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Adriana represents CALS Cornell at #SACNAS2019

SACNAS Cornell Chapter and recruiter group photo

Adriana on day 1 of the conference. All attendees received a welcome lei.


I attended my first SACNAS Conference from Oct 31-Nov 2 in Honolulu, Hawaii. SACNAS is an inclusive organization that promotes and supports the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in science. Our very own Dr. Eloy Rodriguez, professor Emeritus in Plant Biology at Cornell, was a founding member of SACNAS. I was a member of my local chapter as an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara, but I didn’t get the opportunity to attend the national conference until this year. With over 5,000 attendees, I was overwhelmed by the level of community and engagement our SACNAS membership has to offer.

I was invited to present a poster on one of my dissertation projects, testing the ring species hypothesis on the hypervariable Calochortus venustus. I received feedback on my future directions and made connections with soil scientists. I even got to present to some of my Yale Ciencias Academy fellows!

Adriana presents her poster to YCA fellows

I was most excited about recruiting prospective graduate students for CALS Cornell and getting undergrads excited about biodiversity and organismal biology. Passing on my knowledge of navigating academia as an URM – a first gen immigrant, a POC, a woman, a first gen college grad, a low-income student – is one of the most fulfilling experiences I have accomplished in my career. What’s more exciting is that I was also able to help students who were in my field, plant biology and evolutionary biology, and share my experience specifically as a graduate student at Cornell.

Cornell booth with informational brochures and free swag

2020 Conference advertisement






I look forward to SACNAS 2020 in Long Beach, CA! If you are a student interested in attending future SACNAS conferences, check their website for travel scholarship opportunities in the early spring.

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