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Michelle Lopez

Undergraduate student majoring in Science with a minor in Biology and Chemistry who wants to become an Optometrist. 

Striving & Thriving at VCU talks to Michelle about what it means to be a STEM student, where she prefers to study, what she'll miss from her undergrad years, and more!

 

An interview with Michelle

What does it mean to you to be a STEM student?

To me, being a STEM student means someone that can become an inspiration. Someone that can be a motivator. Someone that can bring a brighter future to the world. You never really know what we can discover. I just found out recently that we have a researcher here that discovered the way the heart moves and beats and it is just amazing that that came from VCU. Being a STEM student really means those people that can open doors to something that can make our future better.

Do you prefer to study on campus or at home?

I like studying more on campus. Since I am a commuter, for me when I come on campus and I go to the library and study I have that quiet space. I am in my own bubble. I am able to concentrate on what I want to do. When I go home, it is my time to leave school behind, be with my family, and relax. I do not have to worry about anything school wise.

Do you have any advice for minoritized students in STEM?

Keep going. Keep pushing. It is hard. We do not always have someone there to represent us but I feel like the more minorities coming in, the more we are able to help each other become a community. We are able to help each other encourage everyone to become better, to keep going forward and working hard. All of that hard work will be paid off. It is not easy. Putting in the hard work so that in the end everything pays off. Who knows who you will become? You could become someone that all the minority students can look up to.

Are you going to miss anything from your undergrad years?

I'm going to miss the vibes that this campus brings, especially spring and summertime when everyone is outside and people are meeting. While at VCU I joined the LSA club and it was amazing watching people come together. You learn who you are as a person, how you can relate to each other, and everyone is very open to meeting new people. There are so many different types of students here that you can meet a friend group where one does art, one does science, one does business, and they all come together as an amazing dynamic. I don’t see that on a lot of other campuses.

What about biology interests you the most?

I would say the cellular aspect of it. I took one cellular molecular biology class with Dr. Smith, she is amazing. The smallest details about the world and our bodies just seem so interesting. I really do like biology because of her.