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After 40 years of quality service to society, SACNAS is committed to deepening our impact by ensuring a rich slate of innovative, year-round programming that will support the next generation of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students, professionals, and leaders. SACNAS is the premier organization for information and policy that impacts the educational and career attainment of our target populations while respecting community, science, and culture. 



SACNAS student and professional chapters have grown nationally from 32 in 2007 to 70 in 2012. Chapters provide year-round, local support and leadership development. There are currently two independent chapters in Los Angeles with USC being one. Meet our USC-SACNAS chapter members, and consider becoming on yourself!


  2015-2016 USC SACNAS Chapter Board Members

Beatriz Garcia-Barboza


Board Position: President

Major/ Grad Program: Chemistry, PhD

Year in school: 3rd year (PhD Candidate)

Research interests: Medicinal Chemistry

Awards/ accomplishments: NSF Graduate Research Program Fellow, WiSE Fellow

Long-term aspirations: Research in the medical field

Angelina Cabral


Board Position: Vice-President

Major/Grad Program: Neuroscience

Year in school: Junior

Research Interests: Microbiology, geography and neuroscience

Awards/ accomplishments: Deans List, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

Long-term aspirations: Earn a Ph.D./M.D. in molecular microbiology and immunology

Helen Foley


Board Position: Secretary/Treasurer

Major/ Grad Program : PhD in marine biology and biological oceanography

Year in school: 6th year

Research interests: evolution, stress, population genetics

Awards/ accomplishments: NSF GRFP fellow, received NSF doctoral dissertation improvement grant (DDIG), USC teaching award recipient

Long-term aspirations: Professorship in biological sciences, mentoring students and teaching hands-on science

Eduardo Ayala, Ph.D.


Board Position: Director of Community Outreach

Major/ Grad Program : Postdoctoral research associate in oral microbiology.

Year in school: 2nd

Research interests: Cell-cell signaling, biofilm formation, genetic engineering and genomics.

Awards/ accomplishments: Genomics Graduate Scholar (GGS) and NIDCR Diversity Supplement Award Recipient.

Long-term aspirations: I would also like to help strengthen the pipeline of URM students from community colleges to universities and then onto careers in industry or graduate programs in STEM. I hope to accomplish this by mentoring and educating students, especially URMs, in the biological sciences as a professor and/or scientist.

Cesar de Leon


Board Position:  Public Relations/Graduate Ambassador

Carolina Vazquez


Board Position:  Director of Chapter Development

Esteban Chaidez


Board Position:  Undergraduate Ambassador

SACNAS 2016 Travel Grants

Travel Scholarships fund travel, lodging, and registration expenses to attend the SACNAS National Conference.

Travel Scholarship Application Period

2016 application periods will be announced soon. Visit the website for more information:

Undergraduate Symposium

Register for the 18th Annual Undergraduate Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work. 

The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 25th. Once again, here is the link to information about the program

Become a Member!

Chapter Opportunities

WiSE Child Care Grants

WiSE Child Care Grants provide doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members in WiSE-eligible departments with grants of $1400 per semester to subsidize tuition for children enrolled at state certified daycare programs of their choice. WiSE Child Care Grants are awarded on a semester by semester basis and are available for a select number of applicants in good standing who have primary childcare responsibilities for a child in the infant through pre-school age range. Applicants may apply to renew their grant at the end of each semester, but priority will be given to new candidates. All applicants must show proof of dependency, proof of enrollment, and a copy of the facility’s state licensing permit as part of their application. 



Young Researchers Program

Attention all grad students and postdocs! Are you interested in mentoring a local high school student in research for 6 weeks this summer? It only requires part of your time each week and is an extremely valuable experience for the high schoolers. The student would carry out a research project in your lab with your guidance and present it in a poster session at the end of the summer.



2013 SACNAS National Conference:  Strengthening the Nation through Diversity, Innovation & Leadership in STEM.

Several USC entities attended the 2013 SACNAS National Conference. To get an overview and see the highlights, please read Dr. Cynthia Joseph's blog post, as a C-DEBI representative. 

Read more>>



Supporting Diversity in the Sciences

USC Dornsife has started a Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) chapter on campus to promote diversity in all scientific fields.