UCSB SASE Week: Highlighting Organization Members

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Image Courtesy of SASE UCSB

Noe Padilla

Last week, The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) hosted its science week. The goal of science week is to highlight members of the organization over social media platforms.

Co-President of the UCSB chapter, Swetha Cherukuri, a third-year physics major, elaborated on what the chapter’s science week activities.

“For Science Week, SASE UCSB mainly ran a social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram highlighting different members of our chapter per day where members talked about the roles SASE and science have played in their lives,” Cherukuri said. “We ended the week on Friday with a tour of Apeel Sciences.”

The social media campaign came as part of a national SASE initiative to highlight and celebrate membership in the sciences. On each day, a different member was featured for their contributions to both the organization and their respective fields of interest. Each post consisted of a Q&A-style interview with the featured individual, including information about why they chose their major, their ambitions after graduation, and advice to underclassmen in their field of study.

On Monday, SASE held a Scientist spotlight, which featured Nicole Tan, a first year who is the academic and social chair. “If I were to tell my freshman self (at the beginning of the year) about biochem, it would be to not lose track of the big picture of things.” said Tan on SASE’s Facebook post.

“Knowing the individual steps and components of a body is a good starting place, but knowing how these interact with one another, their synergistic effects, as a functioning system is the overall goal,” Tan continued.

The SASE UCSB historian, Rachel Barhouma, was featured on Tuesday for the Science Requirement day. Rachael is a second-year biochemistry and molecular biology major, and new member of the organization.

When asked where she sees herself in 10 years, Barhouma answered, “I hope to earn a Ph.D. and have a career in gene therapy. Eventually, I want to be able to design my own clinical trials using genes to treat diseases.”

Camilla Chesebro was featured for Wednesday’s Health day focus. Chesebro is a second-year biology major who an interest in the medical field. When she was younger, Chesebro was routinely in the hospital and while growing up developed an interest for the human body.

“I hope that I’ll have at least gotten into a job I like, preferably in the health field, but not necessarily a nurse or doctor. I don’t know for sure what I want to do as of right now, but I do have a general idea.” Chesebro said.

Thursday was SASE’s Fusion day, which highlights two of the organization’s members. The first member who was featured was Euclid Quirino, a second-year physics major.

“I chose physics because I was very interested with the concept of space and time and was fascinated about the universe ever since I was in elementary school,” Quirno stated in SASE’s feature. “Ever since then, understanding the math of reality and knowing how objects move and why they move in certain ways has always excited me and pushed me to learn more about physics in general.”

The second member highlighted on Fusion day was Junnichi Mijares, the 2018 SASE UCSB Secretary and fourth-year biochemistry major.

“As a transfer student, I joined a bunch of clubs for networking opportunities and to find friends, but SASE felt different from other clubs,” Mijares said. “The people in SASE felt like they genuinely wanted to be your friend and get to know you. It was that reason why I stayed with SASE.”

Finally, the last day of Science week focused on research, and Internal Vice President Jonathan Ng discussed the organization’s activities in detail.

“SASE took students who were interested in research opportunities to take a tour of the Apeel factory and laboratories.” Ng said. “We wanted to give a first hand experience of it.”

When asked about what SASE meant, many of the members held a similar view, but Cherukuri summarizes it best.

“To me personally, SASE’s goal is to cultivate meaningful relationships between students, promote professionalism and diversity, and help students become more involved in their community.” said Cherukuri.

The UCSB SASE chapter will be holding a faculty panel on April 11 at 6:00 p.m. to give students the opportunity to ask faculty members questions.

SASE also holds general board meetings every other Wednesday, the next being on April 17 at 7:30p.m. The meeting focuses vary; some examples of past topics include internship opportunities, workshops for resumes, and elevator pitches.