IB and MCB Academic Advisor
Hometown: Pittsburg, CA
What I did/experienced before Cal? This is not straightforward to answer since I have been connected to Cal in so many ways. I'm a Bay Area native born to immigrant parents from Sinaloa, Mexico (and yes, I do speak Spanish!). I was a first-generation college student from a low-income background growing up. Neither of my parents graduated from high school, but they strongly encouraged me and my brothers to do our best in school and go to college so that we could open more doors for ourselves than were available to them. After finishing my bachelor's degree at Cal (in Integrative Biology), I earned my Ph.D. in biology with an emphasis in the ecology, evolution, and functional morphology of plant-pollinator interactions at the University of Washington in Seattle. After that, I did STEM outreach for several years with high school students in and around Oakland as a staff member at UC Berkeley's public science center, the Lawrence Hall of Science, just up the hill from the main campus. And now I'm still at Cal, but in a different role applying my knowledge of life-sciences education to advise IB and MCB majors!
What do you love about Cal and working in the UAO/USSO? I love the energy that comes from being surrounded by so many brilliant minds on a constant basis. And those brilliant minds include the students and staff, not just the faculty! Regarding the UAO/USSO, I love getting a chance to work with and hear the stories of our amazing students from so many walks of life. Being an advisor within the departments that I majored in and took so many classes in as a college student is beyond special to me. This is more than just a job to me. It's my mission!
Interests: Video games (first-person shooters and car racing simulators), stationery (I'm kinda crazy about fountain pens and nice pencils), watching car racing on TV, dragon legends from around the world.
Life Motto: Si no vives para servir, no sirves para vivir (If you are not living a life of service, then you are living a wasted life).
Advisor Tip: One of the most important things that you'll get out of your time at Cal is a social and professional network that will continue long past your years as a student here. So make sure you are making substantive connections - with your peers and faculty/staff. Yes, make your studies a priority, but don't neglect the development of your network. It’ll pay off!