Featured Ambassadors

  • Rayan Awais - 2nd Year, Mathematics, 2023-2024

    Name: Rayan Awais
    Major: Mathematics
    2023-2024: 2 nd Year Student

    Rayan Awais

    What makes UCR and/or CNAS standout? 

    I believe what makes UCR standout are the individuals who take the challenging route and help others in a welcoming way. The CNAS community is very welcoming on campus. Whether it is helping students get involved in volunteering opportunities like Little Einsteins that provides creative lessons to elementary students or taking the difficult classes like O chem, the community wil always have your back. I remember when I was admitted into the science ambassador program at UCR, I always felt insecure about the fact that I was a math major and everyone there was so intelligent. But, the group always supported me even if I did not know much about the sciences when everyone else did. They utilize my strengths as a math major and helped me grow into the best version of myself, even if that didn’t involve Biology. For anyone entering CNAS and feeling insecure about your skills and talents, just know that CNAS needs you and welcomes you very much!!! 


    In addition to being a Science Ambassador, what other organizations, clubs, or volunteer experiences are you involved with? 

    I am involved deeply in the University Honors Program as one of their ambassadors. As an ambassador of the program, I serve to educate and mentor others in a way that is motivational and inspiring. I do volunteerering on the side with a club called Friendinme where students go to hospitals to cater to the needs of pediatric cancer patients. Finally, I do mathematic/computational research on campus and I hope to get published by the end of the year. It is all due to the connections I made in the CNAS community and in utilizing them, I was able to really benefit as a student. 


    What’s the best piece of advice you got when you were a new CNAS student? 

    In my opinion, I believe that being a CNAS student is the most challenging, but rewarding experience on campus. The best piece of advice I had received was from a 4th year CNAS student and he told me to always trust in your strengths. As a CNAS student, the classes are somewhat difficult and I always used to feel insecure about my performance in classes. It was through this insecurity that I could never do my best as I had this fixed mindset that I just wasn’t good enough like the other students. However, if you push yourself and are kind to others, I believe the CNAS universe reward you in someway(very hard to explain, you just have to try lol). So try your best regardless of what you think the outcome might be.


    If you’ve participated in research, what’s been the most impactful part of that experience? 

    The most impactful part of that experience was the bond I gained with my professor. I believe conducting research on this campus with passionate professors like mine are not all about research. The professors at UCR go beyond their duties and help you find outside opportunities to help you be an academic weapon lol. Through my professor, I was able to conduct computational mathematic research but also got to travel to very cool conferences where I was able to interact with other nerdy math majors like me. I was able to find other opportunities in mathematics because of my experience in research. For example, my research landed me a spot at the International Joint Mathematical Meeting conference where I was able to volunteer at the Julia Robinson Festival. If it was not for my professor telling me about this experience, I would have never known. 


    What’s your secret talent? 

    Everyone asks me this question and if I tell you-that would yk break the laws of a “secret”. But, just because whoever is reading this is super cool, I will tell you. My secret talent is my ability to believe. Now, I do not mean that cliche “believe in yourself” stuff. I mean that I can believe in something so well that it becomes reality. For example, I believe that I will get an A on my O chem exam and it will come true, trust me…. *************************pls come true. But in all honesty, I believe and when you believe very well, anything is possible. 


    What are the keys to a successful first year experience? 

    Do everything. Just do everything and try everything. This is your time to figure out what you like. Go to that gaming club meeting. Try Skiing. Figure out what you like. When you know what you like and enjoy, you will figure out what you enjoy and love. If you try one thing and just fly with it, you never know what else was in your grasps. Make connnections. Talk to professors and be super kind to them. Talk to them about their teaching, research, family etc. Professors give lectures and want you to have an enjoyable educational experience, showing them this through thought-provoking conversation is a great way to make yourself happy and make connections. It is easy to be a good winner, but very difficult to be a good loser. Your first-year might not be that pitch perfect All-As. Learn to fail and teach yourself to rise up and not let it define you. For example. I got a 18 percent on my chemistry midterm and it was multiple choice-4 choices. I was devastated and went into shock because if I just did not sutdy, I would have got a higher score which is pretty odd. However, I laughed it off and analyzed why I did so terribly and with a redemption system in the syllabus(final grade replaces a midterm score), I got an A on the final and aced the class. So do not let your failures make you seem like its all over.

  • Jennalyn Resendez - 3rd Year, Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology, 2022-2023

    Name: Jennalyn Resendez
    Major: Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology
    2022-2023: 3rd Year Student

    Jennalyn Resendez

    Jennalyn, our Vice President of Tours, is this month's featured Science Ambassador. She was elected to the position in October and immediately got to work preparing for Discover UCR, an open-house event for prospective students. In just a couple weeks, Jennalyn trained all the new and returning ambassadors on how to give tours on a brand new tour route! She was able to meet with each ambassador individually to make sure everyone was confident in their tour-giving abilities. On the day of the event, Jennalyn worked tirelessly to pair up prospective students and their families with tour guides who had majors similar to tourists' interests. CNAS tours ran smoothly all day long, thanks to Jennalyn. We truly couldn't have done it without her. Jennalyn has big plans for the rest of the year, and we can't wait to see her success moving forward! Get to know Jennalyn some more below!


    Describe a challenge you've faced and how you were able to overcome it.
    One challenge that I faced when I got to UCR was that I had to quickly adapt to living on my own and being far away from all my family and friends. I am from Northern California, and I had never been away from home like this before. I knew that I had to find my own support system away from home in order to overcome the loneliness that I was feeling. I overcame this challenge by getting a CNAS Peer Mentor who introduced me to this Science Ambassadors Program. Within this program I have been able to surround myself with people who are passionate about science and people who truly wanted to help others find their place at UCR. I found my home in the Science Ambassadors Program, and I have found my own place here at UCR. 

    What's an experience you've had in college thus far that will stick with you for the rest of your life?
    One thing that I have experienced in college thus far that I will never forget was when I gave my first ever CNAS Science Ambassadors tour on Highlander Day during my 2nd year. This was a HUGE group of over 60 people, and my tour partner and I were basically shouting trying to make sure that everyone could hear what we were saying. By the end of the tour, I was exhausted and unsure if I had done a good enough job to make sure I had reached everyone in the way that I wanted to. Then, a girl and her family came up to me, got my attention, and said, “Jennalyn, I really enjoyed your tour.” She then introduced herself to me and asked me some questions about UCR as well as a few questions about my own experiences in college so far. After our conversation, she took out her phone and pointed to her screen and said, “This booth says 'Submit your SIR' right? And it's over here?” (as she pointed in the direction of the booth). I replied, “Yes'' and she said, “Okay great, because I know now that this is where I want to go and I’m going right now to submit my SIR.” I was absolutely shocked. From the tour I gave and the barely 5 minute conversation I had with her, she had decided to choose UCR. I knew that I had made a difference in her life and that feeling was so fulfilling and rewarding that I knew I had found my purpose here at UCR.

