Mariela Alvarez


Junior, Manassas, Virginia
Biology in the College of Science and Technology
Campus Involvement:
Sigma Kappa Sorority, Officer of Student Health Awareness Club (SHAC Club), National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Quest Assistant summer 2011, Volunteer in Radford EMS

When Mariela Alvarez first visited Radford University, she knew it was a perfect fit.

“I was completely overcome by the beautiful campus,” she said. “When I tried to picture myself at college, I could only picture myself at Radford.”

Radford has offered Alvarez more than a pretty place to study. Thanks to small class sizes that facilitate one-on-one faculty collaboration, Alvarez has had the opportunity to participate in research projects typically reserved for graduate students at larger universities. Last summer, she worked on a research project that studied the sustainability of black cohosh, a medicinal plant used to treat the symptoms of menopause.

“Ultimately the research will help moderate the extraction of the plant to ensure its sustainability in the environment,” said Alvarez. “This was great hands-on research experience that will definitely help me get into graduate school!”

After earning her bachelor’s degree in biology at Radford, Alvarez plans to go to medical school. Her dream is to be a pediatrician.  Her experiences both inside and outside the classroom will help her achieve that goal.

When she’s not in class or studying, Alvarez serves as an officer in the university’s Student Health Awareness Club. She also volunteers with Radford University Emergency Medical Services, which gives her another chance for hands-on experience.

“I wanted to get out there and try to be as involved in the campus community as I could,” she said. “College is such an exciting time to grow and discover.”