Marwa Albu Qassim
My name is Marwa Albu Qassim and I’m half Tunisian half Iraqi. I came to the U.S. roughly about four years ago. I’m so excited to start my junior year at UTSA and to be part of the REACT STEM program. I’m a transfer student from NVC majoring in Biology. I have so many goals in life, and the most important one is to graduate and be successful in my future career. My favorite song is "The Autumn Leaves" by Nat King Cole and "Helwa Ya Baladi" by Dalida.
Originally from Louisiana, Joshua Anderson is a first-generation, and the only one of his siblings, to graduate high school or attend college. He moved to San Antonio to start fresh and go to college. Joshua is a Biology major who transferred to UTSA from Northwest Vista College. He has been an active member of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society and participated in many extra-curricular and volunteering activities. During the Summer of 2016, he was chosen to participate in CIMA-LSAMP, a summer research program, and placed in a lab at UTSA. This program required a professional poster presentation at the Alamo Colleges’ 3rd Annual Louis Stokes Symposium at the conclusion of the program. After the summer, this position became more permanent and helped him decide to transfer to and continue his education at UTSA. This experience has further solidified his interest in research and desire to attend UTSA. Joshua plans on eventually acquiring a Ph.D. in Microbiology and pursuing a career in research.
Christian Baer is a first-year transfer student from Northeast Lakeview College. During his time at Northeast Lakeview he worked under Dr. Erica Cain through the LSAMP-CIMA program. During the year of attendance, he worked on projects including production of molecular tools for the study of proteasomes in collaboration with Roelofs Lab at Kansas State and designed a primer for reverse transcription from genes of interest in California Blackworm (Lumbriculus variegatus) for further work in collaboration with Dr. Veronica Martinez-Acosta at the University of the Incarnate Word. In addition to the research, he learned programs such as Snapgene to help design plasmids and Geneious to compile bioinformatic information to design primers. In recognition of his academic success he was offered and accepted membership with Phi Kappa Theta Honor Society. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and spending time with his beautiful daughter Mila who is his inspiration.
Gianna Davis is pursuing a B.S. in biology with a concentration in neurobiology. Fascinated by the brain and all that its capability encompasses, she plans to study the effect psychopharmacology has on the brains of people with mental illnesses like depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder. The ultimate goal from this research is to remove the stigma of mental illness from societies by bringing forth the biological fundamentals found within the studies through education and empowerment.
Raised in the San Antonio area, I was homeschooled through middle and high school. I began my studies in chemistry and biology at Northeast Lakeview and Northwest Vista College. I participated in the 2015 CIMA-LSAMP program under Dr. Larionov and continued to volunteer in his lab for several months. My primary interests are synthesis of natural products and medicinal chemistry, and as such, I’m working on my bachelor’s degree in chemistry, and plan to pursue a PhD in chemistry in order to establish a career in research and development. Outside of school, I enjoy grilling and cooking new dishes for friends and family.
Hello my name is Lilia Flores but everyone calls my Lily. I'm was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. I graduated high school in the top eight percent of my class and was in honor society. I'm majoring in Chemistry and excited to face the obstacle ahead of me. I'm hardworking and friendly. I can work well with other and if need be, take charge and get things done. Some hobbies I love to do are drawing, fishing, and traveling.
My name Is Joseph Garcia. I’m a Physics major transferred from San Antonio College (SAC). I was a member of the SAC Motor Sport Team where we built a prototype hydrogen fuel cell car for competition in the Shell Eco Marathon, finishing in third place internationally. I also took part in the CIMA-LSAMP summer research program where I worked under Dr. Liao Chen on simulating the aquaporin 4 protein. My current research interests include nanophotonics, clean energy, and cosmology. I’ve always had a fascination with the natural world, which developed from the curiosity and imagination I had early in my childhood. I still find myself asking many of the same questions and I hope the answers will benefit humanity.
Michael Gardner is a San Antonio native from Health Careers High School. He is a returning UTSA student and is excelling in his studies. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Theoretical Gravitational Physics. He hopes to become a tenured professor to teach and endeavors to solve the mysteries of gravity. Michael has participated in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the Society of Physics Students as treasurer, and the CIMA-LSAMP summer research program at UTSA. He can be described as determined, patient, and understanding which are all qualities that make for a good physicist. His personal interests include science fiction, philosophy, medieval literature, drawing, and graphic novels.
Major: Biomedical Engineering
My name is David Hall, and I am currently working towards obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. I was born in Houston Texas and attended Lone Star Community College before transferring to UTSA. At Lone Star, I was in a program known as the LSCS Honors Fellows, which culminated into an Honors Associates degree in Science. Through this program, I discovered my love for research. I love learning about a wide variety of topics and discovering new things. I would like to conduct research pertaining to artificial organs and prosthetics. After finishing by bachelor’s degree at UTSA, I will be pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering.
