You are here

Testimonials

Student Support of the DEEP Program
The greatest success we have had is with each student one at a time. You can hear in the voice of the students what success looks like to them. In the words of David Alvarez DEEP student:

"I never really had a good counselor before the DEEP program. Now I've been given all the counseling I need. Every time I have questions over the phone or over the Internet they are always there, whether it is on scholarship or internships. The internship really taught me about hands on electronics. Also, I went to the engineering day at UC Santa Cruz last year and got to meet professors there."

DEEP student Anika Dodd tells us,

"DEEP provides a great opportunity to meet other students interested in engineering."

For example,

"I'm planning to go to another meeting, an informal welcome to meet other members of the DEEP program. We can help each other in classes, form bonds and tutor each other, support each other in our classes. I've met people in bioinformatics, electrical engineering, different fields. I met a lot of people during the preview day at UC Santa Cruz.

DEEP Students' Point-of-View


by: Carrol Moran

What began as a month-long internship at the NASA Ames Research Center Research Center in Mountain View has turned into an ongoing job for community college student, Anika Dodds. After her first month, she liked the work so much she asked to stay for a second month. By the time she finished her second month, Anika's work had become so valuable that her mentor, Dr.. Patricia Cowings offered to keep her on 25 hours a week while she goes to school. Anika said, "I'm interested in bio-informatics. The internship gives me an opportunity to do research and learn more about the industry and technology involved."

Anika's internship resulted from her participation in the Developing Effective Engineering Pathways (DEEP) program, a collaboration between the University of California, Santa Cruz Baskin School of Engineering, Foothill and DeAnza Colleges, the Higher Education Collaborative, and the Educational Partnership Center. Funded through a National Science Foundation grant, the purpose of the DEEP program is to increase the number of students, particularly students from underrepresented backgrounds, who become interested in engineering and transfer to a University of California campus and complete their degree.

Anika started out at a four-year college as an athlete but found it overwhelming; she decided to leave and moved to California where she grew up. Since then, she has loved her time at Foothill College where she has tutored other students in computer classes, statistics, and Intermediate Algebra and worked with the Black Student Union and as a student health educator doing health awareness outreach. When asked how she got involved in the DEEP program, Anika recalls, "It was my sister who saw a flier on campus and brought it to me. I was too busy with a job and was kind of nervous about being a part of it, knowing I was overextended already. She told me and kept bugging me until I got into it. I met awesome people as mentors who told me about the program."

A typical day for Anika involves "checking my email to see what projects are going on," discussing things with her mentor, and reviewing data on heart rate, respiratory rates, body temperature, and blood pressure. How much can a community college intern really contribute? This research Anika is doing is on the effect of stresses on the body, such as gravity when astronauts are in space. This research helps prepare astronauts for future space flights, and as Anika notes, "It's really awesome to be a part of it."

She plans to transfer to UCSC next year, and DEEP has helped her to clearly understand the transfer process. Through DEEP, Anika has discovered that "it is not just getting to know about UC Santa Cruz but also about the technologies and the industry." Her advice to other students: "Students should definitely get involved in DEEP. It opens their eyes to engineering…I'm planning to go to another meeting, an informal welcome to meet other members of the DEEP program. We can help each other in classes, form bonds and tutor each other, support each other in our classes. I've met people in bioinformatics, electrical engineering, different fields."

Anika's internship exposes her to research, writing technical manuals, and papers. She even hopes to be published in a journal soon. Five years from now Anika expects to be in a combined M.D. - Ph.D. program. Anika thinks big—ten years from now "I hope be in my career actively involved in medical technology research, immunology, and diseases." There is no doubt that Anika will achieve her goals, and she is just the kind of student that the UCSC Baskin School of Engineering is looking for.

Community college student David Alvarado was six years old when his family moved from Mexico to the United States. "Ever since I was little I liked working with electrical stuff, VCRs, DVDs, anything that had to do with electronics. In school I liked to study mathematics." One day while David was sitting in his calculus class at Foothill College, Ismael Moreno, the DEEP Adviser made a presentation about the DEEP program that peaked David's interest. He knew he was interested in electronics, but he needed help to figure out a pathway.

David's involvement with the DEEP program provided him with advice and information about scholarships and internships. He applied for a $20,000 scholarship through the Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Awards, which enables outstanding UC-eligible junior-level community college transfer students to complete their undergraduate studies at UCSC. Access to a DEEP Adviser has been invaluable to David: "Ismael helped a lot with that [Pister] application. He me gave me some ideas. He helped me think it through…I talk to Ismael and get advice from him to continue on my path in school. Ismael told me what to take, and I followed that path to take calculus, physics, [and] computer programming. When I finished my A.A. and was ready to transfer, he walked me through the application process."

Last summer, David had a DEEP internship at San Jose State University working with micro fluidic chips on light beam detection with Michelle Goedert, a chemistry researcher, and Engineering Professor John Lee. David also learned how to create a presentation about his internship and delivered it to members of the DEEP program and a class at Foothill College. "I practiced the presentation at home and worked on it in class in the summer. I was given a lot of time and a lot of support and was given a lot of ideas about how to organize my presentation and put pictures [in it], so I was well prepared to present."

David describes the advice he received in the DEEP program as "beneficial," including financial aid counseling and transfer preparation. He also visited the UCSC campus, "I went to the Engineering Day at UC Santa Cruz last year and got to meet professors there…[Associate Professor] Ali Shakouri is one of the electrical engineering teachers. It was great to meet people from the department there. I put in my application to UC Santa Cruz and now I am just waiting to hear."

In response to his future plans, David has great ideas: "I want to be an electrical engineer. I see myself working for a private company, developing new televisions or other electronics. I see myself improving the technology of the future."

Additional reporting by Ismael Moreno and Marcella Grant.