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‘MORE’ education proves vital for students seeking doctorates

Andrade, Guerrero among MORE Programs’ 18 graduates

Brenda Andrade, an organic chemistry graduate, and Angela Guerrero, a double chemistry and biochemistry major, are two of 18 graduating students from Cal State L.A.’s Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) Programs who have recently been admitted into prestigious doctoral programs.

Pictured: Brenda Andrade.

Brenda Andrade

Andrade’s dream to become a researcher was not always clear. She shared that, as a Hispanic woman from a low-income neighborhood, becoming a scientist was a “far-fetched aspiration.”

It was not until she took part in CSULA’s Bridges to the Future, an undergraduate research fellowship offered through MORE, that she felt confirmed in pursuing her passion for science.

Since then she has worked in CSULA Professor Linda Tunstad-Gutierrez’s laboratory studying host-guest chemistry and learning the creative process of scientific research. Starting out as a relative novice, she now helps run the research group and has proven herself as a budding chemist.

Additionally, Andrade has become a role model to children and young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds by volunteering her time to efforts, such as in the University Preparatory Program, the Sally Ride Festival and the “Cal State L.A., Here We Come” event, as well as by providing chemistry-themed demonstrations for Los Angeles Unified School District elementary schoolchildren.

An MBRS-RISE Fellow, Andrade has been accepted to a Ph.D. program at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Andrade’s journey has been one of continued persistence and commitment to her community, and to her own growth as a scientist. For Andrade “earning an education and discovering knowledge” will be her measure of success.

Pictured: Angela Guerrero.

Angela Guerrero

Guerrero, who was admitted to CSULA through the Early Entrance Program, loves science. Professors described her work in research as “outstanding.”

For the past two years, she has been conducting research on the photooxidation of trans-resveratrol in Matthias Selke’s laboratory at CSULA. She recently took home the second-place award from the 26th Annual CSU Student Research Competition. She also received the University’s Phi Kappa Phi honorable mention for her research.

Furthermore, this past summer, Guerrero joined Brian Stoltz’ synthetic organic chemistry research group as an Amgen Scholar at the California Institute of Technology.

Guerrero is also an accomplished violinist, who played for the CSULA String Orchestra. Her passion for music and her community has led her to perform the violin for the elderly and to developing her own holistic approach to the “art of medicine.”

A MARC-U*STAR Fellow, Guerrero has been accepted to Stanford School of Medicine and will be applying in 2013 to Stanford’s dual M.D./Ph.D. program.

“Ultimately, I want to work toward curing disease through drug discovery and development, and hopefully, one day bridge the gap between science and medicine,” she said.

Other MORE Programs M.D.- or Ph.D.-pursuing grads are listed below with their doctoral destinations.

Carlos Anguiano, Washington State University
Eddie Curtis, Georgia Tech
Tram Duong, UC Riverside
David Guzman, Purdue University
Amber Hannah, UC Berkeley
Kevin Linares, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Velveth Klee, UC Riverside
Mecca Madany, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Bertha Martin, University of Iowa
Jessica Ponce, University of Iowa
Michelle Roa, UC Irvine
Diane Rico, University of Washington
Helen Sanchez, UCLA
Tanisha Williams, University of Connecticut
Melo Jean Yap, Emory University
Jose Zamalloa, Princeton University

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Last Update: 06/18/2012