Undergrad profiles attest to diversity of UCI student body
BioSci student Tcharles Fagundes looks forward to a bright future after graduation
Tcharles Fagundes is one fearless and motivated student. After visiting a friend in California at the age of 20, the Brazilian native decided he wanted to pursue an education in America. A short while later, he moved here on his own and started pursuing a college degree.
After completing two associate degrees, one in Spanish and another in business at Saddleback College, Fagundes said he knew he was ready to tackle a Biological Sciences degree at UC Irvine and then medical school. Fagundes is now two quarters away from graduating in June 2013 with his bachelor’s degree and proudly holds a 3.9 GPA.
“I’ve always had an interest in biology and knew I wanted to go to medical school,” shared Fagundes, adding, “So it’s very exciting that not only will I be the first in my family to get a college degree, I can now pursue my dream of becoming a doctor.”
Earlier this year, he received the coveted Dean’s Leadership Scholar Award for outstanding students in Biological Sciences and the Manuel N. Goméz Endowed Scholarship, which he says motivated him to continue working hard. This past summer he attended the Pembroke/King’s College Program (PKP) and was awarded the prestigious PKP scholarship, which fully paid his tuition to take upper division science classes at the University of Cambridge in England. In May, Fagundes will take the MCATs and apply for medical school, aiming for a 2014 start date.
One of five siblings from a modest family in Southern Brazil, Fagundes discussed how the challenges he witnessed growing up helped shape his career path.
“Growing up, I saw a lot of the healthcare and socioeconomic problems in Brazil,” he said. “Seeing how it affects lives, I wanted to pursue a meaningful career and I’ve also thought that maybe after school, I can go back to Brazil and make a difference in medicine.”
And Fagundes is already getting a head start in medicine, working part-time at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Institute as a research associate, focusing primarily on melanoma research.
“It takes an empathetic and special person to be a doctor, especially an oncologist,” shares Fagundes. “I work with inspiring people and the work they do solidifies that this is what I really want to do – make a difference.”
Since Fagundes is used to hard work, we don’t think he’ll have any trouble pursuing his medical degree and making a difference.
See all UCI undergraduate profiles here.
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