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Our College of Science Ambassadors are a group of University of Utah students who are passionate about science and their education. Ambassadors are leaders in our college and help with a wide variety of events, the recruitment of new students, and keeping current students engaged and excited about science.
We host events for all College of Science students throughout the year. Catch us at a Taco Game Night, Dogs & Donuts, or an Involvement Fair to connect with other scientists and find your community on campus!
We facilitate events on campus for high school students from all over the Salt Lake Valley. We’ve had the pleasure of hosting the PATHS Program, several local Boys & Girls Clubs, and other school groups over the years.
Starting in 2022, we mentor first year students in our Science Themed Communities on campus. We provide support and resources to help make the transition to the U as smooth as possible and set our first year students up for success!
One of our favorite opportunities is getting to go out to local elementary and middle schools to do activities or experiments with younger students. We’ve had a blast at STEM and STEAM Days as well as career exploration fairs.
What the Ambassadors Do
- Give private tours of the Science Campus
- Host group visits from local clubs and schools
- Host larger events with STEM activities and games
- Talk one on one about what it’s like to be a science student at the U (email us below!)
- Welcome incoming students at New Student Orientation
- Host student socials and other networking or de-stressing events
- Help find classes at the beginning of each semester
- Mentor first year students on our floor in Kahlert Village
- Answer questions about classes, majors, and more (email us below)!
Follow Us on Social Media!
Stay up to date on everything the ambassadors are up to, like events and activities!
Meet Our Current Ambassadors
Click on the photos below to learn more about each of our Science Ambassadors!
You can reach out to them via email to ask questions or to schedule a one-on-one meeting with them. They can talk to you about:
- Choosing a major or minor
- Getting into research
- Gaining leadership experiences
- Succeeding in classes
- Finding your community on campus
- and much more!
Please don't hesitate to reach out to one of our Student Ambassadors. They are here for you!
AasutoshPhysics │ he/him
AlleyBiochemistry │ she/her
Brian C.Biology │ he/him
ChloeBiology │ she/her
HephzibahBiochemistry │ she/her
MannyMathematics │ he/him
NashMathematics, Physics │ he/him
SaharBiology │ she/they
ShaistahBiology │ she/her
ToriBiology │ she/her
AinsleyChemistry │ she/her
AnikaBiology │ she/her
Brian J.Biochemistry │ he/him
DuaPhysics │ she/her
InezBiology │ she/her
MarcusPhysics │ he/him
RachelBiochemistry, Physics │ she/her
SamBiology │ she/her
SydChemistry │ she/her
VivekPhysics │ he/him
AlexBiology │ she/her
ArnelChemistry │ he/him
CarolineBiology │ she/her
EmmaMath │ she/her
JoshBiology │ he/him
MaryApplied Mathematics │ she/her
RileyPhysics │ she/her
SavannahBiology │ she/her
Sydney L.Biology │ she/her
AlexaBiology │ she/her
AvaBiochemistry │ she/her
CarsonBiology │ he/him
HannaApplied Mathematics │ she/her
MaggieBiology │ she/her
MichelleBiology │ she/her
SahanaMath │ she/her
ShayaBiology │ he/him
TaylaBiology │ she/her
want to see your face up here?
Applications are closed for 2023. If you're interested in applying next year, the application will go live in January of 2024. More info and eligibility details here.
Sign up to be notified when it's available:
- Mechanistic understanding of a model solid electrolyte/electrode interface for advancing electrochemical energy storage applications (R. Weeks)
To mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic climate change as we transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, advanced storage systems are necessary to make intermittent renewable energy sources a viable option. One solution for meeting these energy storage needs involves the use of batteries. However, the lithium-ion battery technology ubiquitous in electronic devices and electric vehicles may be unsuitable for advanced grid storage systems due to concerns about lithium sourcing and safety. In particular, safety issues stem from the use of flammable liquid organic electrolytes and the formation of a poorly defined solid electrolyte interphase which can deleteriously affect battery performance. My research will investigate beyond lithium-ion battery and liquid organic electrolyte technologies in favor of all solid-state sodium batteries. My objective is to develop a multimodal approach to determine the key characteristics of solid/solid interfaces, tailored with controllable interlayers chosen to mediate ion/charge transfer between a nanowire cathode and ionically conducting polymer electrolyte. Such understanding will enable the fabrication of highly efficient and environmentally safe beyond lithium-ion energy storage technologies with tunable interfaces.
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"My interest in medicine stems from my childhood experience."
