Six graduating seniors and their families were recognized on May 6 at the third annual BUILDing SCHOLARS Center Welcome Orientation held at the Tómas Rivera Conference Center on The University of Texas of El Paso (UTEP) campus alongside 20 incoming students selected for the prestigious BUILD biomedical traineeship sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

Each senior was presented with a silver graduation stole with the BUILDing SCHOLARS and National Institutes of Health Diversity Program Consortium logos embroidered on each side to signify their achievements during their time with BUILD. Two short years ago, these same students were inducted into BUILDing SCHOLARS as part of the 2015–2016 cohort. Cecilia Hinojosa, a 2016 UTEP BUILD graduate and now postdoctoral student in Psychology at Tufts University in Massachusetts, was the first student to graduate from the Center.

Seniors Carlos Portillo and Daniel Chavarria participated in the student panel during the orientation—a session that allows current BUILD students to share their experiences with the incoming students and their parents about BUILD, research, and even the adjustment to college life. When asked about their biggest accomplishments at UTEP, Chavarria referred to his senior thesis. “Seeing the culmination of my work. You know, it really puts it into respective how far you’ve come along, how much you learn, and it makes you feel like you’re part of the scientific community and that you’re making a difference.” BUILDing SCHOLARS is incredibly proud of each of these students and wishes them nothing but the best as they represent UTEP, the National Institutes of Health, and El Paso in all of their future endeavors.

Go Miners!


BUILD Seniors Spring 2017

Daniel Chavarria

Major: Biological Sciences with concentration in biomedical engineering
BUILD Cohort: 2015-2016
Mentor: Thomas Boland, Ph.D.
Senior Research Project: Determination of functional properties and classification of genes in the SLC6 family and whether they are glycine or GABA transporters
GPA: 3.96
What’s Next/Future Goals: UT Austin Doctoral Program in Biomedical Engineering

Dora Galindo

Major: Biological Sciences BUILD
Cohort: 2015-2016 Mentor: Charlotte Vines, Ph.D.
Senior Research Project: CCR7 Effect on Mammary Tumorigenesis Through Dendritic Cell Analysis Using Immunohistochemistry
GPA: 3.34
What’s Next: Pending acceptance as a volunteer in the Peace Corp

Alejandro Sarabia Gonzalez

Major: Cellular & Molecular Biochemistry
BUILD Cohort: 2015-2016
Mentor: Chuan Xiao, Ph.D.
Senior Research Project: Expression and Purification of Brain and Muscle ARNT-LIKE 1 (BMAL1) Protein for Structural Studies
GPA: 3.93
What’s Next: University of Michigan Post-baccalaureate Program

Carlos Portillo

Major: Psychology BUILD Cohort: 2015-2016
Mentor: Dr. Craig Field
Senior Research Project: Emergency Department Healthcare Providers’ Understanding and Skill Level of Alcohol Treatment and Service
GPA: 3.65
What’s Next: UTEP Doctor Program in Health Psychology

Sarah Rodarte

Major: Psychology
BUILD Cohort: 2015-2016
Mentor: Arshad Khan
Senior Research Project: A chemo and cyto-architecture study of the rat arcuate hypothalamic nucleus
GPA: 3.51
What’s Next: Pending responses

Atzimba Casas

Major: Cellular & Molecular Biochemistry
BUILD Cohort: 2015-2016
Mentor: Xiujun James Li, Ph.D.
Senior Research Project: Portable Biochips for Rapid Detection of Multiple Respiratory Diseases
GPA: 3.84
What’s Next: Pending responses

BUILD Congrats 20170831

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