UW Fellowship for Academic Excellence recipient

Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m originally from Dallas, Texas and graduated last year from Rice University in Houston, TX with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. I am also a first-generation college student so feel free to ask me about my experience coming into grad school as first-gen or as an underrepresented minority student. As a first year student in the Pathobiology Ph.D. program, I’ve just done a rotation with Dr. Alexis Kaushansky and am currently embarking on my next one with Dr. Whitney Harrington.

Q: Why did you decide to attend the UW for graduate school? 

I came to UW for a couple reasons. Primarily, the Pathobiology program filled a desire for me to acquire a public health education along with basic science lab work. The program also gives me the flexibility to find mentors outside of UW, specifically at affiliated institutions such as Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Not many programs make it easy to seek out mentors outside of its own institution. Another important reason for me to come all the way out here was to experience life outside of my home state to develop myself into a well-rounded person. 

Q: What are your research interests?

My research interests also lined up well with what Pathobiology and its affiliated faculty have to offer since I am driven to confront questions in host-pathogen interactions and vector biology within the larger umbrella of tropical medicine. For my undergrad research experiences, I made sure to seek out labs that focused on pathogens of global health significance so there was no reason to believe I would deviate from my interests by coming here. 

Q: What are you enjoying most about your graduate program?

So far I have enjoyed my interactions with the faculty through classes and rotations since they all come across as people whose intention is to work with you for your success and aren’t out to antagonize you. Also, I like how small the program’s cohort size as I believe it helped us get closer to each other.