    What are you hoping to do beyond college?
    Beyond college I am hoping to work in a laboratory setting as a research scientist. Right now my interests include clinical trial research or even neonatal research as well.

    What has your favorite class been thus far?
    Thus far, my favorite class that I have taken at UCR is biol5LC which is the lab class for the Introduction to Evolution and Ecology course. This was the first time that I ever experienced fieldwork in person, and we got to hike up to Bio5C Hill and conduct our own research for projects we presented at the end of the quarter.

    What is one piece of advice you have for your younger self?
    One piece of advice that I would give my younger self would be to not stress about the things I cannot control. I would tell myself that everything happens for a reason, and everything that has already happened has led me to where I am today, and I am incredibly grateful for the life I get to live.

    Pizza or tacos?

  • Saba Shaikh- 2nd Year, Biology 2019-2020
    Saba Shaikh
    "UCR is an amazing college that provides a lot of resources to its students - take advantage of them! Join clubs that you find interesting, work in a lab, and never hold yourself back from opportunities that interest you. Being part of Science Ambassadors has been a wonderful experience for me, and I never would have had such a great way of giving back to my community if I didn't take the leap and applied for this program. Make an effort to put yourself out there to make meaningful connections with your peers and faculty members. College can be a struggle at times, but having a strong support group makes all the difference in shaping your college experience

    What has been the biggest challenge that you have faced this quarter?

    The biggest challenge I’ve faced this quarter is time management! It’s one of the most important parts of college, but much easier said than done while juggling hard classes and extracurriculars.  

    What have you learned from your fellow Science Ambassadors?

    I’ve learned quite a lot from my fellow Science Ambassadors, from getting advice on classes to learning more about UCR. Being surrounded by such driven, like-minded people motivates me to pursue my own goals as much as I can. It’s really fun working alongside other ambassadors in projects and events and being part of such a supportive group.

    What are your favorite things to do in your free time?

    When I find myself with free time, I love reading books that have been sitting around my bookshelf and collecting dust. I have a habit of buying books that seem really exciting and then forgetting about them for six months, but I'll always be a bookworm at heart.

  • Hazel Anne Salvador- 4th Year, Biology 2019-2020
    Hazel Anne Salvador
    "UC Riverside truly cares about giving their students all the opportunities to reach their dreams. Take advantage of the opportunities UCR has from the summer research programs to the free tutoring at the Academic Resource Center. While college is difficult, remember that there are many people who can support you. Don’t be scared to reach out for help. At the same time, remember to support and encourage those around you at UCR. You never know how much your actions could positively impact others."

    What has your participation in the Science Ambassador Program taught you?

    While the Science Ambassador Program has taught me many important lessons on leadership, teamwork, and community service, my involvement has taught me the importance of mentoring the youth. Through participating in the SISTERS and Little EINSTEINs projects as well as the Riverside County Science Fair events, I was amazed at the curiosity and ambition of young students. I've met students as young as 9 years old who can distinguish between different states of matter and even others as young as 11 years old who can understand the impacts of stress on mental health. Mentoring students is important because we can use our talents to spark their potential, empower them to achieve their goals, and encourage them to continue pursuing higher education. I am truly grateful for my Science Ambassador experiences for they have made me into a more compassionate person and taught me the importance of supporting others.

    What’s your favorite ride at Disneyland? Why?

    Hands down, my favorite ride at Disneyland would be Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout. I get a rush of adrenaline as soon as I feel the drop coming. I coincidentally met Chris Pratt on the ride there!

    What is your “go-to” boba drink?

    My go-to boba drink is most certainly brown sugar milk tea.

  • Sophia Rogers- 3rd Year, Biology 2019-2020
    Anna Sophia Rogers

    Why did you choose to pursue a degree in the sciences?

     I decided to pursue a degree in science because I was exposed to the world of science at a young age. I was part of a Summer Science Camp in Elementary School where we did our own experiments and fieldwork. Since then, I have been fascinated with research.

    What is your favorite movie of all time? Why?

    My favorite movie of all time is Pirates of the Caribbean. I love how funny and carefree Captain Jack Sparrow is in the movie. 

    If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

    If I could have one superpower, I wish that I could fly. I could finally beat the LA traffic. 

    Where is your hometown?

    I am from Hillsborough, CA in the Bay Area. 

    Do have a favorite food? If so, what is it?


    Yes, I do! My favorite food is cheesecake.

  • Merett Saad- 4th Year, Biochemistry 2019-2020
    Merett Saad

    What is your favorite color?

    Spruce green- it’s very calming to the eye saturated brings spaces to life for those looking to illuminate their world with pure, extraordinary color. A great complement to Classic Colors.

    Where do you consider to be your first place?
    Molino's Coffee.

    Do you have a favorite hangout spot on campus.

    Yes, I do actually. I like to hang out at Coffee Bean.

    What is your favorite class currently?

    My favorite class continues to be my lunch hour. LOL

    What is your favorite thing to do at UCR?

    Other than studying, volunteering, researching, and running to and from lot 30, I like to go to yoga and Pilates and take hikes and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the mountains.

  • Daniel Dorantes Valdez- 3rd Year, Pure Mathematics 2019-2020
    Daniel Dorantes Valdez
    “A bit of advice that I would give to incoming UCR students is: enjoy your time here, make good friends quality over quantity, and definitely get involved going to school and then home is no fun!”

    Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

    Grad school. Hopefully somewhere in California.

    How are you feeling right now?

    Excited to be at a new school and meeting new people.

    What Science Ambassador event did you enjoy the most?

    The team-building course I loved being outside and doing physical activity.

    What is your pet peeve?

    One of my major pet peeves is when people sit at the same table as me and fidget constantly, it’s distracting and moves the table lol

    If the human average life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

     I would travel a lot more I would want to see all the world before I died.

  • Diana Medina-Yerena- 4th Year, Biochemistry 2018-2019
    Diana Medina-Yerena
    "If someone were to tell fifteen year old Diana that she would be in my position right now, no part of her would believe this. After my first visit to the UCR campus I knew this was where I had the best chance of being the happiest undergraduate. In my time at UCR I have made life-long friends, I have traveled the country, and been involved in numerous opportunities that have shown me my likes and dislikes. I truly believe that if I were to have attended a different school, I would not have had the chance to experience half the opportunities that I've taken a part in. One of those experiences has been participating in the Science Ambassador program. Being able to spread my love of science to the younger generations, participate in diverse campus events and give back to my community along with some of the best people in CNAS has been an amazing opportunity.."

    What is something you wish to master?
    I want to master the piano. It has been a goal of mine since I can remember and one I have yet to start working on. I want to be the person that walks into a room with a random piano and shocks everyone with my piano skills.

    What were you like in elementary school?

    I was once asked to deliver a paper to another teacher, but I was too scared to enter the room so I left the paper in a bush and told my teacher I had delivered it. I think it is safe to say that in elementary school I was the super shy girl. At every parent teacher conference there was the, “Your daughter is doing good, but we wish she would talk more” discussion.

