Back in high school, Luis Martinez didn't think attending college was a part of his future.
“I didn’t think about going to college,” said Martinez, who grew up in East Los Angeles. “I didn’t even think that I could.”
A friend, however, thought otherwise and suggested enrolling in community college. A year after he graduated from Garfield High School, Martinez enrolled at East Los Angeles Community College. While there, he read a book, "Einstein for Beginners," that changed his life and put him on a path to higher education.
Martinez is now pursuing a Ph.D. in physics at UC Merced. He’s also one of two students to receive the university’s Faculty Mentor Program Fellowship (FMP) for the 2009-10 school year.
The fellowship helps recipients acquire and develop advanced research skills while working under a faculty member’s guidance.
Martinez's mentor is professor Raymond Chiao, an award-winning atomic, molecular and optical physicist with joint appointments in the schools of Engineering and Natural Sciences.
“UC Merced has really allowed me to spread my wings,” Martinez said. "Working with my professors (has) opened my mind and has given me the confidence I need to become a physicist.”
4 years ago