Inspiring STEM Students

Victoria DeLeo, Class of 2014

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A native from Davie, FL, third year Victoria DeLeo majors in two of the more difficult STEM majors: genetics and applied biotechnology. She finds that biotechnology is a large and constantly changing field, allowing her to be exposed to new ideas regularly.

“Choosing this major was important to me because not only do I get to study the things that people are only just now learning about the world, but also I get to take this knowledge and apply it to making people’s lives better in new products and services,” she says.

DeLeo believes students will benefit in these fields with the help of a mentor, like Dr. Katrien Devos, who has taught DeLeo the fundamentals of genetics research. “Students in biotechnology should find a mentor who has a lot of experience in the field,” she says. “One benefit to studying biotechnology is to have an awareness of what’s going on in research today and literacy in health issues.”

A Presidential Scholar and Goldwater Scholar, DeLeo participates in multiple student organizations in addition to her major coursework. She currently serves as a member of UGA Knitwits, Roosevelt and the Biological and Life Sciences Association. DeLeo has also taken advantage of the study abroad opportunities at UGA. This past summer she spent 11 weeks in China for the UGA Pire program. Currently, she participates in the UGA at Oxford program in the United Kingdom. “Studying abroad is great for putting into perspective how universal learning can be,” shares DeLeo.

With all of her accomplishments, DeLeo doesn’t plan to stop her education at the undergraduate level. “After getting my Ph.D., I want to work in R and D for a biotech company,” she says. “I like plants, so I want to work in the agricultural biotechnology sector.”

Inspiring STEM Students

The OSE of UGA features undergraduate students who pursue STEM majors with enthusiasm and innovation.

Paula Bugg

Victoria DeLeo

Caitlin Mueller

Cameron Zahedi