Bryanna Caicedo ’22, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Senior Bryanna Caicedo reflects on her time at UConn

Bryanna Caicedo ’22 (CLAS), a biological sciences major, in the EEB greenhouses on April 20, 2022. (Bri Diaz/UConn Photo)

Why did you choose UConn?
I knew I wanted to be in a college where school spirit was a big factor. I found Division I sports appealing because I came from a Massachusetts high school with a great sports culture. I was also interested in research in universities because I saw myself interested in research in the future. I wanted a university that supports people of color. I noticed the cultural centers at UConn and was excited when I toured the campus.

What is your specialization and why did you choose it?
I am a major in biological sciences. I come from a STEM-focused household. My father is a dentist and my mother is a pediatric nurse. Growing up, I loved hearing my mom’s work stories. I was interested in pursuing a career in nursing, but wanted to take my time and be open to change. I chose the General Biology major because you get to know the different areas of biology. I decided to do a minor in ecology and evolutionary biology because I found it interesting and had never been exposed to anything like it before. I also have a minor in human development and family sciences with a concentration in early childhood development. I am interested in working with small children in a medical setting.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to work for a year or two before deciding which graduate path to follow. I try to position myself in clinical research or other interdisciplinary work where I can see professionals working in a community or hospital setting. I want to better understand what the different roles do.

I knew I wanted to be in a college where school spirit was a big factor.

What activities did you participate in as a student?
I was part of the UConn Health Leaders program. I participated in the contact tracing for the State of Connecticut. I was able to participate in both English and Spanish which made me feel useful while everything was still closed due to COVID. I also served on campus learning communities, including Global House, for two years and was involved in undergraduate research. I have been part of the Knutie Lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) since 2020. I was awarded the Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship last summer and have presented my own research at the Frontiers in Undergraduate Research exhibition in April. I also received the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) procurement award for DNA extraction research. This project was related to the microbiome of wood frogs.

What is one thing every student should do while at UConn?
Visit the cows on Horsebarn Hill. When my family comes to visit, we go there and then we have ice cream.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My favorite teacher is Rachel Chazan Cohen from the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS). She has been involved in legislation in Washington DC and does some interesting research. She helped me find internship opportunities. I am so grateful to have been able to take classes with her and get to know her personally through her guidance.

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