<!--:es-->Realizing Her Dream: One Student’s Rise to the Top<!--:-->

Realizing Her Dream: One Student’s Rise to the Top

The University of California, Riverside has more than 2,600 graduate and professional students. One such student, Irma Ortiz, is training to be a plant biologist, focusing currently on mechanisms that plants use to defend themselves. Like many UC Riverside students, she is the first in her family to graduate from college.
In 2009, when Ortiz was an undergraduate student at UCLA, she attended a talk on that campus by Linda Walling, a UCR professor of genetics. When Walling gave another talk at UCLA two years later, Ortiz finally found the courage to approach Walling and introduce herself.
That moment marked the launch of Ortiz’s career that today has her doing research that could impact agricultural sustainability in California, the country and the world.