2024 CBC Outstanding Undergraduates

April 9, 2024
Outstanding Undergraduates collage: Top row left to right: Adrian De la Peña, Gavin Arnold, Momoko T. Cronin  Bottom row: Sean J. Chen, Janelle Amegatse

Top row left to right: Adrian De la Peña, Gavin Arnold, Momoko T. Cronin Bottom row: Sean J. Chen, Janelle Amegatse

Biochemistry Outstanding Freshman

Adrian De la Peña

"My name is Adrian De la Peña and I am a Biochemistry freshman major who arrived at UArizona in 2023. I grew up in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, and I love the desert landscape. I play piano, enjoy rock climbing, and want to study novel drug development as I advance with my degree. I currently do research under Dr. Minying Cai where I study molecular biophysics and peptide synthesis. I recently joined the CBC Ambassador and Peer Mentor programs I have greatly enjoyed my first full year in CBC and cannot wait for more!"

Biochemistry Outstanding Sophomore

Gavin Arnold

"My name is Gavin Arnold, and I am a sophomore majoring in Biochemistry with minors in Neuroscience and One Health. Throughout my time as an undergraduate, I have become involved with a variety of organizations through the University of Arizona, including serving as President of the Chemistry Club, Vice President of the Undergraduate Biology Research Program, Philanthropy Chair of Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Professional Honor Society, a Pre-Health Ambassador, a CBC Ambassador & Peer Mentor, and a Preceptor for CHEM 162 (Honors General Chemistry). I've also had the opportunity to work in multiple research labs, including most recently the Brain Imaging & Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Laboratory with Dr. Ying-Hui Chou where I received grant funding to investigate the synergistic effects of multiple kinds of brain stimulation to help improve memory and cognition. Beyond these roles, I work as a Community Garden Manager for the University of Arizona Office of Sustainability as well. After completing my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, I aspire to pursue an MD/PhD dual degree program and work as a physician-scientist."

Biochemistry Outstanding Junior

Sean J. Chen

"I am a third-year undergraduate student studying biochemistry. My research involvement has been focused on studying the protein rhodopsin and its role in vision. Through my work in Dr. Michael Brown's research group, I have gained valuable experience in experimental techniques and data analysis. When I'm not in the lab, you can find me at the gym lifting weights or indulging in my love for food."

Chemistry Outstanding Sophomore

Momoko T. Cronin

"Hello, I am Momoko Cronin and I am a sophomore majoring in Chemistry. I have been doing research in Dr. Gianetti's lab since graduating high school and it has been the highlight of my university experience! I really enjoy chemical synthesis and organic chemistry has been a blast."

Chemistry Outstanding Junior

Janelle Amegatse

"Hello, my name is Janelle Amegatse! I’m a junior majoring in chemistry and minoring in Spanish, as well as a member of the W.A. Franke Honors College. I work in the Gianetti lab, whose research interests encompass grid-scale renewable energy storage, photocatalysis, and frustrated Lewis pair chemistry. Specifically, I’ve enjoyed working on the characterization and synthesis of organic, carbocation-based electrolytes for our redox flow battery project. Outside of the lab, I love baking, interior design, and traveling. I’m so grateful to the CBC department for being selected for this honor!"


Read more on past awardees and requirements to apply for the Outstanding Chemistry & Biochemistry Undergraduate Awards.