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Trainee advocates equal access to education

Trainee Achievements

Trainee advocates equal access to education

UCR ChemGen IGERT trainee Thanh Thu (Theresa) Dinh is scheduled to complete her PhD this summer. Theresa's economically disadvantaged family escaped Vietnam by boat in 1981 when she was an infant. In 2006, we recruited Theresa as a high-risk trainee. Although she had GPA/GRE scores below UCR's fellowship standards, she had excelled in a NIH-funded PREP Scholars post-baccalaureate program at the University of Missouri-Columbia and received reassuring letters of recommendation. In addition to her significant research accomplishments in plant epigenetics, Theresa has been an effective advocate of equal access to science education. Her extensive service includes outreach to grades 4-12, facilitation of research experiences to over 20 undergraduates, and excellence as a teaching assistant. For her community service, Theresa received UCR's 2011 Civic Engagement and Leadership Award and the Watkins Commencement Award. Theresa will be the graduate student speaker at our 2011 commencement.