(Interview and write-up by Kyle Rogers)
Ciara Garcia, a first generation college student, is an undergraduate microbiology student at Arizona State University. She started out as a dental hygiene major at Estrella Mountain Community College but after taking microbiology with a particularly passionate professor, she decided to transfer to ASU. Ciara was born in Oceanside, California but grew up in Surprise, Arizona. Her mother, a small claims court manager, is from California and her father, a house painter, emigrated from Mexico.
Ciara says she hasn’t witnessed a big imbalance as an undergrad, as far as women are concerned. “Biology has pretty good ratios. I’ll probably become more cognizant of it as I move up,” she said. Ciara hopes for greater visibility on the topic of women in STEM, especially women of color. “I hope we can have more frank discussion about maternity leave and pay discrepancy.”
Ciara plans to pursue her PhD in plant pathology and is currently looking at schools, including Cornell and UC-Davis.