STEM Role Models

Profile photo of Anthony Garcia:Anthony Garcia

I grew up in Desert Hot Springs California where I lived quietly with my small family while deciding what to do with my life. I started my first gen college education at Crafton Hills College where I studied chemistry. After I decided that I wanted to transfer into the UC System, I focused hard on my school work to fulfill my transfer requirements in my short time at Crafton. In 2018, I moved from home to UC Merced in the Central Valley where I became an undergraduate researcher through the UC LEADs and NASA sponsored research programs. I worked on research in photocatalysis and nanoparticles which I won Top Honors for at the 2019 UC LEADs Research Symposium in UC Santa Cruz and a Leadership Award in the 2020 symposium at UC Irvine.

In the summer of 2019, I was able to conduct research at Berkeley after being hosted by the UC LEADs and NERDS programs. It was there that I realized that I really wanted to do graduate school and thankfully, I learned a lot that summer about how to go through that process with other students in the UC system. Before I graduated UC Merced, I also co-authored two publications with my research group, presented research in Hawaii at the 2019 SACNAS conference, and obtained the Outstanding Student Award from the chemistry department there.

Today, I am a chemistry graduate student here at Berkeley. When I am not working on my research with droplet chemistry or teaching the next generation of chemistry undergraduate students, I like to watch history documentaries, go bowling, or just relax with friends in various online or in-person activities.

The people and connections I made through NERDs have left the most impact on me after my time there as a summer visiting scholar. NERDs provided me with the opportunity to meet with students from across the UC system through their summer program.

The graduate students I got to connect with through NERDs were of invaluable help to me as I begin preparing to apply to competitive graduate school programs the following fall. With their help, I was able to drastically improve my graduate school applications and learn more about graduate school through their unique perspectives.

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