Yanai Avila

The most rewarding thing about being a mentor is when people ask me questions because it shows me that people are comfortable talking to me. When I was younger, I was usually too scared to ask people for help and I never approached people to talk to them or ask questions. I found people older than me or more experienced than me to be intimidating. When someone asks me a question, I like to think that I am doing a good job at fostering an environment where everyone can express their thoughts and interests.

Angela Garcia

The most rewarding part of my research experience is that for the first time in my undergraduate career I was able to be the producer of knowledge. I learned first hand about the value of hard work and diligence it takes to enable advancements in my field of study.

Lynn Fenstermaker, Mentor

I’ve served on several graduate student committees and have worked with several undergraduate students. What I find most rewarding is helping the students succeed in their efforts and move on to the start of a good career. Connecting one-on-one with students is a way to help the next generation get at least one step ahead of where I started.

Vaidyanathan (Ravi) Subramanian, Mentor

Materials discovery and devices development to harvest solar energy continues to be a challenge. Eco-friendly and earth abundant elements have a great potential to harvest solar energy. With solar energy: your future is bright!

Hannah Mason, Mentee

The most gratifying part is getting to experience other people’s passions for science and being able to share my own.

Carmen Vallin, Mentee

Mutations, or changes in the DNA can have a variety of both negative and positive implications depending on the context. For bacteria, a little genome flexibility under stressful conditions can go a long way. My research seeks to elucidate a mechanism that allows bacteria to bias mutations to key regions in the genome where mutations might be beneficial under stress while maintaining whole genome integrity.