Lucydalila Cedillo, Animal Science Major, graduated in Spring 2016. She is the recipient of the 2016 University Medal. The University Medal recognizes a graduating senior for excellence in undergraduate studies, outstanding community service and the promise of future scholarship and contributions to society. She has accepted an offer of admission to Harvard University’s Biological and Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program.
Click here to read her amazing story from growing up in a tough neighborhood to being accepted as a PhD graduate student at Harvard University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
What is your current profession?
I have accepted an offer of admission to Harvard University’s Biological and Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program and will gain the foundation of knowledge I need to pursue my dream of becoming a professor at a research institution.
What do you remember most about UCD Animal Science?
It is impossible to list just one. I remember the moment I found my passion for animal genetics when Dr. Famula explained the genetic mechanism underlying coat color in Labrador retrievers. I thoroughly enjoyed the diverse amount of material covered in my animal science courses and the wide range of research opportunities that were available. I absolutely loved the Fall and Spring BBQs (with delicious tri-tip!) and volunteering at the Animal Biotechnology Booth on Picnic Day. What I cherished the most were the friendly people in the department. I remember interacting with very approachable faculty members and learning much more beyond lecture material, and the staff at the Animal Science Advising Center were more than willing to help with any issues I faced.
If you were just starting at UCD now, what would you tell yourself?
Never be afraid to ask questions. The door of opportunity can only open if you take the time to knock.
Anything else you would like to share?
One valuable lesson I learned early on was to stop memorizing my way through college. Take the time to truly understand concepts and find ways to connect ideas from different courses; it will definitely help you in the long run and you will gain a much greater appreciation for your education. And always keep this in mind: the greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph!