Brianna Wilson
Managing Editor

College is often a place where social butterflies are able to thrive, and this is true for Biochemistry major Elizabeth (Lisa, as she has been called since she was born) Hernandez. This year, Hernandez is the New Member Educator for the Athenian Society, which she has been a part of since her second year at Whittier College. Being part of the Athenian Society has led to a lot of great connections among her peers, as she has gotten a lot of opportunities and fun experiences thanks to the Society.

Making connections is a skill that Hernandez is particularly good at; her relationships with her professors proves this. Hernandez did research about air quality with Assistant Professor of Analytical Chemistry Peter Peterson for two years, and as a result of this continual research, received the Baudrand Fellowship. Of course, many other professors of hers were also sources of opportunity and support. “Honestly, I could say great things about all of my professors, but mostly Dr. Bauer, Dr. Peterson, and Dr. Iimoto have all been phenomenal professors and resources,” said Hernandez. Two of her most helpful professors, or ones she went to most, were Dr. Peterson and Associate Professor of Chemistry Christina Bauer, her advisor. Both professors were available to talk to for advice about class scheduling, career goals, and anything else Hernandez needed assistance with. She appreciates that both professors were willing to help her whether or not she was taking a class with them that semester, or module. Speaking about Dr. Bauer, “[she] has been the best advisor I could ask for. . . .” Hernandez said.

Something else that helped Hernandez a lot throughout her college career was her own time management skills. Alongside her studying, she also worked for about 20 – 25 hours a week, most of the time. This, she admitted, was “probably something that [she could have] done better with,” but her dedication has gotten her very far.

Outside of her studies, Hernandez is very family-oriented. She spends a lot of her time “hanging out with [her] six-year-old nephew Dean, playing with [her] yorkie puppy, Milo, [and] taking him on walks, roller skating, and Disneyland trips — pre-COVID, of course,” said Hernandez. Being so close to her family and wanting to stay nearby made Whittier College a very convenient choice of school for Hernandez. Since both of her parents grew up in the Whittier area, they were very supportive of her going to Whittier College. Her ultimate deciding factor in enrollment, though, was the J. G. Whittier Scholarship that she received from the College.

Although her post-graduation plans have yet to be set in stone, Hernandez knows she plans on taking a year off between her undergraduate and graduate schooling “for many reasons, but the main one being so that I can gain more off-campus lab experience.” She would like to spend that year talking to local pharmacists in order to gain more insight into her future career. She also wants to get a lab assistant job near Whittier before continuing her studies. Her target schools for pharmaceutical study are mainly Southern California colleges. UC San Diego’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is her dream school, though they only accept 70 students a year, making it particularly competitive. She listed UC Irvine as a potential back-up school, but still one she would be happy to attend.

One piece of advice Hernandez has for current students is to try making connections with professors, in ways like going to office hours and keeping in contact with them through email. “The classes [at Whittier College] are small and give students the opportunity to impress professors, which will help you in job hunting and throughout your life,” said Hernandez. She also suggests getting as involved as possible, in any way possible, as this can also help boost the chance at making connections. It is important to get involved and to network with as many people as possible, as this not only creates a fun college experience, but may be useful after graduation as well.

Feature image: Courtesy of Lisa Hernandez.

Author

  • Brianna Wilson

    Brianna Wilson is an English major who has been with the Quaker Campus since her first year at Whittier College. In-between work and school, Brianna loves journaling, working out, and watching YouTube videos (mostly from the gaming community).

Brianna Wilson is an English major who has been with the Quaker Campus since her first year at Whittier College. In-between work and school, Brianna loves journaling, working out, and watching YouTube videos (mostly from the gaming community).

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