Cal State LA Graduate Pursues Her Passion for Research on the Way to a Ph.D.

Beatriz AguirreAs a teenager, Beatriz Aguirre enjoyed the challenge of figuring out answers to mind-boggling questions and poring over evidence in a crime story to find the solution to a case.

As a Cal State LA student, she used environmental clues to solve ecological mysteries, such as exploring the precise roles of humidity and soil moisture in plant performance during droughts.

Beatriz graduated with a Master of Science in biology from the College of Natural and Social Sciences in May 2020, two years after receiving her Bachelor of Science. She began a Ph.D. program at Cornell University in fall 2020.

“Cal State LA has provided me with plenty of opportunities that have ultimately helped shape both the person and scientist I am today,” she says.

Beatriz, a graduate of Magnolia High School in Anaheim, enrolled at Cal State LA to pursue her youthful fascination with criminal justice. After finding herself drawn to classes in science, she switched her major to biology. She found her calling in plant ecology, which examines the relationships of plants with the physical and biotic environment.

“The field of plant ecology fascinates me because there are still so many unanswered questions and there are so many opportunities to engage in novel research,” Beatriz says.

As the first in her family to attend college, she hopes to mentor the next generation of scientists.

“Being a minority, first-generation college student and a woman in science has shown me the ongoing need for diversity within the STEM,” Beatriz says.

You can support students like Beatriz with a future gift. Contact Jacqueline M. Williams at (323) 343-3075 or jwilliams@calstatela.edu to learn about your charitable giving options.

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