it took about six months to complete. “But we got it done on time.”
This fall, Baig is launching his college career at Willamette University in Salem, Ore.
A science and mathematics guy, he also is a history fiend, earning him three trips to state competitions for annual history projects.
Willamette will allow him to foster both his liberal arts and his engineering sides as the school allows transfers to an engineering school, he said.
Baig was born in Karachi, Pakistan. At age 2, he and his family moved to the United States for better family opportunities and education, he said, and settled in Petaluma near an aunt.
After Kenilworth Junior High, Baig chose to go to Technology High, based at Sonoma State University, for its emphasis on engineering and science.
“That was my itinerary at the time and still is. It was a good fit,” he said.
He was student body president of the small school for his junior and senior year and graduated last spring in a class of 42 seniors.
“He has a lot of leadership potential, a lot of great ideas,” said Technology High Principal Bruce Mims. “I think the collaboration between he and I and others lit a fire of enthusiasm back into ASB.”
Matthew Zwinge, Baig’s history teacher, called his former student a critical thinker with a hilarious sense of humor and a diverse range of interests.
“Shah is a big fan of the underdog. He fights for those that are oppressed,” Zwinge said. “He has serious interest in studying oppressed societies and rulers that do the oppressing.”
In his high school years, the teen also volunteered to DJ school dances and started a web-design business with buddy Matthew Coates.
“He’s very hard working, with lots of goals,” Mims said. “If he stays on course, he will be very successful.”

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or

NAME: Shah Baig
Age: 18
Birthplace: Karachi, Pakistan
Lives with: Three sisters (two older; one younger), both parents.
What’s in his iPod: Real Hip Hop/Rap (Tupac, Dr. Dre, Nas, etc.)
Favorite hobby: Cooking
Dream job: Biomedical Engineer
Favorite TV show: “Pawn Stars”
Favorite food: Tandoori Chicken
Quote: “… for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today” Malcolm X