MSP Scholars 2011

JorgeContrerasJorge Lopez-Contreras grew up in Eugene, where he graduated from Willamette High School.

Educational goals: I plan to major in BioResource Research and along with that Pre-Med. My option in BRR will most likely be Food Quality. Right now I am looking to minor in Political Science or History, seeing as I am highly interested in those fields. 

Long-term goals: After OSU I plan to go to Medical School.

Personal reflections:  I am excited to start a new chapter of my life, meet new people and be off on my own. At the same time I am sad to leave so many wonderful people in Eugene. I know that OSU is the school for me because of the amount of focus it has in the sciences and agriculture, not to mention the beautiful campus, which is filled with orange and not green! Coming from the International Baccalaureate Program at Willamette, I am super happy to be part of a similar close knit group at OSU. I know being a part of the MSP program not only will I have amazing support, but a lot of guidance and wisdom. Meeting the group once I already feel part of the group. In my life I have had the opportunity to work and meet some amazing people who have really touched my life in many ways. I cannot help but to recognize all those people, teachers, classmates, friends, co-workers, fellow church mates, and of course my family, thank you all, I can not say what I would do without all of you.


CynthiaLeCynthia Le is from Hillsboro, and graduated from Jesuit High School, a private, Catholic and college-preparatory school.

Educational goals: I will be a student in the BioResource Research major in the College of Agricultural Sciences. I have always been fascinated with scientific advances and developments. I therefore believe the BRR program is a perfect home for me. I hope to discover a passion for my personal field of interest with the help of mentors and my fellow students. I also plan to take music and art classes. I have been taking piano for more than 10 years. While at college I want to expand my knowledge into the composition and theoretical fields of music. I would like to balance my academic pursuits with my personal interests in order to create a college experience where I can grow and learn in all aspects of my life.

Long-term goals: Once I have completed four years at OSU, I hope to have enough experience to be admitted into graduate school, With graduate-level research under my belt, I envision myself in a place where I can do research and experimentation to produce products or medicines for the betterment of human health.

Personal reflections:  Originally, I already sent in my confirmation form and deposit and was planning on going to a different Oregon University, but once I got the Multicultural Scholars Program scholarship, I reconsidered my decision. If I had gone to my original university, my younger brother would not have been able to go to Jesuit. Now with the scholarship money, he will be able to have the same high school experience as me. I found something at Jesuit that I believe will be hard to find somewhere else. Not only did it give me the tools to be successful, but it taught me how to live. I want my brother to share in the same experience.

On anther note, I am really excited for OSU! I fell in love with the campus when I visited, there was something about the trees and the library, the intellectual and cultural atmosphere, and the quality of the people that made me really feel at home.


JoseSolisRuizJose M. Solis-Ruiz is from Forest Grove, and graduated from Forest Grove High School. He has been attending Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus. He has already done some genetics research in a laboratory at Oregon Health Sciences University.

Educational goals: I want to learn new things about Genomics, and information I never knew existed.

Long-term goals: I would like to obtain a bachelor’s degree, and one day be known for my own research.

Personal reflections: I’m attending OSU because of the Multicultural Scholars Program scholarship. I know this program has an excellent research/mentorship program that is unmatched, and I feel honored to be participating in this program. I am excited to be attending Oregon State since it is a leading research university here in Oregon.


CharlieTaCharlie Ta
 grew up in North Portland and graduated from Benson Polytechnic High School.

Educational goals: When I came to OSU, I intended to go into medicine with my Microbiology major. I heard about the BioResource Research major from Dr. Kate Field, BRR director, when she was a guest speaker for my Microbiology orientation class. Her presentation really captivated me and got me to consider adding BRR as a secondary major so I could conduct my own research project. My goal at OSU is to graduate with my two majors and my Chemistry and Writing minors. Additionally, I would like to have the opportunity to have internships within the Agriculture field and in research. This will provide me insight to other relevant studies I may perhaps like to do. These experiences will also allow me to learn in a hands-on environment rather than textbooks and lectures.

Long-term goals: I plan on going to graduate school to become a virologist and earn a doctorate focused on plant pathology. I’m also working on studying abroad, either academically or with an internship. Studying abroad is a great way to learn and immerse myself in various cultures and lifestyles around the globe. It will be an amazing experience to see the world from an international standpoint.

Personal reflections:  When I started out as a college freshman here at OSU, the transition of environment was easily recognizable between a quiet town and a robust city. As a new student, making new friends has been a challenge but a smile and willingness to open up leads to lasting camaderie. An example of this is when I participated in the 26th National Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Career Fair and Training Conference. I went not knowing any of the OSU MANRRS members, but after the days I spent with them, they are a wonderful group of students who not only share similar interests in agriculture, but also community involvement, kindness and intellectuality. They have all been very encouraging and helpful as my mentors.


JamesThomasJames Thomas is a native of Corvallis, where he graduated from Crescent Valley High School in 2004. He attended Chemeketa Community College and Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, and has earned his Certificate in Hospitality Management.

Educational goals: I hope to complete an interdisciplinary research Bsc. The BRR program will allow me to do just that. I hope to complete an option in Biotechnology, with Chemistry minor.

Long-term goals: I hope to become a successful biomedical gerontologist, nutritionist, and public health advocate. I want to be able to accurately interpret the science of healthy aging, and relay this information to the population, especially the underserved population, in hopes that living a longer healthier life will be an opportunity for all. I am considering going to medical or naturopathic school, getting an interdisciplinary PhD, or both. I want to help individuals be aware of and make healthy lifestyle decisions, and navigate through the seemingly confusing medical system. 

Personal reflections: I think the MSP program is great in the fact that not only will it be an extremely helpful aid to allow me to pursue my academic goals, but I am looking forward to the character building, conferences, research experiences, and mentoring opportunities for both myself and my peers. I look forward to the educational experience that I will get from both the degree, and the MSP experience. I am exited to finally be able to fully pursue my academic dreams, and I am thankful for this opportunity.


ElyssaTrejoElyssa Trejo graduated from Consolidated High School in Texas in 2009.

Educational goals: Through my BRR major, I plan to graduate in 2013 while getting hands-on science experience in a laboratory. I hope to become involved in community outreach activities, teaching my learned skills to children to get them more involved in the sciences.

Long-term goals: My long term goal is to become a teacher of some sort and to hopefully give children the educational opportunities that I was fortunate enough to have as a child. I am also considering joining the Peace Corps. 

Personal reflections: I followed my family to Oregon, from Texas, the summer before my freshman year of college, as my dad got a job in Corvallis. It was a major change, but I am extremely happy to be here at Oregon State. I began college as a BioEngineer, and have spent two years trying to figure out what I want to do with my education. I am ecstatic to be a BioResource Research major and I really feel like this major is the right place for me. I am grateful for the opportunity to be an MSP scholar. With these many opportunities I have been given through the BRR major and MSP program, I know that I am extremely lucky. I hope to give back and give similar opportunities to those who are not as lucky as I am.