    Imagine conjuring up a new language. What would it be like?
    My new language would be a mixture of some of the most spoken languages in the world. I would want it to be accessible to many people, so we don’t have to expect for people on the other side of the world to learn our language.
    Tell us a joke that never gets old.

    If I gave you 100,000 dollars, would you be able to live without your smartphone for a year?

    Yes, I believe that I would be able to go a year without a smartphone. I think it would be a learning experience and would give me more time to spend the money you gave me.


    Is there anything you would like to try at UCR, but haven't got around doing?

    I want to go to the top of the bell tower.

  • Maryann Morales- 3rd Year, Chemistry, 2018-2019
    Maryann Morales, featured Science Ambassador 2019
    "UCR wasn't my first choice for a university but after taking it I realized it was the best choice I could have ever made. Everything from the professors to the classes to the people I have met have reinforced the fact that I made a great choice. UCR opened up many opportunities for me. In my time here, I've conducted research for almost two years, I became a MARC scholar, I traveled to Germany to conduct research and I've become a science ambassador. Before being a science ambassador I occasionally volunteered for city events and I enjoyed that, joining the science ambassador program allowed me to continue doing that. Through the program, I have been able to give back to my community and help those around me which is something I love to do."

    What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
    Always give it your best. Regardless of what I do I always try to do my best because then you can't regret anything.

    What was happening in your life 5 years ago?
    Let's see, I was a junior in high school, I had just got admitted into an architecture summer camp and I thought that's what I was going to do for the rest of my life but things change all the time.

    Is Disneyland really the happiest place in the world? If not, what is?
    Hahahahah NO!!! Disneyland is not the happiest place on earth, am I really happy if I have to wait hours in a line to get in on a ride? Absolutely not. The happiest place on earth is wherever my friends and family are.

    Tell us a joke that never gets old.
    How does a photon say goodbye?
    It waves!

    Do you prefer urban or suburban life?
    Hmmm, I'd like to say a bit of both. Sometimes it's nice to see the city life and it can be exciting but at the same time it's nice to be a little more secluded, everything is a little more at peace and quiet.

  • Minh Chau - 2nd Year Physics, 2018-2019
    Minh Chau, featured Science Ambassador 2018-2019
    "My experience at UCR has been fairly interesting. I came into UCR with a fairly fixed mindset of straying away from social activities and intermingling with others and while this turned out to be fairly successful, I unexpectedly found an amazing niche in the physics department. The community behind the physics department are incredibly welcoming between the different genius professors who actively encourage research, the big brain TA's, and my hilarious classmates. Interestingly enough, I was introduced to Science Ambassadors through one of the upper class men physics student, now graduate student, Adam Green. Science Ambassadors has encouraged me to actively try to promote science within the local community in addition to share my own voice which I appreciate."

    What does it mean to be "beat down academically"?
    Being academically beat down was what I used to describe my physics classes in high school. It was a shared experience between my peers where feelings of frustration and continuous heavy blows from exams would strike onto our academic grades and mental state. Granted, there were those few that excelled in the class but I was not one of those students *laughs*. Despite the academic beat down, I thoroughly enjoyed the classes over all and the subject as a whole.

    Where can we find the answers to the universe?
    I'm pretty sure the answers to the universe are in the books: Classical Mechanics by John Taylor, Griffiths' Introduction to Electrodynamics, Quantum Physics by Townsend, and Thermal Physics by Kittel. Also, I think the answers to our own universe lies within the culture that comprise our daily life which can range anywhere from world class research, our family, or Internet memes that breathe life into our souls.

    Are you a morning or night person?
    I don't think I'm a morning or night person per se, I'm more of a day person. Productivity peaks during the day but tapers off during the morning and night.

  • Fernanda Ambrosio- 4th Year, Biochemistry, 2018-2019
    Fernanda Ambrosio
    There’s no way to describe how amazing my time has been here at UCR. I am truly heartbroken that I am graduating this year. The experiences I’ve had here will remain forever in my heart. Not only did UCR provide me with a premium level education, but it provided me with priceless relationships amongst peers and faculty. Daily interaction with faculty members is the biggest treasure I will miss. There also isn’t enough gratitude to give the CNAS Science Ambassador program. Without it, I’m not sure I would have discovered my passion for outreach and volunteer work, as well as my passion in teaching sciences to children via the Little EINSTEINs project. My experiences here at UCR have shaped me and changed me into a better person.

    What is your favorite seasoning/sauce? 
    Maggi sauce and Valentina hot sauce on pizza. TRY IT!

    How has your transfer experience shaped your college life?
    If I hadn’t transferred, I don’t think I would have had such a strong work ethic. So although transferring meant only two years at UCR, I was able to transfer in with a level of maturity that truly allowed me to engage with peers and faculty with much more ease and with a better grasp on time management.

    What's your favorite song?
    Say You Won’t Let Go - James Arthur or Welcome to the Black Parade - My Chemical Romance or High Hopes - Panic! At the Disco.
    THIS QUESTION IS TOUGH! It honestly just depends on my mood. Todays mood is leaning towards My Chemical Romance. Yesterday I was all about James Arthur. Tomorrow I’ll probably be in an Ariana Grande mood. Who knows!

    Samsung or Apple?

    What is something on your bucket list that you would like to check off in the next 5 years?
    Backpack through Europe.

  • Hazel Salvador - 3rd Year, Biology, 2018-2019
    Hazel Salvador
    I continue to have a very humbling, thrilling, and challenging experience at UCR! I knew I wanted to pursue my education in Biology at UCR because they truly care about giving their students meaningful opportunities and experiences. I continue to take advantage of all that UCR offers to me like the career workshops, research programs, and academic tutoring. I continue to be intellectually challenged by each class I take as well as amazed by the things I learn about life and how we are all interconnected. I am pursuing a pre-medical track and I have engaged myself in various experiences UCR offered such as volunteering for a free clinic, shadowing a physician, and performing ultrasounds. I feel very prepared and knowledgeable to pursue a career in medicine because of the support and experiences my college provided for me. Now, as a CNAS Ambassador, I am able to give back to my college by helping at our college’s various events as well as reaching out to local students and teaching them that they are capable of pursuing their dreams and an education. I love seeing our students’ eyes light up when we mentor them, teach them about science, and perform hands-on experiments like making slime. I am excited to always meet new people at each event I attend like our college’s deans, Emeriti faculty, professors, and scientists. However, what I enjoy most about being a CNAS Ambassador is giving tours to prospective students and their families and sharing my story and the reasons why I love UCR.

    If you could try out any other major, what would you do?
    If I were to combine my obsession for cars and interest in developing sustainable energy, I would surely pursue a major and career in electrical engineering. With an education in electrical engineering, I would hope to contribute to the development of faster, smarter, and more affordable electric vehicles. I could certainly see myself working for an advanced, mission-oriented company like Tesla.

    Is there something you have always wanted to try, but haven’t got around to doing?
    I am always impressed by the strength, flexibility, and coordination of gymnasts. I have always wanted to take a gymnastics class since I was a child.
    Wouldn’t it be amazing to perform a back handspring perfectly on a high beam? Hopefully, one day I can encourage myself to try out gymnastics.

