Amaris is currently a Masters Student at The University of Sheffield in the UK, completing an MSc. course in Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine working at the world-famous Kroto Research Institute on a bioengineering project involving regenerative medicine approaches for peripheral nerve injury repair. She completed her undergraduate degree at the young age of 20 years in The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) on Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry and graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors. As an undergraduate, Amaris studied abroad at Graz University of Technology in Austria for six months, where she was enrolled in graduate bioengineering courses and discovered her strong passion for research in regenerative medicine. She has been involved in many research disciplines since her first year of undergrad at UTEP and has been identifying her research interest through testing the waters of scientific research in various areas. She has conducted an extensive amount of international research at institutions like University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Graz University of Technology, and The University of Sheffield. Amaris has obtained prestigious awards for poster research presentations including UTMB Dean’s Award, UTMB Institute of Translational Sciences Award, and UTEP 1st place award in the category of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Her outstanding research work will be published this year in Journals like LUPUS and BBRC. If you would like to view work presented and/or influenced by Amaris, please visit the following website: http://amarisportfolio.tumblr.com/
Amaris is a passionate individual who loves to learn about all topics and expose herself to the different cultures and ideas. She is humble, brave, courageous, and keen to explore what the world beholds and learn as much possible of the mystery into which she was born.
Today Amaris is on her journey to becoming a distinguished scientist in the field of stem cell research and its application with neuroscience. She is interested in identifying the potential that these cells can offer in regenerating neurons and revolutionize the field of regenerative medicine.
My foot hit the tarmac and I was finally in Austria. Until that moment, I had been in a whirlwind of packing, goodbyes and anticipation. I was so excited to see more of the world than El Paso, Texas had to offer, that I never once paused to develop expectations. I didn’t think about what it would be like to live on a different continent for six months, and I certainly didn’t consider the fact that I would be a foreigner to everyone.
But one breath of that fresh, clean Austrian air and I knew that none of that mattered. I was in Graz, and I loved it.
I was only eighteen at the time, but was quickly captivated by the educational setting. Within my school, so many “foreign” cultures congregated that it was difficult to say who actually was foreign: the American, Japanese, Brazilian, Middle Eastern, Chinese, European, Indian, Korean, English, Colombian, Russian, Polish, South African and Austrian students alike all came together under one commonality – we loved and lived in Graz. Together we explored the city, learned German, bought bicycles, learned from each other, and developed bonds that continue still today.
The education I received and experiences I had in Graz helped me not only to gain independence, but stand out in a crowd. Here, I am the “foreign” student; it’s very rare that you find a girl from Texas who speaks German. I appear interesting to my peers and my experience abroad allows me to stand out in a pile of resumes. The homes I have created for myself allow me to be open to any circumstance, culture, and possibility. If I had developed expectations before I moved, they would have been exceeded far beyond my imagination.
Studying abroad is a challenge, with a lifelong reward. The experiences you gain, the friendships you make, and the homes you learn to make for yourself are worth feeling like an outsider for however short a period of time.
Through my study abroad experience, I have been made conscious of a wider set of ideas about humanity. My planet is smaller, yet my insights are larger. My study abroad experience will always provide me with strengths and visions that trigger motivation. My intellect is stimulated and my mind has been freed by living in close proximity to people who have a culture different from my own. Next, I’m off to study abroad in Europe, after that “abroad” in the US again, and still after that, who knows what the world has in store for me – but hopefully I can bring my bicycle.