Featured Ambassadors


Featured CNAS Ambassadors


Norint Tung - 4th Year, Chemistry

First of all, I am honored to have been chosen as a CNAS Science Ambassador of the
Month, this organization is truly a great one! Reminiscing on my experiences, first
stepping foot on UCR’s campus, I had already met the people whom I would call my
friends forever. Throughout my four years at UCR, I continued to meet many others, and
once I graduate and leave UCR, I will know that all those who I encountered will always
be with me, as we all formed a new family together at this campus. Furthermore, it has
been such a great experience learning from wonderful professors and taking their lovely
exams, it is always exciting to go to lecture, especially on exam days. Additionally, it was
an amazing opportunity to have been able to participate in the many organizations at
UCR’s campus. I gained a great deal of knowledge, friends, and fun from participating in
Future Pharmacists Interested in Learning Leadership Skills (Future P.I.L.L.S.)
pre-pharmacy student organization. Another organization that I have enjoyed being apart
of is this CNAS Science Ambassador program. Being an ambassador for this program
has given me the chances to engage with the Riverside community, at UCR CNAS
events, and off-campus events such as at local high schools. This allowed me to interact
with many students, faculty, and staff within and outside of UCR! I will truly miss UCR
and everything that I got out of it. I look forward to returning as an alumni!


What's your favorite thing to do at UCR?
My favorite thing to do at UCR is simply just talking to the people here. This includes
friends, professor’s, staff, anyone really, because everyone is so friendly!

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
I see myself in a pharmacy residency program 5 years from now.

Favorite hangout area on campus?
My favorite hangout area on campus is the Health Professions Advising Center (HPAC

How are you feeling right now?
I’m feeling pretty happy right now. I am excited to graduate and move onto the following
chapter in my life. Once again, I will miss everyone I met here, but overall I’m happy at this

Alina Santos - 4th Year, CMDB

I consider my UCR experience to have started when I received my acceptance in attending the university. As a transfer student, there were several concerns that I had while choosing the university to pursue the remainder of my undergraduate career. One being the idea that transfer students have only two years to accomplish their personal, professional, and academic goals in addition to getting acquainted with the campus. It was important to me that the university of my choice acknowledged that difficulty, thus providing resources and opportunity to those incoming students. Upon my acceptance, I was sent countless emails detailing the opportunities present at UCR and subsequently learned about the diverse representation shown through their research, outreach, students, and faculty. It was quickly evident that UCR's mission aligned with my own, and I moved from the bay area to riverside in the summer of last year. Since I completed my lower division classes prior to transferring to UCR, I was able to use my first year to take upper division biochemistry classes that I genuinely found interesting and became actively involved in research. Currently, I am a research assistant in Dr. McCole's biomedical lab at UCR's School of Medicine where we study the permeability and regulation of the intestinal epithelium when subjected to inflammation. In this sense, his research revolves around restoration of barrier function to ensure proper immune response and interaction with intestinal microbiome to protect it against pathogen invasion. Though I love being involved in research, my other passion is to provide support in the communities on and off campus. I'm a STEM Peer Mentor through the STEM Connection Program, which provides resources, support, and research opportunities for incoming transfer students. I am also one of the Co-Directors for SISTERS which encourages middle school girls to pursue STEM careers in addition to mentoring them on the importance of women's health, building self-confidence, and overcoming stereotypes. Another Co-Director, Sarah Fraz, and I were able to coordinate an event that incorporated our shared love for medicine while introducing the girls to UCR's School of Medicine. It was amazing to witness the variety of students and professionals who came to the event to show their support for the girls and outreach. Lastly, I'm a volunteer at the R'Pantry to assist students facing food insecurity and Flying Samaritans which provides healthcare to the underserved in Mexico. When it comes to UCR, it was never about the lack of opportunity but rather which one to invest my time into. Overall, I am so appreciative for all of my experiences at UCR for they taught me professional development and consistently encouraged my personal growth.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
In five years, I hope to have the privilege of attending medical school and progressing toward becoming an oncologist.

What SA event did you enjoy most?
My favorite science ambassador events are those involving transfer outreach! Recently I was invited to attend two regional admit celebrations where I traveled with undergraduate admissions to represent CNAS by presenting my experiences as a transfer student. The first event was located at the San Jose Museum of Art and the second event was hosted at The Grand Hotel in Fresno. Being from the bay area and previously attending Foothill College, I was so appreciative to be able to visit and discuss my decision to move from northern to southern California as well as the unique opportunities on campus. I presented a similar speech in Fresno, and met other student ambassadors from BCOE and SOBA as we shared our experiences with prospective students. Though these regional celebrations were a couple of my favorite events to participate in, transfer outreach in general is my favorite because of the incredible diversity of students we have the pleasure of meeting. I remember the hesitation and stress that such a transition imposes on you during the middle of your undergraduate career. Being able to empower and reassure prospective students that while these obstacles are present, UCR will support you in reaching your fullest potential is very rewarding. I have met the most interesting people during these events while practicing professional development.

If you could try out any additional major, what would you do?
Prior to transferring, I was considering pursuing a minor in physics and have always been interested in biomedical engineering. The innovation and application to medicine has always intrigued me in the sense of understanding the mechanism behind many of the technologies that we often take for granted. The idea of using these concepts to create something tangible like artificial internal organs or prosthetic limb replacements is amazing. I am always inspired by the various advancements in technology as it never ceases to surprise me what collaboration can result in.

Favorite hangout area on campus?
Definitely the STEM Center! The STEM Connections Program was the first organization I joined on campus that provided support toward my academic and personal goals. The community truly made my transfer experience positive as they not only informed me of research and leadership opportunities, but also provided a welcoming atmosphere where I quickly became comfortable. The coordinators as well as my mentor had always encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and remind me of the importance of self love. As a peer mentor this year, I wanted to help ensure that same welcoming and helpful environment that I valued so much, to new students that are hesitant in beginning their life at UCR. The STEM Center is a place I often go to hangout with friends, study, or even nap during my breaks. I don't know how I would get through my week without my daily morning coffee with Marissa!

How are you feeling right now?
Considering the fact that graduation is in two weeks, it's hard to describe what I'm feeling! After graduation, I will be working full time as the lab manager for my lab while completing medical school applications. I'm definitely in disbelief and excited, but also absolutely nervous for the future. However, I am confident I can handle anything that life throws at me next.

Previous Featured Ambassadors-


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