CNAS Freshman Scholars Program


RISE Scholar Spotlight 2018

Our Scholar Spotlight page highlights the work of UCR students who have participated in the Research in Science and Engineering (RISE) summer program. In RISE students earn $5,000 while conducting undergraduate research with a faculty mentor on campus. At the end of RISE, these students present their research at the RISE Symposium to UCR students, staff, faculty, and even RISE donors.

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 A picture of Carol Wann, a RISE Scholar from 2018, smiling in her blue UCR lab coatCarol Wann

Carol is a 2nd year Biology major at UC, Riverside. Her involvement with CNAS extends well beyond academics and research, as she is both the president of Shadow MD and a CNAS Ambassador. Her involvement with undergraduate research began as an interest in exploring science topics outside of her biology major, with a particular interest in chemistry. This is what brought her to Dr. Yadong Yin's chemistry lab, which focuses on nano particles.

Carol's project focuses on synthesizing calcium carbonate to create micro lenses. Micro lenses are used in many forms of technology, from laser cameras to biomedical equipment. The synthesis process that she is studying creates micro lenses both easily and affordably.

When asked what advise she has for prospective RISE Scholars, Carol strongly encouraged students to explore potential labs as soon as possible. The sooner that students do this, the easier it will be for them to find a lab that's a right for them. This is crucial for RISE Scholars to get the most out of their experience.





A picture of Louis You, a RISE Scholar from 2018. Louis is sitting at his desk, in his blue lab coat, looking at the camera with a microscope in front of him

Louis You

Louis is a 2nd year Plant Biology major in our college. He is part of various organizations on campus, and is a passionate volleyball enthusiast. His faculty mentor Dr. Venugopala Gonehal was his NASC 093 instructor, and it was from this seminar that Louis was inspired to pursue research in Dr. Gonehal's lab. This lab focuses on the study of stem cells in plants, which strongly aligned with Louis' major and scientific interests.

Louis' project focuses on studying proteins (or "transcription factors") that bind DNA sequences together, a process that activates stem cells. This study will shed light on what parts of  transcription factors activate the stem cells, and the overall process of stem cell creation.

His advice to prospective RISE Scholars is to always be active and in search of research opportunities. There are many ways for students to connect with prospective mentors and enter research labs, and students must play an active role in finding these opportunities.





A picture of Gina Zhuo, a RISE Scholar from 2018. Gina is sitting in front of a large green bush with white flowers, where she does field work in bubble bee research

 Gina Zhuo

Gina is a 3rd year Biochemistry major in CNAS. She is involved in numerous organizations, such as American Medical Student Association, Phi Delta Epsilon, and STEM Pathways. She was drawn to Dr. Hollis Woodard's lab by the positive energy of the space, and their critical work in bubble bee conservation.

Gina's project involves the study of bee socialization. Specifically, she is studying the phenomenon of queen bees laying eggs faster in the company of worker bees versus queens who lay eggs in isolation. She is studying what aspects of this phenomenon are physiological, social, and/or both.

Her advice to future RISE Scholars is to learn to be comfortable and confident in reaching out to potential faculty mentors. She believes that faculty connections can be made in multiple ways, from office hours to faculty mixers, and that faculty are often available to communicate with students.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Department Information

CNAS Freshman Scholars Program
1223 Pierce Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5326
Fax: (951) 827-2243
E-mail: cnasscholars@ucr.edu