    What’s your favorite food?
    My parents instilled in me a great love for Mediterranean cuisine when I was a child. Of the vast array of delicious Mediterranean dishes,
    my favorite has to be a perfectly charbroiled kabob complimented by a bed of basmati rice, hummus and pita bread, and salad.

    What do you like most about UCR?
    The opportunities are what I like most about UCR! Students can leverage a broad spectrum of academic, personal, leadership, and networking opportunities at UCR. Engaging in research is an opportunity I took advantage of when I was a first year student. I was able to get a research assistant position and now, I am currently working towards the completion of my University Honors Capstone project. Becoming a CNAS Ambassador is a leadership opportunity I strived for to help my college, encourage the youth to pursue STEM, and to share to prospective students the reasons why I love UCR. UCR really strives to provide students with the support and opportunities they need to succeed.

    If you had to live in a TV show/Movie, which one would you like to live in and why?
    If I had to live in a movie, I would like to live in the Star Wars universe because of the opportunity to live in space
    and to use the most advanced technology. I could finally have my own robot, like C-3PO, to help me through the hustle and bustle of life. There may also be a chance I could train to be a jedi, learn how to channel the force, and fight in space battles with my awesome lightsaber.

  • Rohan Kamath - 3rd Year, CMDB, 2018-2019
    Rohan Kamath
  • Vanessa Perez - 3rd Year, Plant Biology, 2018-2019
    Vanessa Perez

    If you could try out any other major, what would you do?
    I would have chosen environmental science and had tried to minor in it, but honestly
    plants are more interesting to me.

    What’s your favorite class?
    I really enjoyed the foundations of plant biology it gave a good overview and
    helped me decide which part I liked best.

    Do you have pets? If not, have you considered having them?
    I have five dogs. It started with one and now here I am, but I love them so it's all good!

    Speaking of pets, what is your pet peeve? It’s okay to have multiple.
    I don't really have a lot but the noise of flip flop flip flopping in the library really gets me.

    Did you ever buy something that you later regret?
    The fifth dog was a bit much.

  • Eva Fuentes - 3rd Year, Applied Math and Physics, 2018-2019
    Eva Fuentes
    My experience while being in the Science Ambassador Program has been absolutely incredible. It has only been about a quarter and I can already feel myself growing as an individual (and as a collaborator). It is an honor to take part in a group of ambitious individuals. I am excited to see what the future holds for this program.

    If you could try any other major, what would you do?

    What’s your favorite movie?
    She’s The Man

    What’s your favorite place to study?
    Any aesthetically pleasing coffee shop.

    If you had a superpower, what would you like for it to be?
    The ability to fly (so that I could save money on my travels!).

    How are you feeling right now?
    I am feeling relatively calm so far during this quarter.

    Is there something in the Science Ambassador program you would really love to see?
    A weekend retreat at the beginning of the school year would be amazing.

  • Norint Tung - 4th Year, Chemistry, 2017-2018
    Norint Tung
    First of all, I am honored to have been chosen as a CNAS Science Ambassador of the
    Month, this organization is truly a great one! Reminiscing on my experiences, first
    stepping foot on UCR’s campus, I had already met the people whom I would call my
    friends forever. Throughout my four years at UCR, I continued to meet many others, and
    once I graduate and leave UCR, I will know that all those who I encountered will always
    be with me, as we all formed a new family together at this campus. Furthermore, it has
    been such a great experience learning from wonderful professors and taking their lovely
    exams, it is always exciting to go to lecture, especially on exam days. Additionally, it was
    an amazing opportunity to have been able to participate in the many organizations at
    UCR’s campus. I gained a great deal of knowledge, friends, and fun from participating in
    Future Pharmacists Interested in Learning Leadership Skills (Future P.I.L.L.S.)
    pre-pharmacy student organization. Another organization that I have enjoyed being apart
    of is this CNAS Science Ambassador program. Being an ambassador for this program
    has given me the chances to engage with the Riverside community, at UCR CNAS
    events, and off-campus events such as at local high schools. This allowed me to interact
    with many students, faculty, and staff within and outside of UCR! I will truly miss UCR
    and everything that I got out of it. I look forward to returning as an alumni!


    What's your favorite thing to do at UCR?
    My favorite thing to do at UCR is simply just talking to the people here. This includes friends, professor’s, staff, anyone really, because everyone is so friendly!

    Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
    I see myself in a pharmacy residency program 5 years from now.

    Favorite hangout area on campus?
    My favorite hangout area on campus is the Health Professions Advising Center (HPAC room).

    How are you feeling right now?
    I’m feeling pretty happy right now. I am excited to graduate and move onto the following chapter in my life. Once again, I will miss everyone I met here, but overall I’m happy at this moment.

  • Alina Santos - 4th Year, CMDB, 2017-2018
    Alina Santos
    I consider my UCR experience to have started when I received my acceptance in attending the university. As a transfer student, there were several concerns that I had while choosing the university to pursue the remainder of my undergraduate career. One being the idea that transfer students have only two years to accomplish their personal, professional, and academic goals in addition to getting acquainted with the campus. It was important to me that the university of my choice acknowledged that difficulty, thus providing resources and opportunity to those incoming students. Upon my acceptance, I was sent countless emails detailing the opportunities present at UCR and subsequently learned about the diverse representation shown through their research, outreach, students, and faculty. It was quickly evident that UCR's mission aligned with my own, and I moved from the bay area to riverside in the summer of last year. Since I completed my lower division classes prior to transferring to UCR, I was able to use my first year to take upper division biochemistry classes that I genuinely found interesting and became actively involved in research. Currently, I am a research assistant in Dr. McCole's biomedical lab at UCR's School of Medicine where we study the permeability and regulation of the intestinal epithelium when subjected to inflammation. In this sense, his research revolves around restoration of barrier function to ensure proper immune response and interaction with intestinal microbiome to protect it against pathogen invasion. Though I love being involved in research, my other passion is to provide support in the communities on and off campus. I'm a STEM Peer Mentor through the STEM Connection Program, which provides resources, support, and research opportunities for incoming transfer students. I am also one of the Co-Directors for SISTERS which encourages middle school girls to pursue STEM careers in addition to mentoring them on the importance of women's health, building self-confidence, and overcoming stereotypes. Another Co-Director, Sarah Fraz, and I were able to coordinate an event that incorporated our shared love for medicine while introducing the girls to UCR's School of Medicine. It was amazing to witness the variety of students and professionals who came to the event to show their support for the girls and outreach. Lastly, I'm a volunteer at the R'Pantry to assist students facing food insecurity and Flying Samaritans which provides healthcare to the underserved in Mexico. When it comes to UCR, it was never about the lack of opportunity but rather which one to invest my time into. Overall, I am so appreciative for all of my experiences at UCR for they taught me professional development and consistently encouraged my personal growth.

    Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
    In five years, I hope to have the privilege of attending medical school and progressing toward becoming an oncologist.

    What SA event did you enjoy most?
    My favorite science ambassador events are those involving transfer outreach! Recently I was invited to attend two regional admit celebrations where I traveled with undergraduate admissions to represent CNAS by presenting my experiences as a transfer student. The first event was located at the San Jose Museum of Art and the second event was hosted at The Grand Hotel in Fresno. Being from the bay area and previously attending Foothill College, I was so appreciative to be able to visit and discuss my decision to move from northern to southern California as well as the unique opportunities on campus. I presented a similar speech in Fresno, and met other student ambassadors from BCOE and SOBA as we shared our experiences with prospective students. Though these regional celebrations were a couple of my favorite events to participate in, transfer outreach in general is my favorite because of the incredible diversity of students we have the pleasure of meeting. I remember the hesitation and stress that such a transition imposes on you during the middle of your undergraduate career. Being able to empower and reassure prospective students that while these obstacles are present, UCR will support you in reaching your fullest potential is very rewarding. I have met the most interesting people during these events while practicing professional development.

    If you could try out any additional major, what would you do?
    Prior to transferring, I was considering pursuing a minor in physics and have always been interested in biomedical engineering. The innovation and application to medicine has always intrigued me in the sense of understanding the mechanism behind many of the technologies that we often take for granted. The idea of using these concepts to create something tangible like artificial internal organs or prosthetic limb replacements is amazing. I am always inspired by the various advancements in technology as it never ceases to surprise me what collaboration can result in.

    Favorite hangout area on campus?
    Definitely the STEM Center! The STEM Connections Program was the first organization I joined on campus that provided support toward my academic and personal goals. The community truly made my transfer experience positive as they not only informed me of research and leadership opportunities, but also provided a welcoming atmosphere where I quickly became comfortable. The coordinators as well as my mentor had always encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and remind me of the importance of self love. As a peer mentor this year, I wanted to help ensure that same welcoming and helpful environment that I valued so much, to new students that are hesitant in beginning their life at UCR. The STEM Center is a place I often go to hangout with friends, study, or even nap during my breaks. I don't know how I would get through my week without my daily morning coffee with Marissa!

    How are you feeling right now?
    Considering the fact that graduation is in two weeks, it's hard to describe what I'm feeling! After graduation, I will be working full time as the lab manager for my lab while completing medical school applications. I'm definitely in disbelief and excited, but also absolutely nervous for the future. However, I am confident I can handle anything that life throws at me next.

  • Mackenzie Elias - 2nd Year, Biology, 2017-2018
    Mackenzie Elias
    I came to UCR unsure of whether I would be happy here, but I was drawn to this school for it's strong science department and research opportunities. Within my first quarter here at UCR, I began to build friendships, and by the end of my first year I applied to the ambassador program. As an ambassador, reaching out to elementary schools with STEM lessons and being apart of an influential group has not only made me feel lucky to be a part of the SA program, but strengthened my interest in science to the point where I am now heavily considering graduate school over medical school.


    Favorite hangout area on campus?
    In front of Physics 2000. There's shade, and most importantly, a coffee truck.

    Favorite class?
    So far, my favorite class is CBNS106. It is my first upper-division class, as well as my first true exposure to Neurology. I am opting to switch my major to Neuroscience at this point. 

    What's your favorite thing to do at UCR?
    Study by the giant Orbach windows on rainy days.

  • An-Phong Nguyen - 4th Year, Biology, 2017-2018
    An-Phong Nguyen
    My UCR experience started when I attended Highlander Day. Funny enough, I met a Science Ambassador at the event and he gave me great insight into what it was like being a student here. UCR provided so many opportunities for me to explore my passion and to grow as an individual. I used to get so nervous speaking in front of people. I would have never imagined myself leading my own SI session with 20+ students every week or giving tours to prospective students and their families. In addition, I was able to participate in research in Dr. Weifeng Gu’s lab, where I applied what I learned in my science courses to try and further our understanding of small RNA biogenesis. But one of my most memorable experiences at UCR has to be representing CNAS as a Science Ambassador. As an ambassador, I have the unique opportunity to share my experiences as a biology major, while at the same time inspiring students to pursue a career in STEM. Looking back 4 years later, going to UCR was probably one of the best decisions I have made.


    Favorite Hangout Area on Campus?
    It probably has to be Orbach. There isn’t a better place to study and hangout.

    What is your favorite color, and what about it makes it your favorite?
    Before going to UCR, I would say my favorite color was green. But now, beige is probably my favorite because it’s the color I always see when I’m studying in Orbach.

    What is your pet peeve?
    When my friends tell me we have to leave Orbach because they want to sleep.

    Favorite place in Riverside?
    For three and a half years, it was probably Orbach. But 5 weeks before graduation, I decided to take a leap of faith and try a new place. Molinos Coffee, surprisingly, was a great change of environment.

  • Christian Udealor - 3rd Year, Biochemistry, 2017-2018
    Christian Udealor
    My UCR experience was great I have met a lot of cool and interesting people, and even as a commuter, I have felt like I had a true college experience. In the Science Ambassador program, I love the outreach that we provide to elementary and high school students and I love that I am a part of making an impactful positive difference in the community.

    If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
    If the average life span was 40 years, I definitely wish I would have started investing at 5 years old. I also would start traveling every year to different countries.

    Favorite Place in Riverside?
    I love the Riverside Plaza because they have: a movie theater, Trader Joe's, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Hawaiian Barbecue, and so much more! It is definitely a great place for entertainment.

    What is your favorite color, and what about it makes it your favorite?

    My favorite color is blue. I love the color blue because I love water (I have always wanted to be a water bender). Blue is also a beautiful color that signifies tranquility and trust which are both very important.

  • Bilal Rana - 2nd Year, Physics, 2017-2018
    Bilal Rana
    The UCR experience is definitely a lot different from what I anticipated. Originally I believed that I would be locked in my room studying and taking up a few extracurricular activities just so I can tell myself I was involved. My very first quarter here completely changed that attitude, as I have been involved in a large variety of professional and social organizations while taking an extremely relaxed approach to studying. UCR, to me, has largely been about exploring what the world has to offer, and I am so thankful to be a student in an institution that recognizes my passion to explore new things and provides me the resources to do exactly that. This science ambassadors program just happens to be one of the ways I choose to explore, and so far, the journey has been spectacular!


    If you could try out any additional major, what would you do?

    Computer Engineering: I have always had a fascination for computers and am very interested in the complexity of computer hardware. It would also be exciting to be an expert in a field that is evolving at an exponential rate. Additionally, computers are extremely relevant to my passion for gaming so I figured it would be a really strong fit for me. If I was not pursuing a career in medicine, then I would definitely be looking into CE.

    If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

    That's depressing... Option 1, I could pursue a relevant research field to where I can develop some kind of an improvement in human health that could potentially increase the lifespan (someone has to do it). Alternatively, and this is the better option, invest in a high end gaming/streaming setup and pursue a full time career as a video gamer/youtuber/twitch streamer.

    What is your favorite color, and what about it makes your favorite?

