Samantha Rozal

Samantha RozalName: Samantha Rozal

College: College Nine

Department: Environmental Studies

What Award/ Scholarship did you receive?  I received the Richard A. Cooley – Friends Foundation International Award.

What year do you expect to graduate? Spring 2021

Where do you call home?  I’m from the Bay Area in California.

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out?  I took a tour of the campus and it really just felt right. I could imagine myself walking through the forest to go to class and I liked how the campus wasn’t too far from my hometown since I’m very close to my family. Plus, I was really drawn to the environmental studies combined with biology major the school offered. Being able to study environmental studies while in the middle of a forest or right on the beach is really special!

What is your field of focus?  I’m an environmental studies combined with biology major so my focus is definitely in the interdisciplinary side of environmental studies. I think that being able to bridge the gap between scientific inquiry and the socio-political world that these inquiries exist in and affect is really important. 

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz?  I was recently accepted into an Environmental Science and Management Master’s program, so I’ll be starting in that program after I graduate! I hope to be able to continue to do work in interdisciplinary problem solving and find ways that I can use what I learn to serve my community. 

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here?  I think that having the opportunity to work in Dr. Robin Dunkin’s lab to do my senior thesis has been the highlight of my time at UC Santa Cruz because I got to work with an incredible and supportive group of people who were amazing mentors and offered me a lot of encouragement! 

What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz?  Don’t be afraid to ask for help/support whether it be from a family member, advisor, mentor, friend, or anyone else! One of the best things about UC Santa Cruz is how supportive and encouraging people are. It’s a fantastic community of incredible and understanding people and there are so many resources on campus that exist to support students along the way. 

How will this scholarship impact your academic life /research?  I am so honored to have received this scholarship! This scholarship has given me the opportunity to continue my senior thesis work about marine debris and help support the Survey Slug program. The Long Marine Lab Survey Slugs program gives undergraduates hands-on experience with data collection surrounding marine debris and marine mammal standings along with also providing mentorship, community, and the ability to learn more about the Santa Cruz community. My research journey started when I was “Survey Slug” in the program as it’s what inspired me to pursue the research I am currently working on. To be able to continue my work with the program, which is something that the scholarship has helped make possible, is an incredible opportunity that I am so thankful for. 


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