In celebration of National Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering (STEM) Day on November 8, Bulldog Bites interviewed four students majoring in STEM-related fields. Read their stories below.
Science: “Don’t be afraid”
Isabelle Samaan ’24
Minor: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Isabelle has been interested in biology for as long as she can remember and has always aspired to pursue a career in medicine. Her fondest memory at the U of R was during an anatomy class over the summer. She recalls, “anatomy was an intense course, but I really enjoyed learning about different structures of the human body and how they work as a whole. During labs we would do a lot of dissections, which really fascinated me. I think this solidified my passion for pursuing a career in medicine!” She advises those interested in STEM to “not be afraid to explore new opportunities. You have time to figure out what you love and don’t love.” After graduating, Isabelle plans to take a gap year to study for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and shadow more medical professionals to gain insight into what specific type of practice she wants to focus on.
Technology: “Stick to it”
Hunter Greer ’24
Major: Computer Science
Hunter fell in love with the creativity involved in computer science after taking a few classes and has been hooked ever since. As a child, he loved learning how and why things worked the way they did.
Hunter says, “STEM is a huge field with several niche opportunities to get involved. My advice is to explore and find something that you are really interested in and stick to it. There will definitely be tough days, and it may feel like it can be impossible to grasp a concept or solve a particular problem, but pushing through and persevering will teach you more about yourself and the particular field you are interested in.”
After graduating, Hunter plans to apply his software skills in the space industry and work for a company like SpaceX or NASA. He hopes to advance space exploration in any way.
Engineering: “Help shape the world”
Enrique Alverde ’25
Major: Johnston—Emphasis of Organized Thought Through Fundamental Systems
After winning a Lego robotics competition in middle school, Enrique knew he wanted to continue learning more about the art within STEM. He enjoys being able to use his analytical way of thinking while at the same time explore creative pathways. He believes, “engineering is when you take all of the math and science principles and apply them to the real world in creative and new ways. STEM has a huge world of possibilities built into just four letters. By utilizing STEM, we can help shape the world in dramatic and positive ways.”
Through family and friends, Enrique heard great stories about the U of R and the Johnston program. After graduating, Enrique wants to take time to travel and gain job experience abroad. He is currently interested in working for a startup or delving into Artificial Intelligence (AI) research.
Mathematics: “Plan ahead”
Sarah Szafranski ’24
Majors: Mathematics and Environmental Science
Minors: Spatial studies and environmental chemistry
Initially drawn by the methodical steps and utilization of different strategies to arrive at one correct answer, Sarah has enjoyed math her entire life. She values the small classes and community-oriented environment at Redlands and has enjoyed her time as a student athlete. Her favorite class at the U of R was number theory because not only was the content interesting, but the challenging atmosphere drove her to do her best.
Sarah advises students interested in majoring in a STEM-related subject to plan ahead. “Classes for STEM degrees often have a lot of prerequisites and need to be taken in a specific order. Talk to a member of the department and make sure you're on top of your classes!”
Sarah plans to gain work experience in the field before pursuing a master's degree.
To learn more about other STEM majors offered at the U of R, click here.