STEM Punk Minute: Fernando De La Torre

Picture of Fernando De La Torre

Fernando De La Torre, Microbiology Student

Name: Fernando De La Torre

Major: Microbiology
School: San Diego Mesa College, UCLA (Fall 2015 Transfer Student)

Why did you choose a STEM major?

I always liked science, but I didn’t pursue it until something caught my eye. It wasn’t something that I immediately wanted to do. I took human anatomy and physiology. Then I took a microbiology course, and I really enjoyed the subject. I felt that I could contribute to society by doing research in antimicrobials.

Have you ever considered leaving your STEM major?
No, not anymore. The only problem I ever had was that everyone else wanted to be a doctor. When everyone wants to do something, it’s easy to believe that you want to do it too, when in fact you might like something else. My biology professor said that I had a way of explaining concepts that made it easy for others to understand, and that I understood concepts well. This helped me decide to follow the PhD route or the MD/PhD route.

What keeps you motivated to stay in STEM?
There are classes that don’t come as naturally to me but they are overshadowed by the ones I like, biology and chemistry. It’s not that I don’t like math and physics. I work hard in those classes because I know they will help me be a better researcher in what I want to study.

What is your favorite study habit?
I like studying in libraries. I like quiet places and tidy places and places where I can have a cup of coffee. My room is where I have all my papers about.  My room is where I go to sleep. I don’t like to study there.

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.

You may also like...