How are you connected to the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion (CSDI) or the Office of Hispanic Initiatives (OHI)?
I am connected with OHI through the Goizueta Foundation Fellowship. I have received this fellowship for the past three years and have participated in several outreach events such as the Focus Program.
What advice would you give to students on succeeding academically at Georgia Tech?
To succeed academically at Georgia Tech as a graduate student, it is important to be organized and be able to prioritize tasks. Graduate school is demanding in many ways. You will be expected to excel in your classes and make progress in your research project, at the same time. This is a challenging task, especially when you just begin graduate school.
The best way to manage both classes and research is to utilize tools that help you manage your time and tasks, such as Asana, an online task manager, and an electronic calender. Most importantly, I recommend forming a support system that includes mentors and fellow classmates. Your support system is essential for your success here at Tech. Therefore, do not hesitate to reach out to professors, postdocs, and other graduate students for support and assistance. Someone somewhere here at Tech has the answer or advice you may need.
What advice would you give to students on acclimating socially to Georgia Tech?
The transition into graduate school is not easy and can be a very lonely process if you let it be. To acclimate socially, I recommend attending different socials hosted by student organizations on campus. If you are into sports or have a hobby, seek those groups on and off campus. I also find that connecting with classmates can help you build your network of friends and ultimately a support system.
Where have you worked while at Georgia Tech, and what did you enjoy about that experience?
I spend most of my time doing research in Michael Davis' laboratory as a Ph.D. candidate. What I most enjoy about conducting research is the problem solving process. Research is full of unknowns and while there can be setbacks and frustrating times, I think those are the most interesting times where you can learn the most about your project and about yourself. The problem-solving and critical thinking is what keeps research fun, especially when you are in a collaborative space.
What has been your favorite Georgia Tech experience?
One of my favorite Georgia Tech experience has to be participating in the Petit Scholar Mentoring program. This program pairs highly motivated undergraduates with mentors, like myself, for one year of research. This program has allowed me to mentor and work closely with an undergraduate. I truly enjoyed teaching and having a direct impact on the undergrad working with me. What was most rewarding was seeing her excel and develop to be an independent thinker and scientist.
What are you involved with on campus, and why?
My personal and professional goal is to have an impact on my surrounding community. I am involved as a graduate student representative for the BME department, Petit Scholar Program, and Emory/Georgia Tech BEST Program, and I have been fortunate to be a Sloan Fellow and a Goizueta Fellow. Through these involvements, I have been able to impact the BME department, undergraduates, and K-12 students through several outreach programs. Most importantly, I co-founded the Alliance for Diversity in Science and Engineering (ADSE) Chapter to provide support and a community for underrepresented minority groups pursuing a graduate degree. Through ADSE, we have hosted a number of events that provide networking opportunities, mentoring, and professional development.
What has been your study abroad experience while at Georgia Tech?
I unfortunately have not completed a study abroad experience. I believe those opportunties are directed more towards undergraduates. With that said, I did attend a Health Innovation Workshop in South Africa. At this week long workshop, we got to work closely with African scientist or entrepenuer, who was looking to commericalize their technology. This experience was very similar to show Shark Tank.