Dominque Pablito grew up in the small town of Aneth, Utah, on the Navajo Nation, and in New Mexico on the Zuni Reservation. She lived in a four-bedroom house with 13 family members, sharing a bedroom with her mother and brother, and visited relatives for extended stays.
“I spent time with my great grandmother, whose house had no running water or electricity,” said Pablito.
Because her grandparents did not speak English, Pablito learned the Zuni and Navajo languages. Pablito said her father, an alcoholic, came in and out of her life.
“I spent time with his family in the Zuni Pueblo,” said Pablito. “I love the connection that the Zuni have with the land and the spirits of the land.”
With access to math and science courses limited in reservation schools, Pablito convinced her family to move.
“We ran out of gas in Saint George, Utah, where I registered for high school even though my family was unable to find housing,” said Pablito. “During my first quarter at my new school, I slept in a 2008 Nissan Xterra with my mother, brother and grandmother while I earned straight As, took college courses at Dixie State University and competed in varsity cross country.”
Pablito met her goal of graduating from high school in three years, racking up honors and college credits.
“My mother told me I would have to excel in school to get a scholarship for college,” said Pablito. “When I graduated at 15 with an excellent GPA, having taken college courses at night and with exceptional ACT and SAT scores, I was sure I would earn the Gates Millennium Scholarship. It wasn’t enough.”
To compensate, she applied for 15 scholarships and was awarded 12, including the Larry H. Miller Enrichment Scholarship—a full ride.
For Pablito, the transition to college life was jarring.
“It was the first time I had my own bed in my own bedroom,” said Pablito. “I missed being so close to my Zuni culture. I brought small kachina figurines with me and did my best to decorate my room like my old homes.”
Despite her hard work in high school, Pablito was not prepared for college academics and sought help from tutors, professors, and TAs.
“I spent late nights watching tutorials on YouTube,” said Pablito. “College retention rates for indigenous students are exceptionally low, so instead of going home for the summer, I sought out research internships and difficult coursework to keep busy.”
Academics were not her only challenge.
“I started college at 15 and by age 16 I had no parents,” said Pablito. “My mother was abusive and we ceased contact. At 17, I was diagnosed with an adrenal tumor, which pushed my strength to its limits. I never felt more alone in my life.”
For support, she turned to her grandparents.
“Hearing their voices speaking the languages I grew up with helped with my loneliness,” said Pablito. “My grandfather didn’t allow me to drop out of college.”
Pablito also reached out to Indigenous student groups.
“I joined AISES and the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), which connected me with community elders,” said Pablito. “I tutored students in math and science and assisted in teaching Diné Bizaad (Navajo) to students who had never heard the language. Being a part of these communities has been crucial in my success.”
She also credits her research internships with helping her discover her strengths.
“I decided to major in chemistry when I participated in the PathMaker Research Program at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, where I used biochemistry to investigate DNA damage and repair in cancer cells,” said Pablito. “Dr. Srividya Bhaskara guided me through the world of research, helping me earn many awards and grants.”
In the lab Pablito learned the important lesson that failure is inevitable.
“I began to think that science wasn’t for me, until I understood that failure is a part of research,” said Pablito. “What matters is how you handle that failure.”
She had a different lab experience during an internship at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. There she used targeted photoactivatable multi-inhibitor liposomes to induce site-specific cell damage in various cancer cells.
“That’s where my research interest in cancer and molecular biology developed,” said Pablito. “That internship taught me how to effectively present scientific data and how important community can be for the success of Native students.”
Her interest in medicine stems from her childhood experience with the Indian Health Service.
“Many of my elders distrusted going to doctors because most health care providers are white,” said Pablito. “My great-grandfathers’ illnesses could have been treated much better had they visited a doctor sooner. I will use my medical training to improve the care of elders on my reservation by integrating culture, language and medicine.”
In addition to earning an MD in family medicine, Pablito plans to earn a doctoral degree in cancer biology and eventually open a lab on the Zuni Pueblo to expose students to research.
“I want to spark an interest in STEM in future generations of Indigenous scholars,” said Pablito. “I want to give them advantages I never had.”
by D.J. Pollard
American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).
The AISES magazine, People in Winds of Change, focuses on career and educational advancement for Native people in STEM fields. The article below first appeared in the Spring 2020 Issue.
Schedule Builder is the tool you will use to create your class schedule each semester. It is designed to be extremely customizable to give you the best possible schedule based on your preferences. Follow the links below for tutorials and resources to help you take full advantage of Schedule Builder.