Photo of Claris Garzon, Undergraduate

Passionate, Diligent, Creative

MCAT Prep Scholars Program, Hutto Patterson Fellow

Hello my name is Claris Garzon I am a transfer student double majoring in Integrative Biology and Psychology and minoring in Biological Engineering. I am a NERDS student program coordinator for the Hutto Patterson fellows and a member of the NERDS MCAT Prep club. I love working with NERDS along with the other student coordinators and our amazing mentor! Least to say, my passion for learning lies in the STEM field. I have always been very involved on campus being part of the ASUC when I first started Cal as well as being part of a themed program housing for Latino students, which allowed me to learn a great deal about myself and what it takes to be successful in college. Thanks to the Hutto Patterson fellowship, I have been able to create a social welfare project from scratch and instill it into a medical brigades program’s curriculum to allow children from other third world countries become aware of their resources and possibilities available to further their education careers.I have always been intrigued by copious aspects of biology and medicine and found that I wanted to be able to do something that would leave a positive contribution on this Earth for generations to come, which is why I am hoping to become a professional in the healthcare field of medicine so that I can work with patients, but also contribute to new medical discoveries. I hope to be able to leave a positive impact on this world and create a society where more minorities students like myself can succeed and achieve their full potential career goals. On top of being a student and an active NERDS member, Biology Scholars Program member I am also working in a research lab, doing a clinical internship at La Clinica de la Raza psychiatric department, and love to dance Zumba and Hip Hop on my free time.

I am currently a Research Assistant in the Berkeley Social Interactions lab under the psychology professor Dacher Keltner specifically working with the Graduate Student Jia Wei in running experiments for the Project Awe. We are currently at the stage of gathering participants to run experiments on and once we have collected all necessary participants, we will move on to phase 2 to analyze the results and work on submitting for publication for the Journal of Social Psychology along with other Psychology journals. I also was a summer research assistant and translator working with the Emotion and Emotion Regulation Lab with graduate student Phoebe.

I would love to pursue a Masters in Biological Sciences, possibly a program in Biological Engineering or Global Medicine and then go on to medical school to obtain my MD or MD/PHD program. My main goal is to just continue down the path of Education and just continue learning in hopes that one day I will know enough to make a positive contribution to the area od medical research and ultimately be able to impact many people’s lives through biological engineering discoveries and patient care.

Summer of 2016 I studied Physics abroad in England, but would love to pursue research labs that are more biological/chemistry emphasis so that I can start working specifically in the ideal type of lab that I am interested in for graduate school.


“NERDS has impacted all aspects of my life as a student as well as developing professional. I would not be who I am today if it were not for the magnificent guidance, unconditional support and financial/educational resources that NERDS has developed for me. Thank the MCAT Prep program, I have been able to gain some great information about Medical school and the process of getting admitted including field trips, guest speakers and a free summer MCAT prep course. Additionally, being a a Hutto Patterson Fellow, I have been able to make my dreams of creating a social welfare project a reality as I am the coordinator for this program and make sure that the other fellows are also being able to create these amazing projects that will help enrich the community. Financially, NERDS has made me be able to not need have to work two jobs, allowing me to be able to focus more on my studies to be a more successful student. Thanks to their professional development programs, I have gotten my professional headshots taken, created a LinkedIn profile and have learned what learned how to better prepare for graduate school as well as tutoring in all the STEM classes! Thanks NERDS for being the best program on campus for me to succeed!
Everyone in NERDS has always been so pivotal to my success as a student with their inspiration, motivation and the tremendous financial help this program has provided for me. NERDS is truly a crucial part of my education and success here at Berkeley and don't know what I would do without their amazing support in all aspects of my professional and educational development!”

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