Stanford student talks research at college hour


Cheyenne Garcia gives a presentation on “Research for College Students” at American River College Tuesday Sept. 6 during College Hour in Raef Hall 160. (photo by Lidiya Grib)

Laurie Jones

A former American River College student spoke at a college hour Sept. 6 on her academic career and her eventual acceptance to Stanford.

Garcia received a full scholarship to Stanford after originally not even considering applying there.

While studying at ARC, Garcia held a 3.8 GPA and received four ARC science degrees in psychology, social science, general science and physical sciences.

In her opening, Garcia listed ten qualities helpful to being a successful researcher, as well as lessons that she had learned during her studies.

“(Students need) …  an analytical mind, a people person, an ability to stay calm, intelligence, curiosity, a quick thinker, commitment, excellent written/verbal (oral) communication skills, sympathetic (empathetic), and systematic.” said Garcia.

Garcia also discussed her takeaways from job research experience surveying prison inmates.

“(I observed)…personal growth and change, (as well as) field level survey experience … in  working with an at-risk population.” said Garcia.

Garcia mentioned valuable activities available to students interested in Research, including  the Community College Honors Research Symposium, ARC Research Club, and internships.

ARC student Shawn Shacterman said that he was attending the college hour because he was “new to ARC and interested in transferring in engineering.”

“She transferred to Stanford, which has a 1% transfer rate; I’m not necessarily interested in transferring to Stanford, but somewhere good, and I thought she would give tips to help you transfer successfully.” said Shacterman.

After the college hour, Garcia discussed the difficulties in her personal life.

She was born to a fifteen year old single mother, who was then diagnosed with an ultimately fatal brain tumor when Garcia was 1.

Her mother’s second, then undiagnosed, brain tumor led to agoraphobia, leaving her  bedridden and depressed. Garcia became depressed herself, in part from taking over the household responsibilities at fourteen and she attempted suicide at sixteen.

“That whole teenage experience was incredibly hard but it shaped who I am today and I am

incredibly proud of everything I have accomplished so far and look forward to what is next.” said Garcia.

Those who taught Garcia in her time at ARC agree.

She’s a wonderful example of what motivated students can accomplish at ARC.” said Anthropology Professor Kristina Casper-Denman of Garcia after the talk. “(She) … has always been an enthusiastic student, full of life and wonderful details.”