Connie Champagne, PhD is the Educational Enrichment and Outreach Programs Director, housing the Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program (BUSP) and Advancing Diversity in Aging Research (ADAR) among other undergraduate research programs. She coaches underrepresented minorities, disadvantaged, and disabled students, supporting them on their journey to succeed with life sciences degrees.
Jennifer La '19
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Tell us about your first generation background. Where did you grow up and what is your family history? What is unique about your story?
My family is part of an ethnic minority group from Vietnam known as the Hoa people, ethnically Chinese people who fled to Vietnam to escape economic hardship and violence during the founding of the Republic of China.
Yilda Korpela '19
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; minor in Public Health
I was born and lived in Oaxaca, Mexico until I was eight years old. My father came to the US in search of a better source of income so he could provide for our family of eight. After years of living in Mexico without my father, my mother decided to follow him and take us all to the United States. My family and I eventually joined my dad and we moved to Santa Maria, California. My father was a field worker and when we arrived to the US my mother and three older siblings joined him.
I am double majoring in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior as well as Psychology. I am also an undergraduate research assistant in the Bales lab at the California National Primate Research Center and am starting a clinical internship at Sutter Sacramento.
Maribel Anguiano '19
Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior
I come from a big, beautiful Mexican family full of resilience and determination. My mother and her family immigrated to the United States when she was seven years old, while my father crossed the border by himself when he was just thirteen. My parents experienced a completely different childhood than my siblings and I ever will. Because education was not valued in their households and there was no support from their schools, my parents did not continue their education past high school.