Why the University of the Pacific?
When I was in high school I knew I wanted a small liberal arts college and I worked with my career counselor to find schools that were good for biotechnology and crime scene investigation. We found Pacific and St. Mary’s and several other small, private colleges. When I came to campus on Preview Day, I thought it was really cool. I went on tours and saw a bunch of opportunities that I would not be able to find at another school, such as researching with professors who are really about getting to know who you are.
You work for the CCI, right? How do you like it?
Working for the Center for Community Involvement is one of my best experiences at Pacific because their mission is all about equity and community and reciprocity which really matches up with my own values.
Who inspires you?
A lot of my family members inspire me. My mom inspires me and so do a lot of my older cousins. They’re really strong women who are leading their own lives while also taking care of family. As far as scientists and historical figures, Rosalind Franklin (she's a scientist that received very little recognition for her contribution to the discovery of DNA's double helix structure) and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He's a cool figure because he was all about radical change in equality and equity. To me, MLK represents strong faith, fortitude, and working with others despite ideological differences.
Is there any advice you'd like to give students who are looking to make an impact?
If you're an activist, student power on campus has so much potential. Our student coalition for marginalized groups, 1 of 1, was started when club executives approached other clubs with an idea that turned into action, and ultimately became something greater than we originally expected. So clubs and student-run departments are definitely great places to start building a network.
Right after college, what is the ideal happy scenario for you?
The ideal scenario for me is working at Genentech, which is the first biotech company ever in the world. I got to visit their facility during a college tour they provided for Pacific students only. That was a really cool experience.
Looking back over the last three years, was there anything you wish you had gone for or done differently?
I wish I got an earlier start on research. Just because there’s really a lot of opportunities for research in the bio department and in the chemistry department. Professors aren’t as scary as you think they might be and it’s really easy to approach them about doing research.