Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Student Selynda Garza
"Being an IE Pre-Grad Mentor to Chang Jung Chen has had quite an impact on my final semester as a graduate student here at UT. I have always enjoyed teaching and have been a TA in my department for the past three years. Even though I had come to appreciate the aspects of being a TA that were very rewarding, being a mentor to Chen exceeded my expectations. Aside from the research progress that we made together, we were able to have conversations that may have helped me as much as they help him. He would come to me with questions regarding graduate school and I was able to give him the advice that he sought. It was very rewarding to be able to help him in this way because I can still remember being in his position only three years ago.
As a first-generation, minority student myself, it is good to know not only that this mentorship has been made available to students like Chen, but that it is as effective as it is in producing better prepared, more educated graduates.
Chen and I were also the recipients of travel awards through the Pre-Grad Internship program. We are currently making arrangements to attend the American Society for Mass Spectrometry conference in Indianapolis, IN from June 2-7, 2007. This has given us an excellent opportunity to represent UT and present the research we have been working hard on all semester."