Bryan Lam was born in a small town called Rogers, Arkansas. He is an artist who has a passion for science. Growing up he was surrounded by nature and animals. He was always curious to learn about the animals that surrounded him and the world around him. However, his curiosity really began to show at the ripe age of 8 where he first began diving into his interests of science by observing the animals and dissecting small insects around him to learn more about how their biology works and how everything in the world all fits together. He and his family moved to San Antonio when he was 16 and he became homeschooled for the remainder of his high school career. Bryan is a jack of all trades with his interests in science. However, the top 3 fields of science that interests him are virology, development, and marine biology. He loves to learn about marine animals, genetics, embryo development, and infectious diseases. He hopes to someday do research to help find new discoveries to combat infectious diseases in embryos and neonates such as HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, and Listerosis. In his past time, he likes to create art and care for his pets which includes 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 clownfishes and his many corals in his reef tank. He currently holds an A.S. and is a biology major who is a new transfer at UTSA from Northwest Vista College. Bryan is determined to get his Ph.D in cell and molecular science and create an impact on the world..
Major: Microbiology and Immunology
Alejandra Mendez is a transfer student from Laredo College, graduated with an Associates of Science in Biology. Born in Laredo, TX, but raised in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. This Fall 2018 will be her first year at UTSA working towards her B.S. in Microbiology and Immunology. She is excited for this new journey in her life and prepared to face new challenges in her college career. Not to mention her enthusiasm to learn and extend her knowledge in science. Her goal is to become a Forensic Pathologist and pursue a Ph.D. in the field of Toxicology. Alejandra also wants to inspire other people to pursue their dreams regardless of the adversity that arises in their path.
Major: Microbiology & Immunology
My name is Emmanuel Nyong. I am a 21-year-old immigrant from Cameroon. I currently live in San Antonio, where I have been attending Palo Alto College for the past two years. The fall of 2017 will make my first semester at UTSA. I will be transferring as a junior and plan on majoring in Microbiology & Immunology. I decided to continue my education at UTSA because I believe they offered a competitive, fostering, and supportive environment which students can grow within as scholars and individuals. I believe my time at UTSA will play a crucial part in helping me achieve my career goal. My career goal is to become a research-physician. As a research-physician, I hope to be able to further human knowledge of microbes through research, while delivering immediate patient care in a hospital setting. I am very excited to begin the next phase of my academic journey at UTSA.
Major: Biomedical Engineering
I was raised in Nampa, Idaho before joining the U.S. Army at 19 years old and was deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012. I married my amazing wife, Victoria, in 2014, who continues to serve in our military. After completing my service, I decided to go back to school to earn an education in Biomedical Engineering at UTSA. I am currently working as a volunteer undergraduate researcher in the biophontonics and nanotechnology lab of Jing Yong Ye, Ph.D. My career goal is work in a field concerning medical advancement in combat trauma to help our military.
My name is Alexandria and I am a UTSA transfer student working to obtain a bachelors in chemistry. I graduated with an associates in chemistry from the Alamo Colleges and am hoping to gain more hands-on research experience while I work towards my bachelors. As an Alamo Colleges student, I conducted on campus research through the CIMA LSAMP program, which opened the door for me to do research with Dr. Bach's lab group at UTSA as well as become a Peer Mentor with the Alamo Colleges. My experiences so far has inspired me to eventually pursue a PhD in chemistry as well as given me an interest in establishing a future career in research.
My name is Thu Thai and I’m an immigrant from Vietnam. I transferred from Northwest Vista College. I was given the opportunity to join the CIMA Research Summer program in 2017 at UTSA campus as an intern for Dr. Ying Ye’s lab in the biomedical engineering department. I am the first generation in College where I will be pursuing my Bachelor in Science at UTSA. I describe myself as a "Lamb of Science" and am passionate about chemistry, atoms, and how it makes up matter around us. I want to get involved in all aspects of Chemistry fields; it’s the reason why I choose Chemistry and Chemical Engineering for my future career in research. My long term goal is doing research in green energy and clean organic chemicals for a better living environment.
My name is José Antonio Vega, I am from Costa Rica and my field of study is Physics. My passion for understanding and discovery, along with my burgeoning curiosity, most definitely defines me as a person. Physics is a fascinating science that elevates my comprehension of the natural world like no other discipline can. I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to continue discovering and revealing nature's veil with the help of the REACT Scholars Program. This program aligns with my established goals and dreams, I look forward to participate in the REACT program and gain the necessary experience to continue on my scientific quest.
David Cadena – Doctoral Student, UC San Diego, Bioengineering/Materials
Carlos Castaneda – NIH-MARC trainee, Undergraduate Senior
Mikaela Guevara – Postbacc. PREP Trainee, Mayo Clinic Graduate School
Rebecca Pecev – Secondary School Teacher Training
Noor Wadi – Research Assistant, UT Health San Antonio