Prior to graduating from high school, Lisa enjoyed varsity softball and volleyball, and had been accepted at UC Davis, when her life took a little turn. She began experiencing numbness in her arms and legs, which led to a long path of various treatments prior to being diagnosed with CDIP, a rare neurological disease. Lisa came to GCC in order to continue her studies while being able to stay at home with the support of her family. However, fatigue remained her worst enemy.
At GCC, Lisa enjoyed Gordon Alexandre’s history course, saying, “He gave me energy.” Sid Kolpas heard about her and talked her into joining the AMP Program (Alliance for Minority Participation) for students interested in math, sciences, and engineering. She states that the group “opened her horizons with various experiences and opportunities.” AMP led to volunteer hours which she did at Whittier Elementary School, where her brother teaches 3rd grade. She volunteered there for 2 years, tutoring kindergarten and 3rd graders in reading. Lisa was an SI leader for Alexandre, and also for math classes with Kolpas and Gary Massion, and economics with Mark Maier. It is little surprise that she was named SI Leader of the year for 2002. She also credits SI staff member Ann Reed for her amazing help and support.
Due to her own experiences, Lisa is determined to become a doctor and medical researcher. She remains goal oriented, yet realistic, about the limitations of her illness. In summer ’03, she did an internship at Occidental College in science research, studying shrimp and bacteria. The experience reconfirmed her decision to continue on her path to either neurological or cancer research. With the help of GCC staff, Lisa is still evaluating her transfer options for fall ’04.