Chemical Engineering :: Elizabeth & Joseph Taft Scholar
No one was more surprised than Ericca, a Chemical Engineering major, when she earned top marks in a humanities course that she was certain she’d fail. “Preparing for quizzes and exams for my History of the People’s Republic of China class didn’t even feel like studying because the material was just so fascinating.” She’s surprised herself further by excelling across all her coursework (including such challenges as object-oriented programming in Java), which has kept her in Provost Honors standing since arriving at UC San Diego. A natural puzzle solver, she enjoys seeing positive outcomes from assessing and analyzing a situation and using the process design skills she’s gained in her coursework. Example: a project in which “we’re attacking the problem of water contaminated with uranium in Navajo territory.” She’s also experienced the satisfaction of applying learned skills to her campus job as a Housing & Dining supervisor.
From the time she was a youngster Ericca has tackled tremendous obstacles head on, such as starting a safer, more stable life for herself as a teenager. “I use the successes and more importantly the failures of myself and those around me in order to be better prepared in the future.” Today she’s preparing for a future with a very personal purpose by steering her education and career toward pharmaceutical manufacturing. “I’m interested in this field because I have seen firsthand what using drugs for the wrong reasons can do to a person. I want to be a part of the process that creates drugs that save lives instead of ruining them. I want to help people get back to normalcy, help them get the best out of life.”