    Purple. This is the color of royalty. Specifically, what I see in the color purple is dignity, respect, wisdom, and grace. I try to embody these values as much as possible.

  • Yongxian Wu - 2nd Year, Chemistry, 2017-2018
    Yongxian Wu
    As an international student, I know that I need to work harder than others to fit in with the college life. The Science Ambassador program offers me great opportunities to meet with amazing colleges and to build up relationships. I was also in the Learning Community program under CNAS in my freshman year. I came here alone from my distant country with no friends; however, I met my best friends and awesome study buddies in the learning community. The friendly, non-competitive environment is exclusive to UCR, which makes me feel at home and welcomed.

    What's your favorite thing to do at UCR?
    My favorite thing to do at UCR is go and work out at the gym. The recreation center here is huge and amazing. Working out can help me relax from the stressful school work and get fitter.

    Favorite hangout area on campus?
    My favorite hangout area on campus is the hub. I love to hang out with my friends at the hub to grab some foods and talk.

    Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
    5 years from now I hope to be enrolled in some Medicine School to pursue higher education and still live young and happy.

    If you could try out any additional major, what would you do?
    If I were to try a different major, I would like to major in Physics. Physic had always been on my list when I was choosing the major, because I was curious about the universe and passionate about discovering new things. Also I know that Physics involves solving problems with big data, which I always want to try out.

    Favorite place in Riverside?
    My favorite place in Riverside is Mission Inn, where has a long history and beautiful views.

    Favorite class?
    My favorite class so far is Dynamic Genomic 20, which is the lab class exclusive for the learning community in Campell Laboratory building. It was the first time I got involved into a group research. We were assigned with different prompts and asked to figure out methods to solve the problem with the techniques we learned. This class was challenging but interesting.

    What is your favorite color, and what about it makes it your favorite?
    My favorite color is black, because it is the color of mystery. The color of an object we see is decided by the color of the light that the object reflects, but the black absorb all kinds of lights and reflects none. Therefore we may never really know the true color of the black objects.

  • Fernanda Ambrosio- 3rd Year, Biochemistry, 2017-2018
    Fernanda Ambrosio
    As a transfer student I came in knowing that I would have to put in more effort in order to really have the college experience I dreamt of since I was in high school. Thanks to the Science Ambassador program I’ve been able to do that and so much more. UCR has been such a life changing experience already. I transferred in with two friends, and I’ve been able to make so many new friends and build so many connections already. I’m also part of the UCR Honors program, and thanks to them, I will be completing a capstone project by the end of my senior year. These opportunities have been exclusive to UCR and I couldn’t be more thankful that I chose this college.


    What's your favorite thing to do at UCR?

    My favorite thing to do is hike or stroll around the botanic gardens. The gardens provide such a peaceful environment and they help me relax when life gets stressful.


    Favorite hangout area on campus?

    My favorite hangout area is definitely Orbach library. As a college student, hanging out with friends means studying with them. And it’s actually really fun so we don’t mind!


    Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

    5 years from now I hope to be enrolled at UCR’s Med School pursuing my dream career as a pediatrician.


    If you could try out any additional major, what would you do?

    If I were to try a different major, it would more than likely be pursuing a teaching credential to become an elementary school teacher. I’ve always been passionate about helping children, so if I couldn’t help them in a healthcare setting, I would love to teach them.


    Favorite place in Riverside?

    My favorite place in Riverside is hands down the Mission Inn during the Festival of Lights. It’s such a magical experience.


    Favorite class?

    My favorite class so far has been organic chemistry. And it’s not because it was easy. Quite the opposite. It was one of the more challenging classes I’ve conquered, but thanks to that class I developed healthy study habits and met one of my closest friends - Shout out to my boo Hadeel!


    What is your favorite color, and what about it makes it your favorite?

    My favorite color is black. I usually kid around that it’s my favorite because it’s the color of my soul, but in all actuality it’s my favorite because it’s so easy to match and such a classy color.

  • Erick Dayrit- 3rd Year, Neuroscience, 2016-2017
    Erick Dayrit

    "My experience at UCR so far has been challenging, but also inspiring to say the least. Over the past 3 years, I’ve had the privilege of being involved on campus in some of the best ways possible—with the Science Ambassador program being one of those ways. I never knew what it fully meant to be a leader, or rather someone who fearlessly takes the initiative to be involved in causes greater than himself, until I became an ambassador. As a representative for CNAS, I’ve been given multiple opportunities to collaborate alongside like-minded individuals who want nothing more than to give back to the community. I’ve also had the privilege of interacting with faculty on campus and younger students through outreach programs, such as Delta SIFY. I hope that by being an ambassador, I have inspired others to be as authentic and altruistic as I am. Just recently, I joined the Not So Sharp A Capella team here on campus, and I must say that I am so thankful to be a part of a group that enjoys serenading audiences just as much as I do. The life-long friendships that I have developed with the people whom I am so glad to call my second family is something that I will forever cherish for years to come. Being an undergraduate at UCR is truly a blessing in disguise and I am so honored to be a part of such a revolutionary institution."


    What's your favorite thing to do at UCR?

    You’ll most likely find me at the HUB eating my life away or at a capella practice.


    Favorite hangout area on campus?

    That’s easy. Given the fact that I commute daily and don’t have the luxury of a dorm to chill in, anywhere with a couch that I can nap on will suffice.


    Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

    I’m a very indecisive person, so I can’t be too sure about where I’ll be in 5 years. However, I know one thing’s for sure; I’ll own a corgi by then.


    If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

    I’d like to think that I’m naturally spontaneous and adventurous. So if the human life span was a mere 40 years, I would probably be doing the things I already do on the spur of the moment.


    Favorite place in Riverside?

    Most definitely, hands down, The Mission Inn in Downtown Riverside. This location has so much history and I am drawn to the architecture of the building.


    Favorite class?

    Of all time? That would be CBNS 106: Intro to Neuroscience. I’m all for things pertaining to the brain. I mean, I am a neuroscience major for a reason right?


    How are you feeling right now?

    On a scale of 1-10? Ecstatic! Because everyday is a beautiful day!

  • Pamela Osborn- 4th Year, Biology, 2015-2016
    Pamela Osborn
    "So first my UCR experience. I live in Rancho Cucamonga just 30 minutes from UCR making it easy to commute all 4 years. I have greatly enjoyed being a CNAS  ambassador because I have met many people from all the different sciences, been able to represent my college, and do outreach to inspire future college students especially those interested in the sciences. I have participated in research for 2 years in Dr. Howard Friedman's lab working on studies involving human health behaviors and nonverbal communication. I will be finishing my own research studying nonverbal communication and how body language relates to an audience's perception of a presenter. My other activities outside of school include volunteering at Kaiser Permanente  Hospital in Riverside and at Community Baptist Church (Rancho Cucamonga) in the High School youth group. As you can tell I am very busy, but I love to spend free time with friends and family, and my favorite hobbies are going to the gym, doing yoga, and painting."


    Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

    Finishing a Doctoral degree in Physical Therapy (DPT). 


    Tell us about what animal you wish you could be and why?

    I would want to be a bird able to fly anywhere, and just being able to fly would be pretty amazing.


    What is your weirdest "quirk"?

    If you really pay attention I love washing my hands and always have hand sanitizer. With me you could say I am a germophobe.  


    If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

    I would travel a lot and work hard to make sure people can achieve their dreams since we would all have less time.


    If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

    To do the best you can with what you are given, never let someone tell you you cant do something, and smile as much as possible everyday.

  • Michael Baird- 3rd Year, Chemistry, 2015-2016
    Michael Baird
    "I'm really grateful for all the people at UCR. I've received some incredible opportunities in the chemistry department doing hands on research, opportunities I don't think I would have had anywhere else. I worked for a year in a computational chemistry lab with Dr. Greg Beran, in which I learned computer programming and statistical analysis skills that are incredibly useful across the disciplines. I now work with Dr. Jack Eichler in an inorganic synthesis lab, for which I have proposed 4 new compounds with potential for antitumor activity. In addition to research, I've really enjoyed serving CNAS as a science ambassador; it's so much fun to see people in all walks of life excited about science and see talented students choose UCR. I am also involved in The Well Christian Club, which is an awesome place for me to discuss my faith with others and serve the Riverside community."


    Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

    I hope to be in graduate school for chemistry, conducting research in solar energy. 


    What is your pet peeve?

    Big lifted pickup trucks. Pollution, noise, can’t see around them, headlights are blinding in the rear view mirror, and they look ridiculous - there really is no justification to owning one.


    What is your weirdest "quirk"?

    I put mustard on my pizza. It's really good - try it!


    If you were a geometric shape, what would you like to be?

    Probably a triangle because I have three sides: Happy, sad, and hungry.


    Tell us what animal you wish you would be, and why?

    Grizzly Bears have an awesome life - eat the freshest food in the forest for half of the year, spend the other half sleeping. Can’t get much better than that!

  • Sabrina Sedano- 2nd Year, Chemistry, 2015-2016
    Sabrina Sedano
    "Being apart of the UCR family has truly been a blessing in disguise, from meeting incredible people whom I am happy to call my friends to having the opportunity to do hands on research as a first year student. I was a fellow of the RISE Program the summer after my first year at UCR and through this program I met Dr. Wenwan Zhong and have worked in her lab alongside graduate students in creating nanoparticles for the use of virus detection. Not only has UCR pushed me to reach my fullest potential academically but I have also gotten involved in outreach, which is one of my biggest passions. I, alongside three other girls, direct the SISTERS Program, which aims at promoting STEM careers to middle school girls as well as as helping them with issues such as self confidence. This upcoming year I will also be a PERSIST Mentor for sophomore students who were apart of Learning Community. Attending UCR has opened doors for me and is shaping me into an individual that will give back to the community."


    Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

    I hope to be in medical school working towards becoming a Pediatric Surgeon.


    What is your favorite color?

    My favorite color would have to be turquoise because it reminds me of the beach and mermaids.


    What animal?

    I wish I could be a panda, they're just so goofy and playful and worry free.


    Favorite shape?

    I would want to be a triangle because this shape has many unique properties and it is the essential shape when building structures. 


    Baths or Showers?

    I prefer baths because it lets me unwind. I like to pretend I'm at the spa and just play my favorite music and relax.

  • Aaron Lai- 2nd Year, Environmental Sciences, 2014-2015
    Aaron Lai
    "Coming to UCR has provided me with a new and wide range of opportunities and people, from shooting as a Highlander Newspaper photographer to engaging with professors in exciting classes (especially Environmental Sciences) to getting my very first job. All these resources were always within reach and not difficult to find, as the facilities, advisors, and faculty around me were easily accessible and knowledgeable. As a CNAS Science Ambassador, I have been able to continue my progress as a Highlander by being able to interact with and give back to the UCR community, such as being able to provide tours to and talk with upcoming freshmen. The events have been wildly interesting and varied, and I look forward to what we can do for CNAS and UCR next year."


    What is your pet peeve?

    Professors scheduling their office hours during your other classes’ lecture hours.


    Do you like baths or showers and why?

    Showers, because it uses less water! Baths use about 35-50 gallons, while a 10 minute shower would

    use about 24 gallons.


    What is your weirdest "quirk"?

    All of my personal clocks are wired at about 13-16 minutes ahead, including my room clock, my watches,

    my phone, and even my camera. At this point, I’m not sure which one is which, so it keeps me on my



    If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

    If I had only 40 years to live, I would want to spend my time traveling, after spending a bit of time earning

    some money. I’d hike the Pacific Crest Trail, photograph as many national parks as I could, ride the

    Southwest Chief across America, ride the trains across Europe, and traverse the world with companions

    old and new. At the end of travels, I would like to set up a photo gallery somewhere obscure and share

    about the tales, cultures, and truths I’ve seen to anybody interested.


    If you were a geometric shape what would you like to be?

    I would be a solid torus, just like the Stanford Torus! Or a doughnut, and that’s cool too.


  • Travis Hong- 3rd Year, Environmental Sciences, 2014-2015
    Travis Hong
    "Having been a Highlander for over two years, I feel I have experienced a great deal of what it means to be a UCR student. I was able to define my future career goals and tailor my coursework, club activities, and employment toward graduate studies in environmental sciences. These are things I genuinely think I could not have done if I didn't choose to go to UCR, at least not at this rate. I became a CNAS Science Ambassador, because I am grateful for the opportunities I've had as a UCR student and want to share what I learned. There's so many events to attend and I also enjoy discovering the subtle advantages to attending these events, namely, networking."


    What is your pet peeve?

    I think I have two pet peeves. I cringe whenever someone slams my car door. And it's very distracting if I'm in class sitting next to someone who constantly shakes their legs, especially during an exam. 


    Do you like baths or showers and why?

    Showers! My house has a water-efficient shower head and I try to keep my showers short and sweet. 


    What is your weirdest "quirk"?

    I oftentimes work late into the night... And then suddenly wake up the next morning tucked in bed without any memory of the previous night. I'm well rested, but it doesn't help much with studying. 


    If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

    I actually don't think I would live my life differently. I would definitely work toward completing my undergraduate degree at UCR. I'm planning on graduating this year at 20 year old and I look forward to spending many mores years contributing to research topics that will outlive me. As long as I'm doing what I want to do, living up to 40, 60, or 80 years makes no difference to me. 


    How are you feeling right now? 

    I am feeling very hopeful! My research experiment was delayed several times due to unforeseen circumstances, but I have finally finished the bulk of the work and am playing the waiting game. 


    If you were a geometric shape what would you like to be?

    If I had to be a geometric shape, I would be a column. Columns have so many conceptual and practical applications and I want to be just as helpful. 

