Colby Ruiz ’15, a senior majoring in biological sciences, has successfully focused on his research since stepping foot on campus and has his sights set on becoming a physician.
University highlights, achievements and awards:
As a student of the Honors Program and a recipient of the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Honors Scholarship, I began participating in undergraduate research in my first semester. I am studying a family of proteins that includes Ras, which is mutagenic in 30 percent of all human cancers. I have presented my research numerous times including at the UGA CURO Symposium and a regional research conference within my field. While I’ve made a very small contribution to the scientific community, I can’t begin to convey the value of my work to my learning experience; this project has taught me to manage my time, approach complex problems and communicate complicated ideas to audiences with a range of scientific understanding. The lessons I have learned though my research involvement couldn’t have been taught in a classroom, and I am forever thankful to CURO for providing such a valuable learning experience.
My extracurricular involvement has been focused on recruiting talented students from rural areas of Georgia for UGA and particularly the Honors Program. As an Honors ambassador and a member of the Georgia Recruitment Team, I have traveled to high schools to speak with potential applicants and met with dozens of potential students on campus to discuss my experiences at UGA and help connect them with academic programs that fit their needs and interests.
In the summer after my junior year I was selected to participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program at New York University; three out of the 35 participants in this program were from UGA, chosen from a pool of over 1,000 applicants. I spent the summer at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the City of New York where I worked on developing a protocol for processing biological evidence samples from crime scenes.
After three of the best years of my life, I’m excited to see what my senior year at UGA holds. I can say with confidence that I could not have chosen a better university, and I plan to be involved on campus in a significant capacity for many years to come.
After graduation, I plan to:
Become a medical student. I’d like to be trained as a surgeon. The one UGA experience I will always remember will be: Every Saturday between the hedges is a Saturday I’ll never forget. Go Dawgs.