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2012 Scholars

Cara Riffe

Cara Riffe


Classification: Sophomore
Graduation Year: 2016
College: College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Major: Biology
High School: Lamar Consolidated High School
Hometown: Sugar Land, TX

About Me

I would describe myself as a curious and highly analytical thinker. I enjoy reading and learning about almost anything. I strongly believe in constant improvement, in myself and in others, and constantly raising the bar and pushing the standards of whatever community I am a part of.

Campus and Community Involvement

I am a 2013-2014 rookie member of the Cougar Dolls, UH's official dance team. We perform at all home football games and men's basketball games as well as other spirit events around campus.

Through my former job at the YMCA, I participated in a community outreach program called “Water Wise.” I visited underserved apartment complexes to provide free swim and safety lessons to residents.

I have also competed in triathlons and trained for and ran the Houston Half Marathon in 2012.

Awards and Honors

In high school, I was Captain of my dance team and Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper. I was also named 2010 Algebra II and World History Student of the Year and 2011 US History Student of the Year.

Through audition at HTE Dance Officer Training Camp, I was selected as a 2011-2012 member of the Dance Academy and Kick Academy, for excellence in technique and performance quality.

I was also a Commended Student in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program and a National AP Scholar.

Study Abroad

I studied Spanish in high school, and I would love to improve my language skills by studying abroad in Latin America, perhaps during a winter semester.


In the spring semester of my freshman year, I used my Tier One research stipend to begin my introduction to research in Dr. Jokubas Ziburkus' neuroscience lab in the Department of Biology of Biochemistry. I helped study the effects of chronic administration of adenosine on Dravet syndrome, an intractable form of childhood epilepsy. This summer, I will continue work on the project as a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) participant, culminating in a poster presentation at the 2013 Undergraduate Research Day.

Future Endeavors

As I continue my college career, I hope to find an area of study that I’m truly passionate about and pursue knowledge in that field wholeheartedly. Currently, I plan on completing a senior honors thesis and applying to graduate school to study biological sciences and to work in health-related research and development.