Spring 2024 Student Achievement Spotlights

Several of our students have been accepted into summer programs or taken jobs that will start in Fall. Here are a few highlights.


Sabrina Ansari

Geology scholar Sabrina Ansari has been accepted into the M.S. in Geological Sciences program at Central Washington University. She will be working with Dr. Hannah Shamloo on two potential projects. The first one is starting research on Goat Rocks, which is an extinct Cascade volcanic complex. They would be using zircon geochemistry to understand magmatic sequences and eruption events. Research like this has never been done on a Cascade volcano and would be the first of its kind. Another project would involve Mount Baker, which is a high threat, active volcano. They would be trying to understand its timescale eruption triggers using diffusion chronometry in crystals. These projects will be using geochemistry of crystals, petrologic modeling, lab techniques, and lab equipment to help further her research skills and prepare her for a PhD or a job with the USGS. Sabrina is so excited to start research pertaining to volcanology, she has dreamed of doing this since she started school back in 2020.

Candice De Anda

Geology scholar Candice De Anda was accepted to the Astronomy and Planetary Science Ph.D. program at Northern Arizona University. She will be working with Dr. Alicia Rutledge on glacial sediment samples from Sweden as analogs to Mars environments. They will be investigating the composition, formation, and morphology of these glacial sediments to help piece together the cryospheric history of Mars and determine the future of habitability on the planet. Candice is ecstatic about being accepted to this program. Never in a million years would she believe that she would one day get to live her dream of studying Mars and other planets! METRIC has helped give her the tools and resources needed to get here.

Natalia Gutierrez

Geology scholar Natalia Gutierrez will be attending Cal State San Bernardino in the fall to start her master’s program in Geology! She will be working with Dr. Codi Lazar on an experimental clumped isotope geochemistry project. She will be creating simulations of methane production in underwater hydrothermal vent systems to better understand sources of methane by using double-substituted and doubly-deuterated isotopologues of methane. This is a collaborative project with the University of Maryland and the Carnegie Institution of Science which she will visit to see how the samples will be run through the Panorama mass spectrometer. Natalia is excited to attend San Bernardino because their Geology department is amazing, and they have the San Andreas fault running right behind the science buildings! She is also glad that she will be able to stay in SoCal with her family and friends!

Polito Walters

Geology scholar Polito Walters will be working on his master’s degree in Geological Sciences at New Mexico State University in the fall. He will be studying the generation of large-volume silicic magmas from the Afro-Arabian large igneous province. He is excited to focus his time and efforts towards a project such as this and to better understand the complexities of this igneous province.

Mathematics and Statistics

Miontranese Green

Mathematics scholar Miontranese Green was accepted into the IPAM Research in Industrial Projects for Students (RIPS) summer program, located on the UCLA Campus. In this program, she will collaborate with a team of three students on a project sponsored by one of IPAM's industrial partners that will apply mathematics sciences (and related disciplines) to solve real-world research projects proposed by sponsors from industry or the public sector. Past Industry sponsors have included: The Aerospace Corporation, AMD, Google, GumGum, HRL, IBM, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Meta, and Roswell Biotech. METRIC has played a pivotal role in equipping her with the necessary knowledge to find research opportunities and navigate the application process for prestigious summer programs like RIPS. The guidance from METRIC has been instrumental in helping prepare her application materials effectively. In addition, the continuous support and encouragement from METRIC have fueled her drive to actively seek out research opportunities, ultimately leading her to this exciting new chapter in her academic and professional development. She is incredibly grateful for this opportunity, especially as a graduating senior when research opportunities can be limited. While her previous two summer programs focused on academic research, RIPS offers her the chance to engage in research with industry partners, aligning perfectly with her long-term goals of pursuing a Ph.D. in Statistics. This experience will provide invaluable exposure to both academic and industry research realms, bringing her closer to my aspirations. Building on her past achievements, such as receiving the Best Insights award at the 2023 OC Biostatistics Symposium due to her research at the USC LA's BeST program, she feels well-prepared and confident in her ability to excel in this new endeavor, thanks in part to the support and guidance from METRIC along the way.

Keanu Keopimpha

Mathematics scholar Keanu Keopimpha has been accepted to the Big Data Summer Institute research program at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. This program introduces undergraduate students to the intersection of big data and human health — a rapidly growing field that uses quantitative analysis to help solve scientific problems and improve people's lives. He will choose to pursue one of the three projects involving cancer data science, data mining and machine learning in healthcare data, and genomics. The support from METRIC, which introduced him to these research opportunities and guided him through the application process was invaluable in his successful application period.


Chase Owen

Physics scholar Chase Owen will be joining the U.S. Navy's NUPOC program after his graduation in Spring 2025. He will be working on nuclear reactors that power the Navy's ships. Chase currently works at UC Riverside helping to build a calorimeter that will be used in the new particle collider (EIC) being built in Brookhaven, NY. This summer, Chase will be working at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Berkeley, CA. Chase is elated that he will be using his skills in nuclear/particle physics to contribute to the safety of the United States. METRIC has helped give him the freedom and resources needed to get there.

Jose Pineda

Physics scholar Jose Pineda has been accepted to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's (SAO) Summer Intern Program in Cambridge, Massachusetts from June 2 to August 10. He was also accepted from the Caltech LIGO SURF program. His summer research project will be based on the Energy Extraction via Magnetic Reconnection in a Rotating Black Hole with a Negative Spacetime Curvature. METRIC has played a crucial role in his ability to find and apply to these opportunities. Without the financial aid of METRIC, he would need to work, leaving him without much time to seek out opportunities and much less going through the process of applying. METRIC has allowed him to fully devote his time to school and pursue his research goals.

Jandrie Rodriguez

Physics scholar Jandrie Rodriguez will be attending Syracuse University's PhD program in Physics in Fall 2024. She is currently interested in working with the Gravitational Experimental Physics group. She is very excited for this opportunity as it has been a long-time goal of hers to attend a PhD program and study subjects that align with my interest in gravitational physics. METRIC was a crucial support system to reach her goal and in molding her to be the person she is now. With the benefits from METRIC, she is certain that she is ready for research at a graduate level and can maintain her own support system along with providing a supporting space for others.

Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Oswaldo Olson

Computer Science Scholar Oswaldo Olson was accepted to New Mexico Cybersecurity Center of Excellence's Research Experiences for Undergraduates, where he will be engaged with cutting-edge research in cybersecurity. Currently in his third year, Oswaldo is interning at two tech companies. One of them is with Pacific Gateway, working collaboratively with the city of Long Beach to prioritize problems, identify powerful solutions, and manage for results that improve community. The other one is with LA-tech, learning how to prevent cybersecurity attacks and use of AI. It is because METRIC and the mentors, Oswaldo learned about the REU program he was accepted in. The support he has received from METRIC, even after just one semester, has been so invaluable in getting him closer to his goals.