Filipino student immigrant bags US national research award

ALYSSA Marie Rivera, a 19-year-old Filipino student who migrated to the United States, is one of the 2019 Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation awardees.

A biochemistry major at the California State University, Fresno: College of Science and Math, Rivera was among the 496 undergraduate students across the US who won the highly competitive and prestigious national research award.

The 2019 Goldwater Scholarship winners were chosen from 1,223 nominees submitted by 443 universities from a pool of more than 5,000 students, according to Fresno State News.com.

Only six students from the California State University’s 23 campuses bagged the awards, it added.

The Leyte-born lass is a daughter of Veronica Salvacion-Rivera from Carigara who is former nurse at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban City before they migrated abroad.

Veronica, who was previously battling with leukemia, expressed her gratitude to her daughter, Alyssa, for pursuing her passion to find the cure for cancer and other serious ailments.

The Goldwater Scholarship, established in 1986 by US Congress after the late Arizona senator and 1964 presidential candidate Barry M. Goldwater, is given to “college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this nation’s next generation of natural sciences, mathematics and engineering research leaders.”

“Incredibly honored to have been named a 2019 Barry Goldwater Scholar and represent Fresno State at such a prestigious level!” Alyssa wrote on her social media account.

“My career goal is dual M.D. and Ph.D. degree in pharmacology to conduct translational research,” she told SunStar Philippines in an interview.

Her mentor is Dr. Qiao-Hong Chen, organic chemistry professor at Fresno State.

“I’m very interested in pharmacology, drug discovery and overall, how medicine affects the body. I really like discussing that and thinking about solutions,” Alyssa told Fresno State News.

“With your sacrifice, perseverance and hard work, you made it to the top. We are so impressed and proud of you. Soar high and chase your dreams,” said Veronica after Alyssa and her eldest brother became successful in their academics at the said university.

“You and Alyssa do not stop to amaze us. We’re so blessed and lucky to have you both,” she added.

Alyssa, who finished her pre-school at St. Therese Christian Development Center Foundation Incorporated in Tacloban, thanked the support of her parents and the university while she is looking forward to the Medical College Admission Test and further research works at Fresno. (SunStar Philippines)


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