  • Jennifer Fairbrother- 4th Year, Applied Mathematics/Physics, 2014-2015
    Jennifer Fairbrother
    "Being an ambassador has been more than just representing my college. I've made friends, created professional contacts and met some very inspiration people. I love representing CNAS, especially for a more underrepresented major, mathematics and physics, and of course as a female, who are already underrepresented in the sciences anyway.  Along with playing soccer for UCR and multiple sports, such as football, soccer and volleyball, for UCR IMs, I have also done research with the mathematics department and am part of other student and off campus organizations.  Being active in my community and for my college are important aspects of my life and I appreciate every door the ambassadors have opened for me and have loved to be a part of it for every moment."


    If you were a geometric shape what would you like to be?

    "If I were a geometric shape, I would probably be a circle because of how well rounded I hope to always be. I have also been called a perfectionist before and when I think of a more perfect shape, a completely symmetric circle seems most appropriate."


    Tell us about what animal you wish you could be and why?

    "I'm not sure if I'd want to be one, but my favorite animal is definitely a giraffe because of their height and how interesting of creatures they are to me, I don't know why I've just always been fascinated. As far as being an animal though, I think a cat would be appropriate, especially seeing as my roommate and I tend to meow at each other as communication...yeah, we are crazy cat ladies."


    What is your favorite color?

    "My favorite color, or colors really, are Black and Red. My brothers favorite was always blue as a kid, of course, I wanted to like the opposite. I also went to and played soccer for Centennial High in Corona where our colors were red, black and white."


    How are you feeling right now? 

    "Right now, I'm feeling a mixture of emotions. For one, I'm extremely hopeful for my future and my last quarter here at UCR, as I'll be graduating in March to walk with my class in June this year. But on the other hand, I'm feeling pretty down and upset about the comeback from the Seattle Seahawks against the Green Bay Packers in the NFL playoff game. Packers almost got that Super Bowl slot, but I guess we will have to wait for next year for our chance again. Hopefully, Aaron Rodgers will still get MVP this year! Go Pack Go!"


    Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

    "As for my future, I hope to have been accepted in to the nuclear propulsions program in the United States Navy, to be working in Washington DC as a nuclear engineer for my country. I am currently in the process of applying to the program and if accepting, in 5 years I should be close to making a decision about whether to remain in the Navy or retire to a civilian life." 

  • Andrew Munoz- 2nd Year, Biology, 2014-2015
    Andrew Munoz
    "UCR has provided me with a plethora of opportunities, one of my favorite being the position of Science Ambassador. I've been able to communicate with professors, parents, deans, undergraduates, and high school students alike. As a CNAS Science Ambassador, I have experienced the benefits of being a representative of the University, such as handing awards to science fair participants. I have thoroughly enjoyed every event I have participated in, and am happy to represent the wonderful university in a positive light."


    Five years from now, I hope to be in pharmacy school (at the moment, preferably UCSF).


    My weirdest quirk is that I twitch in my sleep sometimes.


    If I could be any animal, I would be the Megaladon shark, although they're extinct. Megaladons were larger than a full-size school bus and were the apex predator of Earth's prehistoric oceans. Above all else, they are scary cool.

    My favorite color is blue, because it represents the sky and "water," as well as cleanliness.


    If I were a geometric shape, I'd be a circle, because I want to be as well-rounded as I can possibly be.

  • Taryn Barsotti- 3rd Year, Microbiology, 2014-2015
    Taryn Barsotti
    "I had the misconception of thinking I was an “adult” the day my parents dropped me off at UCR. In reality, all the experiences that come along with attending college is what ultimately leads to becoming an adult. Learning how to motivate yourself, how to act in a professional setting, how to stay positive, how to collaborate with people who come from a different world than you do, how to stand up for yourself, and how to do laundry without ruining all your good clothes are all the necessary lessons only taught at college. Coming to UCR was one of the best decisions I could have ever made for myself. I can’t imagine the kind of life I would have led or the person I would be today if I hadn’t had any of the opportunities and experiences UCR has given me. 


    What is your pet peeve?

    Nothing drives me more insane than getting stuck walking behind a group of slow people while I’m on campus. It just puzzles me so much, why do they take up more room than faster walkers? Why do they move in a weaving path? How come they can’t hear me awkwardly shuffling behind them? Drives. Me. Nuts. 


    What is your weirdest "quirk”?

    Overall I’m pretty normal, but I do get a little crazy about taking exams though. I have this weird superstition around the time I take midterms and finals— I can’t have any of my notebooks or textbooks touch the floor or ground otherwise I'll fail that class. And yes I realize it sounds crazy and I know that there is probably no relationship between how many times your books and notes touch the floor and the grade you will receive in the class, but I still can’t let it happen. Also, I steal pens and pencils from people I think are smart and I use them on exams sometimes (I think this one actually works).

    If you were a geometric shape what would you like to be?

    An Icosahedron. I’d want to be something really cool like a virus.  


    How are you feeling right now? 

    Amazing! Spring Quarter is always the best because you know you’ve made it through the tough parts of the year and there is always summer vacation waiting for you at the end of finals week. Lately some of my extracurricular commitments have been dwindling, so I have jumped into a new set of responsibilities and I couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds. I have also been interviewing for a few internships this summer, so I may have some other exciting opportunities to look forward to after the year ends. 


    If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

    Wherever you find yourself, there will always be people who are smarter, wealthier, and better looking than you, and you will always be smarter, wealthier, and better looking than some people, but it is important to establish a balance between humility and self-confidence, because at the end of the day you have something to learn from others and something others can learn from you. 

  • Jennifer An- 4th Year, Chemistry , 2014-2015
    Jennifer An
    "I was completely shocked (as my fellow Ambassadors might recall) when I was told I was an "Ambassador of the Month." This was a new installation in the program, and so much has changed since I joined three years ago.  More and more students join us every year, and the CNAS Science Ambassadors have built up rapport with the UCR campus and Riverside community.  I'm so glad and honored to have been part of such a group for a large majority of my college career.  I've met like-minded students from a variety of scientific disciplines, spoken to alumni and prospective students about their experiences and how our experiences could provide some insight in each other, and have grown overall as an individual. As someone who gets nervous just speaking to a group of ten people, I've been able to share my UCR experience to lecture hall-full of parents and students and have even led large campus and lab tours to highlight the CNAS portions of our campus. I was told I would gain professional development if I were to join the CNAS Science Ambassador program.  In retrospect, I have earned so much more, more than words can describe. Even though we all volunteer selflessly for the advancement of UCR and especially CNAS, I'm truly thankful for the honor and opportunity to share just a portion of one of my greatest experiences here at UCR."


    What is your pet peeve?

    Things being out of color order, especially if they can be.


    What is your weirdest "quirk”?

    I am Jen-uinely Jen-erous with Jen-erating puns. #sorrynotsorry

    If you were a geometric shape what would you like to be?

    A triangle, since they're so versatile but simple at the same time.  


    How are you feeling right now? 

    Quite satisfied, since I woke up an hour before my alarm(s) and I am notorious for sleeping through all of them. (Ask my roommate; Hi, Glenna!)


    What is your favorite color?

    Orange, because it's bright, happy, and my roommate hates it so she gives me all of her orange stuff.

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