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Meet The Student Programming Board

Daniela Orozco

Daniela Orozco, Co-Chair (Biology)

My favorite college experience is to watch myself and those around me grow. Having the opportunity to become a part of great organizations like NSM Student Leadership has allowed me to grow my self-confidence and push myself to do things that I find important and feel are making a difference. One of my favorite things to have been a part of was the creation of biweekly volleyball and to have students come up and tell me that they appreciated the event.

One of my favorite things to do to de-stress is to work out. After a tiring and stressful week of exams and homework, I look forward to Tuesday nights when I go to night club cardio at the rec. The class is very upbeat, and the instructor really helps you cut loose and focus on having a good time.

I love the school’s spirit and pride. I feel a majority of UH people are, or quickly become, very proud of the school. Everyone is very friendly and gives off very positive energy. On game day, everyone is very excited, even those who aren’t all that into football; we are all just proud Cougars. People are proud of the university and the city of Houston and that makes the environment amazing. You feel wanted at this university, and it’s easy to become a part of its growth.

Tara Thomason

Tara Thomason, Co-Chair (Honors Biomedical Sciences)

My favorite college experience so far was a medical mission trip to Honduras the summer after my freshman year. I met some of my best friends on that trip and had an eye-opening experience that reaffirmed my choice to pursue medicine as a career.

There are a lot more opportunities for involvement in college with all the extracurricular organizations on campus. Instead of joining more than you can handle, pick only two or three that you are passionate about and pour your heart into those. Quality is always better than quantity.

I love that UH is one of the most diverse universities in the United States. I have met a lot of people from different countries and cultures and have become more open-minded and understanding as a result of these interactions.

Zukhruf Ali

Zukhruf Ali (Biology)

Definitely, my first UH football game during freshman year! I honestly didn't expect much before going, but it was such an incredibly fun time! It was so easy to fall into the excitement and intensity of the game, especially with all the cheering and chants in the student section. It makes you feel proud and excited to be a Coog.

Doing crafty stuff is always a really easy and fun way for me to destress! There are plenty of cool ideas on Pinterest. I also love watching movies, and getting movie recommendations from people. Or, if it's nice out, sitting by the Cullen Fountain always soothes me.

Studying abroad! I never really had a particular interest in studying abroad when I was in high school, but I was able to participate in a Spanish-language immersion program for 5 weeks in college. I was nervous at first, but it ended up being an incredible experience that I will never forget.

John Asamaoh

John Asamoah (Biology)

UH is a great school for Pre-Med students. There are so many opportunities, organizations, and research opportunities to take part in. The environment at UH is very supportive, and the staff go to great lengths to accommodate students.

My stress usually comes from an upcoming event like a test or a project that is due. If I feel stressed, I usually hang out with friends, eat or go to the gym. After that, I get home and make a plan to complete the task that caused my stress. It's hard to plan when you're stressed, so I deal with the stress first, then plan for the stressor second.

There are a lot of great places to eat around the area. Yes, I know you paid a lot of money for that meal plan, but it won't kill you to eat somewhere else for a change. Also, the Walking Dead has really lost its touch, so don't binge watch the older seasons to catch up.

True Furrh

True Furrh (Environmental Sciences)

I chose to major in environmental sciences because it's a combination of every physical science, with an emphasis on geoscience. Interdisciplinary studies and knowledge are important to get a well-rounded college experience, and my major will prepare me for graduate school no matter what path I choose.

My favorite way to de-stress is to cook at night. My freshman year I baked midnight honey cornbread at least once a week. It's a great way to de-stress, but also it's an excuse to get together with friends or strangers and eat.

My favorite thing about UH is the opportunities that faculty, staff, and more senior students are willing to show you. Professors are more than happy to discuss research, fellowships, and anything else if you're willing to approach them. This is also true for the Office of Undergraduate Research and a multitude of other offices on campus. People here genuinely want to see you succeed, and it's great to be able to feel that.

Kevin Nguyen

Kevin Nguyen (Honors Biomedical Sciences)

My favorite part about UH and the city of Houston is the diversity. There are so many different cultures, ethnicities, and religions gathered in the area that it allows me to learn so much about the world. Because there are so many different and interesting people to meet, I am always eager to make new friends! The diverse cuisine options are always a plus as well!

When life gets too intense, my two favorite things to do to relax are going for a long run and enjoying a nice meal with friends and family. Although it can get hot in Houston, the constant physical exertion provides a nice release from all the mental stress and stimulation. As for a nice meal, distracting yourself from your worries surrounded by good people and good food is a simple way to enjoy life.

My Human Situation professor, Dr. Jacob Mills, had a huge impact on how I viewed the world. He taught me so much about evaluating my own beliefs, to make sure they were rational and make sure I could defend them. But, the most important skill I learned was how to think critically and logically.

