December 9, 2022
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Senior Spotlight: Christina Gonzalez ’22 Aims for Ph.D., STEM Career

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Senior Spotlight: Christina Gonzalez ’22 Aims for Ph.D., STEM Career

Before coming to John Jay College, first-generation student Christina Gonzalez ’22 felt lost. “I wasn’t proud of myself, and had no real sense of direction. That all changed when I came to John Jay College,” says the PRISM (Program for Research Initiatives in Science and Math) student who majored in cell and molecular biology. “When I visited the campus, I immediately felt a real sense of belonging. I loved the College’s diversity and was moved by how caring everyone was, from students to faculty. At John Jay, I discovered my purpose in scientific research.”

Through PRISM, Gonzalez discovered her love of science and was championed by her faculty mentors, Lissette Delgado-Cruzata, Ph.D., and Edgardo Sanabria-Valentín, Ph.D. “Both Dr. Delgado and Dr. E. have been so incredibly supportive,” says Gonzalez. “They encourage us to apply for awards, to speak out about our work, and put ourselves out there in the world.” Prompted by their support, Gonzalez won the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science Award for her innovative breast cancer research. “They provided me such unconditional support and really changed my life,” she adds.

Christina Gonzalez

Do you have a favorite memory from your time at John Jay?
I loved being a mentor in the FEMMS program, which provides mentorship to female students in STEM programs. It was awesome to get to know them, learn about their stories, and provide them with advice on how to best navigate their college journey. I taught them coping mechanisms, meditation techniques, and study methods. Students, especially students in STEM, put such immense pressure on themselves that I think when they hear a junior or senior tell them, “Hey, I’ve been in this situation before myself. It’s okay to take a break and put your mental health first,” they feel a sense of relief.

After commencement, what do you hope to do?
I’m still going to conduct research with Dr. Delgado in her lab. I also want to go to graduate school and earn my Ph.D. My end goal is to be a scientist and develop new treatments and methods for treating diseases. For me, it comes down to wanting to help people. Dr. Delgado has shown me that I don’t have to limit myself and just be a researcher in a lab. I can also develop new programs and be a mentor.

 






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