STEM Punk Minute: Samantha Barrera

Samantha Barerra, biochemistry student

Samantha Barrera, Biochemistry

Name: Samantha Barrera

Major: Biochemistry
School: San Diego Mesa College, Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program

Why did you choose a STEM major?
I like science. I also knew that there would always be a job that pays well. STEM is where the creators are, and I want to be a pioneer.

Have you ever considered leaving your STEM major?
No, I never doubted that a STEM major was right for me.

What keeps you motivated to stay in STEM?
A lot of respect comes to people who finish a STEM degree. I have a lot of family to take care of. I’m the oldest. I think about my family a lot. And I like the thought of getting paid to do something that I like.

What is your favorite study habit?
I watch YouTube videos and work problems from the book. I also make notecards after each chapter section on which I write a general summary and include the formulas from that section. Then before test time, I use my section notecards to write one big notecard that I can stick in my bag and review anywhere throughout the day.

Sonjiala Jackson-Hotchkiss

Sonjiala (SON-ja-la) is currently pursuing an MS degree in chemistry at UC San Diego. As a member of the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program at San Diego Mesa College, her research in organic chemistry includes the synthesis of fatty acid esters of vitamin C that will be tested for their ability to inhibit glycolytic enzymes. In an additional research project she uses analytical chemistry techniques to determine the composition of World War II era California pottery.

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