Akash Ramesh

Akash Ramesh (Biochemistry)

There is no other campus that is really like UH for many reasons. The first is the most obvious: diversity. I mean that in more than just ethnicities. There are so many people that have different experiences here on campus. I love hearing about all these stories, and how they all affected people in the past. The next is research. There are not many places that actually are relatively cooperative in their research, which is great to see. I can't wait to see how far UH will go because of this. Lastly, I would say that the faculty are always trying to find ways to help the students here, and that is a refreshing outlook that I have not seen on other campuses.

I realized recently that I will never know where I will be in 10 years. Although I have always wanted to be a pediatrician, in the recent years, I have been able to focus a little more on what I hope to do. I have slowly wanted to start specializing in engineering to see what type of devices I can create to help in the world's mission to cure cancer. I suppose for now that is where I see myself in 10 years: in the mission to cure cancer, and hopefully, in medical school.

I don't suppose that there is just one thing that I do to destress. I have found that I am my best when I try to balance my life between physical activity, creativity, and logical reasoning. I do this primarily by engaging in a variety of actions such as martial arts, video editing, dancing (not competitively), playing instruments, and reading new genres.

Cassandra Ramirez

Cassandra Ramirez (Biochemistry)

What I love most about Houston, as well as UH, is the people. No matter what situation you're in there is always someone to lend a helping hand. It's truly a community that supports one another.

When I'm stressed, my favorite thing to do is make some mac and cheese and watch Netflix. Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food for me. Combine that with a good show to binge-watch, and just like that, my stress floats away. When I'm extra stressed, I like to do a face mask and pamper myself a bit.

If I could tell my freshman self one thing it would be that it’s okay to make mistakes. There's so much fear going into college that one mistake will ruin your whole experience, but in reality, the mistakes are what you learn from. They make college memorable and fun.

Ivie Rocha

Ivie Rocha (Biology)

I decided to become a biology major because of how inclusive it is of all the other sciences. Also, as a pre-med student, I knew it would help prepare me for medical school. I recognized that biology alone would not be sufficient, so I decided to minor in Medicine and Society. With this minor, I've learned so much about the humanity aspect of medicine and how it is just as important as the science of medicine.

Don't be afraid to try new things and meet new people! Go introduce yourself, sit next to someone new! Being a student at UH is an amazing experience because of how diverse it is. You get to learn something new every day, from both your professors and your peers!

My favorite thing about Houston is that it's home. I was born and raised here. When the time came to pick a college, there was only one obvious answer: the University of Houston.

Brook Runyon

Brook Runyon (Geology)

As a geology major, I go on a lot of trips to do field work for class. My absolute favorite memory here at UH was when we all loaded up and drove out to Big Bend National Park to camp for a week. It was amazing to see what I have been learning applied in the real world surrounded by people I have a great time with.

My college experience has been better than I could have ever hoped for. As an average student in high school, it was hard to imagine I would be passionate about anything or even half good at it. Now, I am working on a degree that I love and have plans for even more exciting things coming up.

If I could tell my freshman self anything it would be – some of it sucks, just get through it. I love my degree, but some of the class work is just terribly boring and that can make it feel like the sky is falling. I have learned the best things are on the other side of hard work. Some of it you just have to get though, and I promise it’s worth it.

Cindy Tran

Cindy Tran (Chemistry)

The thing I love the most about Houston is the FOOD. I don't think anyone can disagree when I say that nowhere else serves food as diverse and as authentic as we do right here (not even Austin)!

Hopefully? Just happy and content wherever I am or whatever I'm doing.

The coolest-sounding answer would be something like I go skydiving or cliff jumping, with the wind in my hair, worries aflutter in the wind. The most realistic answer is that I like to go home and knit scarves for my dog.

Fei Ye

Fei Ye (Biology)

Well, you see, I can be a very indecisive person sometimes. In the span of a year, I was a biology major, a chemistry major, and then a physics major. Because I just couldn't settle for one, I became a biochemical and biophysical sciences major. With this pathway, I can pursue all of my interests at once!

Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things! As a freshman, I was very reserved, and I didn't feel comfortable enough with my new environment to pursue any of my interests. Now, I feel like a year of opportunities has passed me by, and I didn't do enough to take advantage of it. If I could restart my freshman year and seize every opportunity I got, I definitely would.

Academics in college can be very rigorous and frustrating sometimes, so de-stressing is a great way to keep your mental health intact. Whenever I need a break from schoolwork, I listen to music and take walks around campus. Hanging out with friends and watching your favorite shows are also good activities to keep your stress levels low while maximizing the amount of fun you have.