CALS Fall 2018 Outstanding Seniors

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Every semester University of Arizona students volunteer, intern, conduct research, and persevere toward their professional goals and, in turn, make a difference within their campus and local communities. To celebrate their hard work and outstanding achievements, CALS hosts an Outstanding Senior Awards luncheon to honor these graduating seniors for their dedication, experience, and future goals. We interviewed these students to find out where they come from and what their aspirations post-college are. Meet the newest group of graduates below.

 

Fernando Paredes
Family Studies & Human Development Major
Perseverance Award
 
Please tell us a little about yourself.

I am a first-generation student that transferred from Pima Community College. While at Pima, I became certified as an EMT and took part in the Tucson Fire Cadet Program; however, I realized I wanted to help others in a different capacity.

What are your plans after you graduate?

Currently, I am applying to doctoral programs in school psychology and social work. Such schools include Columbia, Michigan, NYU, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Arizona, and others.

Did you have an experience with CALS that made a big impact on your career or personal life?

My time spent as a CALS Pals Peer Mentor changed my life. I developed the confidence and skills needed to succeed in higher education. I'm not sure if graduation would have been possible for me without this CALS Pals experience. I also really enjoyed helping incoming freshman and students on academic probation.

Have you won any awards, been in any clubs, or partaken in any leadership groups?

In addition to the Outstanding Senior Award in Family Studies, I’ve received the CALS Senior Perseverance Award, and partaken in Undergraduate Research Opportunities Consortium (UROC) and the Ronald E. McNair Achievement Program.

Did you participate in any undergraduate research opportunities or study abroad?

Yes, my senior year I was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. I conducted research on children exposed to domestic violence. I had the opportunity to present at a conference at UCLA.

Is there anything you would like to share with the next incoming class of students?

Believe in yourself and get involved on campus!

 

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Fallyn Markosian
Microbiology Major
 
Please tell us a little about yourself.

I'm from Phoenix and Washington State. I chose microbiology as my second major because I have always been interested in antibiotic resistance, especially in the meat industry. My first major is animal sciences and I used both of my majors to focus on antimicrobials used in the meat industry. My majors have taught me both sides of the problem and I will use this information in a career in food safety. I've wanted to be involved in food safety since my junior year of high school because, at the time, there was confusion about GMOs, antibiotic resistance, and what role the food industry played in food safety. I hope to use my majors to educate the public about food safety practices from farm to table.

What are your plans after you graduate?

After I graduate, I plan on obtaining a job within the food safety field and working for a few years. Then I would like to go to graduate school and focus my studies on problems I encountered during my time in food safety.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time with CALS?

My favorite memory was volunteering at the V Bar V Ranch when I was a freshman because I learned about animal handling, how to administer shots, and castrate cattle.

Have you won any awards, been in any clubs, or partaken in any leadership groups?

I was involved in Chatanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA) and I volunteered with Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) for FFA events.

Did you participate in any undergraduate research opportunities or study abroad?

I have worked in an entomology laboratory for the past two and a half years and I have learned about pesticide resistance in cotton bollworms.

Is there anything you would like to share with the next incoming class of students?

A few pieces of advice are try to avoid buying textbooks brand new, don't rush through your classes, take classes that interest you even if they aren't a part of your major, and join at least one club you really love. Also, try to do an internship or two during your summers because I was never able to due to having summer classes. I rented textbooks off of Amazon and it saved me so much money. Try buying textbooks from other students because most of us are still hanging on to ours.

 

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Kelsey Purdy
Veterinary Science Major
 
Please tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up riding horses and competing in barrel racing at rodeos. During this time, I realized my love for livestock and agriculture and decided I wanted to pursue a career in that field. Due to also loving science, veterinary science seemed like the perfect major for me.

What are your plans after you graduate?

My plans after graduation are to take a semester off to relax and spend more time working at Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids. After that semester I hope to attend veterinary school in fall of 2019 and receive my doctorate in veterinary medicine.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time with CALS?

I enjoy all the opportunities UA provides their students. Through the school, I was able to find an internship at Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids (TRAK), where I was hired on as a staff member after my internship. I have worked there ever since and love all the people I get to meet and help there. If it wasn’t for the programs set up at UA I would have never found TRAK.

