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Testimonials From GenOM Participants

From Former ALVA Participants

Efriem Bezabih

By the time the program ended, not only did I get to do research and have fun with fellow GenOM students, but I had also managed to make unbreakable bonds with many students and faculty members of the program. Through this program, I learned to respect, tolerate and accept people for who they are. What is even more interesting about programs like GenOM is the fact that they broaden our way of thinking by exposing us to environments that we had never thought existed before. We learn to understand people not only from our own perspective but also from theirs. Sure school does teach you some things that might be useful in life, but it can never be compared with what you learn from real-life experience. And that is what GenOM is all about.

Andres Mendoza

Coming from a single parent household making under $15,000 a year I never thought I would get such an opportunity, but I did. I also made so many friends, which I've kept in touch with over the school year and studied with. Before GenOM I wasn't sure if science was the field to enter. I felt like I wasn't smart or good enough. At the end I actually realized I was very smart and good. I really was. GenOM has helped point me in the right direction, science and I will succeed because I refuse to quit. Thanks to GenOM I can say this.

Kero Samy

I still find myself turning to Lisa every quarter not just as an adviser but also as a friend that I can trust.   It was reassuring going to school every day and knowing that I had with me 30 peers that I could turn to if I needed any help.  Most of my "study buddies" throughout my freshman-sophomore year were members from the ALVA program.  I believe that this is due to the fact that we were encouraged to study together over the summer. And it was comforting to know that I was not alone, especially during the crucial transition period from high school to college. I believe that by taking part in ALVA-GenOM Program I had created an identity for myself.  I was no longer just an incoming freshman. I got a firsthand experience about the college life, working in a lab, understanding ethics, and making lifelong friends.  This would have taken me several years to accomplish if it was not for this program.  I praise this program so much, because in my heart I truly believe I would not be here today. I would not be finishing my degree on the career path that I choose for myself had it not been for the support and the knowledge that was planted in me during my time in the GenOM program.

Aniel Solis

I don't know how I would have survived my first year of college without the MSEP/GenOM ALVA program. Not only did it help ease my anxieties about undergraduate studies through academic counseling and tutoring workshops, it also introduced me to laboratory research which has now become an integral part of my academic studies. My studies here have been greatly enriched through my involvement in the MSEP/GenOM ALVA program. I have the chance to pursue a science major and attain valuable hands-on experience in that field of study.

From Former Undergraduate Research Participants

Adam Koerner

As an alumnus of the program, I can honestly say that I probably would not be in a Ph.D. program if not for the UW GenOM Project. They facilitated my introduction to scientific research by providing me the skills and knowledge needed to be a useful addition to any lab. In fact, my undergraduate thesis was conducted in a lab that the UW GenOM Project helped me find. In addition to being a student in the program, I also was a counselor for two years. My responsibilities were to help tutor the students and watch after their general well-being. Several of those students I am still in contact with today, and all the students that pass through this program are very bright and highly motivated. The UW GenOM Project attracts a lot of talented individuals who have a lot to offer the scientific community, and I believe that a lot of that talent would go unrealized if not for the UW GenOM Project.

Monica Mascarenas

The UW GenOM Project is a great program that gives students an opportunity to get involved and start thinking about science at an early age.  I have participated in the program this summer and I believe it has given me the opportunity to mentor new students and help them along in their science careers.  Being able to mentor students has helped me reflect on my experiences and has made me think about science in a new and exciting way.  I have also met graduate students that have given their own interesting perspective and have helped me understand more about graduate school.  Overall, the UW GenOM Project is great way to begin to diversify the sciences.

Jennifer Salame

Research is absolutely essential for an undergraduate student like me hoping to attend graduate school. The UW GenOM Project has enabled me to experience lab research in a very hands-on way. I am learning how to take charge of my own project and work through a research question from start to finish. This program has allowed me to apply classroom concepts in a real work environment. I am indebted to the GenOM Project and its staff for their guidance and support at this point in my career as a research scientist.

Joseph Sanchez

I like the fact that young scientists from all different age groups get time to hang out outside of the lab in an informal way. Having activities with incoming freshmen and students in grad school gives us senior undergraduates a chance to work on our mentoring skills with the freshmen and allows us to ask questions about graduate school with the grad students. I find it that when outside of the lab people tend to let their guard down a little and are more willing to ask questions. As far as the lab work goes, I think that it is great that the freshmen are given a chance to be exposed to how it really is to work in a lab. I believe that most young people have the wrong idea of what it means to be a scientist. If there were more programs like this across the country I think more students would want to pursue a career as a scientist.

From Former Graduate Student Fellows

Joseph Sanchez

The GenOM Project also gave me a sense of much-needed community in graduate school. I often participated in the GenOM Project's summer programs for undergraduates, either as a panelist, research mentor, or mathematics instructor. I also met other graduate students through the GenOM Project with whom I would start a student chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). To maintain a sense of balance in graduate school, it was essential that I interact with others who, like me, were interested in outreach and education opportunities. We were all passionate and productive scientists-in-training, but we were also passionate about science education and community involvement. Lisa was tireless in her support of our endeavors — she always knew the right person to speak with to make the connections we needed to make on campus.

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Last Reviewed: March 9, 2012