On July 27, 2016, 32 CSULB BUILD Associates, along with four graduate assistants and several BUILD faculty and staff, visited the University of California Irvine (UCI) campus to learn about the summer research intern and graduate programs available on the campus. UCI, one of our BUILD Research Partners, helped the Associates see what the campus has to offer graduate students.
Daniel Fabrega, Manager, Graduate Preparation and Recruitment, Graduate Division, led a tour of the campus, featuring such landmarks as the Graduate Resource Center, which is the oldest building on campus, and Aldrich Hall. He welcomed the students with information on research benefits, how to apply to graduate school, and what they’ll need to do to land a summer research position next year.
Several laboratories were also on the tour: Dr. Young Jik Kwon’s biomedical and pharmaceutical lab; Dr. Frances Leslie’s anatomy lab; Dr. Paul Piff’s psychology lab; and Dr. Liz Jarvo’s synthetic organic lab. Associates found these tours of working lab environments helpful in getting a feel for what their life as a researcher might be like. “I’m in the right major,” said one Associate after visiting the psychology lab.
Following the tour, Associates attended a number of presentations by UCI graduate students and faculty. Daisy Reynaga, a CSULB alumna, and Georgia Halkia spoke about the importance of family support in graduate school success – especially if you have children. They fielded questions about living on campus vs. commuting, whether to wait to start a family and more.
Dr. Leslie, UCI Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Dean of the Graduate Division, and Professor of Pharmacology, Anatomy and Neurobiology, spoke about the path to graduate school. She told students to cultivate relationships with professors because letters of recommendation are so important, and you don’t want to ask a professor who barely knows you. She also recommended giving the professors who write your letters a short bio and some highlights of your accomplishments so they can write better letters for you. She even touched on the importance of having a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset.
One Associate remarked how helpful it was to be able to ask the Dean of the graduate school questions. “That’s something not many students have access to.”