Veronica Lopez, PhD

 Veronica Lopez, PhD

 Veronica Lopez, Ph.D.
Peer Mentor since 2010



Dr. Veronica Lopez is a first generation Mexican-American. She is the first in her family to graduate from college and the first in her family to earn a PhD. As an undergraduate student at the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz, she was mentored and academically supported by the Academic Excellence (ACE) Program. This program, with its exceptional staff, enabled her academic success and allowed her to build a scholastic community of her peers. As a result, Dr. Lopez participated in an Undergraduate Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) at Cornell University in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. She also participated in the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)-Ames Research Center (ARC) in Moffett Field, California.  Through NASA-Ames sponsorship Dr. Lopez and was awarded the GEM Fellowship from the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. The GEM Fellowship allowed her to conduct research at ARC complementing her graduate academic environment with a professional perspective. She cites the scholastic community of her peers and mentors as being critical to her success as it created an environment of encouragement, persistence and patience. It was through these opportunities offered at UC Santa Cruz and at NASA-Ames where she realized her fascination for research.

While a postdoctoral fellow at UC Davis, Dr. Lopez was also an adjunct faculty member at Cosumnes River College in California. As an instructor, she mentored students in their pursuit of scholarly success and excellence. She also provided students with resources to continue their education and pursue their research interests. Los Rios Community College District embodied a diverse student and staff population where cultural competence was expected.

Dr. Lopez's service contributions have been through several professional committees that promote diversity and increase the involvement of underrepresented minority scientists in all aspects of science. These committees include the Penn State-Department of Nutritional Sciences Diversity Committee, the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) Postdoc/Young Professionals Interest Group and the Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). Through her service with MAC-ASCB, she has had the opportunity to mentor undergraduate- and graduate-level underrepresented minorities across the United States. The MAC-ASCB recognizes the need to promote the professional development of and to recruit minority scientists in the pipeline. Towards this end, another contribution Dr. Lopez has made towards diversity has been as a member of the planning committee for the MAC-ASCB Annual 2-day Junior Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellow Career Development workshop (June 12-13, 2010 in Rosemont, IL). The goal of this workshop is targeted at providing the skills needed to survive current academic environment and professional advancement.  Dr. Lopez has been a recipient of several travel and career development awards sponsored by ASCB, ASN and the FASEB MARC Program.  She is also a 2009 recipient of the FASEB Postdoctoral Professional Development and Enrichment Award.
As a beneficiary of many recruiting and diversity resources, it is Dr. Lopez's commitment to encourage, help prepare and support the next generation of scientists in their pursuit of postgraduate careers. Her experiences allow her to appreciate the significant impact that national and institutional programs such as ACE, Minority Access to Research Careers-Minority Biomedical Research Support (MARC-MBRS) and SROP have on promoting and supporting diversity. Dr. Lopez also recognizes the paucity of underrepresented minorities in the faculty workforce. 


Mentor's Motivational Message


We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.

- Maya Angelou - 






Contact Information


Affiliation:  Instructor

Cosumnes River College
Department of Nutrition and Foods
8401 Center Park Way
Sacramento, CA 958232

Phone:  916.286.3691 X13101
Fax:  916.691.7146
Email:  lopezv@crc.losrios.edu
FASEB Society Member:  ASN
Scientific Discipline:  Nutrition, Cell and Molecular Biology, Physiology
ABRCMS 2011 Mentor:  YES
















Breaking the Ice - Veronica's "Q&A"

 What is the first thing you think of when you wake in the morning?

  What cool data am I going to generate in the lab today.

 What Internet site do you surf the most?


 Pen or Pencil?

  Pen.  I want to make sure I make my mark permanent!

 What is your favorite holiday?

 New Year's Day because I get another chance to get it right!

 If you were to die tomorrow, what would your tombstone say?

 WHO-YA!  She did it her way!

 What is your concept of a fruitful day? 

 Checking EVERYTHING off my "to do" list.

 My biggest pet peeve is...

 ... Laziness!

 Name the song title that best describes your life.

 I have two -- Miley Cyrus' The Climb and Destiny's Child Survivor.  It is all about the journey... not how fast you get there!

 What is your favorite pop/soda?


 What was your worst summer or part-time job?

 Target.  The customer is NOT always right!