Alexandra Barajas

Major: Chemistry, College of Creative Studies

CSEP Affiliation: MARC Program

What drew you to chemistry?

Coming into college I was undeclared, and I was happy to quickly find my love for chemistry.  I worked and worked to learn as much as I could about chemistry, which opened up several doors for me.  I started working in an organic chemistry research lab with Professor Armen Zakarian, and have been involved in research ever since.

How has being in the MARC program contributed to your budding career as a chemist?

Though the MARC program, I was introduced to various methods of presenting my research and developing myself as a professional researcher.  I had to create and rehearse elevator pitches, present PowerPoint presentations of my research, and organize a poster presentation of my research that would convey my work in the best light.  I was also funded to attend scientific conferences to present and learn about all the other fantastic things people are doing in the scientific community.

Are you involved in any sort of scientific outreach?

As a student who began without direction, I grew a constant desire to become a linking bridge to underrepresented minorities in STEM.  I wanted to support them while still doing pursuing my love of chemistry. I am now working in the CLAS department on campus in the newly created ACE program, which is meant to be a guiding aide to new college students who are taking college classes for the first time.

What do you do in your free time?

I like to work as a volunteer at SciTrek, hang out with the close friends I made during freshman year, watch shows like Breaking Bad or Narcos, Skype with family, and read. However, sleeping trumps all of the above!


The Maximizing Access to Research Careers - Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (MARC U*STAR) Program is a two-year program for undergraduates interested in biomedical research, leadership development and graduate school preparation guided by individual biomedical faculty mentors across UCSB science and engineering departments.





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Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6105