What CSEP programs did you participate in?
I started off in SIMS, then become involved with SACNAS. I really enjoyed my experience in SIMS, so became a resident assistant and eventually program director for SIMS. I was also the vice president of SACNAS.
How did participating in SIMS open up the door to research for you?
As a first-generation college student, I had never realized that there are research opportunities for undergraduates. Through SIMS, I was able to do undergraduate research as a freshman and for all of my subsequent years at UCSB. It gave me a community of support and showed that people with similar backgrounds and experiences as myself can be scientists.
Did getting started in research early in your undergraduate career help you stick with science?
Definitely. Researched helped me focus in my lectures and motivated me to learn so I could apply the things I learn in class to research. I view research as creating knowledge, and though my classes were interesting, I found creating knowledge to be very empowering as a scientist.
What motivated you to become an RA for SIMS?
SIMS was a very impactful experience for me I wanted the opportunity to mentor students through that experience. I utilize a lot of resources on campus, and I wanted to be their guide for when they first arrived at UCSB and help them build a community.
Tell me about your experience in SACNAS.
I was always very active in SACNAS and being involved in leadership roles within the program really helped me develop professionally and prepared me for graduate school. SACNAS helped me get access to things that I did not have easy access to, and truly created a community of support for me. Through SACNAS, I was able to attend a national conference to present my research, receive constructive feedback, and further develop as a scientist.
What are you most proud of from your experiences in leadership in SIMS and SACNAS?
I am most proud of fostering a sense of community and helping motivate and inspire people through my own actions. A lot of people from SIMS became active on campus it shows the importance of being successful not only academically, but in leadership as well.
What is your future plans?
I would like to stay here at Apeel and continue to develop as a scientist and generate new innovations with this growing company.
What did you want to be when you were younger? Is that still an interest of yours?
Like most engineers, I’ve always been interested in building things. I really enjoy chemistry and still like to build things, which make chemical engineering the perfect fit for me.
Do you have any advice for people interested becoming an engineering major?
Work hard, be persistent, and seek help when you need it.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love to sail. I was very involved in sailing when I was in graduate school and am lucky enough to live in Santa Barbara where I can keep up with that hobby.