Is there anything you would like to share with the next incoming class of students?

Take advantage of the opportunities CALS and professors offer! Building relationships with professors and people at the school will help provide great opportunities.

 

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Maria Johnson
Natural Resources Major
Community Service Award
 
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was raised in Tempe, Arizona. I always thought it would be incredible to work with wildlife, doing fieldwork in isolated areas. However, throughout college, I've had the opportunity to learn so much about people and their relationship to the outdoors. Now, I'm determined to work with people who do not have equal access to the outdoors and make conservation culturally-relevant to everyone.

What are your plans after you graduate?

I am hoping to stick around Tucson a little bit longer and become more engaged with the community outside of the university. I plan on doing community engagement to help establish connections between people and nature.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time with CALS?

The most incredible experience that I have had throughout my college career has been the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program. It has absolutely shaped me into who I am today and it has provided me with the most amazing opportunities to travel around the country, learn, and gain work experience doing anything I could ever imagine.

Have you won any awards, been in any clubs, or partaken in any leadership groups?

I have participated in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, which has been the most incredible opportunity. I have participated as the secretary for the Society of Advancement for Chicano/as and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), been a member of the School of Natural Resources and Environment Inclusive Excellence Committee, the leadership team for 500 Women Scientists POD here in Tucson, and I just led a camping trip for the Girls on outdoor Adventure and Leadership in Science (GALS) Program. I have also been absolutely blessed to have won the Fran Colwell Scholarship in SNRE.

Did you participate in any undergraduate research opportunities or study abroad?

The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program provided me the opportunity to complete my own research project with two graduate students (Larissa Lee and Zach Nemec, also graduating this semester!). I was able to present this research at the Ecological Society of America conference in New Orleans this last semester! And I have also worked in the Dlugosch lab in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department with a graduate student, Joseph Braasch.

Is there anything you would like to share with the next incoming class of students?

Take advantage of everything, but maintain a practical balance. Always take care of yourself. Nourish your body, mind and soul. Never underestimate the importance of self-care.

 

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Mely Bohlman
Environmental Science and Spanish Major
College Outstanding Senior Award
 
Please tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a Tucson-native. Although my childhood bedroom window faced the Rincon Mountains, I've learned to love the trails and mountain ranges all over Tucson. I was inspired to study Environmental Science ever since I took AP Environmental Science in high school and realized the dire need for this field of study. Although my love for nature didn't come until later in life, I am committed to studying and protecting it with my career and lifestyle. I've always wanted to work for the National Park Service and pursue a PhD in the Amazon rainforest.

What are your plans after you graduate?

I am pursuing an accelerated master's degree in environmental Sscience at the UA. I'm hoping to continue with a master's degree in Latin American studies, a doctoral degree and a Fulbright in my near future.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time with CALS?

My favorite memory from being in CALS has been the cumulative experiences I've had, studying abroad in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest. This has ultimately shaped my career path and guided me such that I am able to apply and pursue both of my degrees.

Have you won any awards, been in any clubs, or partaken in any leadership groups?

I have been fortunate to have won many awards in my time at UA. My proudest awards to date are an Honorable Mention for the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSFGRFP) and the Celebration of Excellence award from UA’s Hispanic Alumni Club (UAHA). I've been in 2 clubs: SWES club and Plant Science club. The leadership group that I've invested in is the Dean's Leadership 50.

Did you participate in any undergraduate research opportunities or study abroad?

I participated in a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates program (NSF REU) at Millbrook, NY and I have studied in Dr. Monica Ramirez-Andreotta's lab for more than three years. I've studied abroad twice in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest and in Brazil. All of these amazing experiences have allowed me to figure out what I love and shape my passions.

Is there anything you would like to share with the next incoming class of students?

Find out what you love and invest your time and energy doing them. College is an exciting time of exploration and self-growth. Make the most out of your four years.

 

Congratulations Fall class of 2018! We are so proud of you and excited for your future endeavors!

 

 

*Students (Bryan Blue, Karin Floyd, Antonio Guitérrez Jaramillo, Nicolas Kotchou, Birgitte Lie, Gabrielle Russel, and Guillermo Melendrez) were honored during the Outstanding Senior Award Luncheon but interview responses are unavailable for them at this time.