Linda Relyea

Araiza graduates with honors from Adams State University

ALAMOSA, CO. (June 28, 2022) – Marlene Garcia Araiza, Manzanola resident, graduated from Adams State University with honors during the 2022 spring commencement ceremony.

The first in her family to earn a college degree, Araiza, originally from Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, received her Bachelor of Science in cellular and molecular biology.

“As a first-generation student, I am honored to be the fruit of my parents’ hard-work and resiliency to give my siblings and I the chance to pursue opportunities that were not available to them during their youth. I believe that my college degree is not exclusively due to being an accomplished scholar. Rather, the many sacrifices my parents made to help me pursue higher education are reflected in my degree.”

Araiza was grateful for many supportive departments across campus including the STEM professors, peers, the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), STEM Center, National Science Foundation (NSF), and Student Support Services (SSS).

A bachelor’s degree is Araiza’s first step towards earning a doctoral degree in biomedical science and contributing to controlling parasitic diseases. “This way I have the opportunity to work in a research laboratory to address parasitic organisms and in a clinical setting to diagnose and create treatment plans for patients that are affected by such diseases.”

As a biology major, Araiza was exposed to a diversity of subdisciplines within her degree to expand her comprehension and intrigue about mechanisms that shape life, from molecular structures of DNA to roles of organisms in an environment. “My professors, Dr. Gibson-Reinemer, Dr. Brink, and Dr. Armstrong have been crucial to my continuous development as a scholar and scientist.”

Araiza received several scholarships, including the Porter Scholarship, which covered a significant amount of her tuition. She also received two pageant scholarships, one from the 2020 Colorado State Fair Fiesta Pageant. On-campus, she worked as a peer mentor, STEM support specialist, research assistant, and teaching assistant. In 2019, Marlene served as a congressional intern in the office of Congressman Raul Grijalva in Washington, D.C.
She graduated from Adams State in four years debt-free. She started her academic career at Otero Junior College, where she earned an associate’s degree.

Araiza was involved in Beta Beta Beta (Tri-Beta) biological sciences club, where she served as a club representative for AS&F and president. She is also a member of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and Phi Theta Kappa. In 2019, she joined the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association and is an alumna for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

“As a freshman, I had the expectation to be a perfect 4.0 GPA student, regardless of the sacrifices I needed to make to meet those standards. That mindset and lifestyle made me inflexible, irrational, and arrogant. It took one mistake to send me in a spiral. Now, while I do maintain high standards for myself, I acknowledge my weaknesses and my propensity to make mistakes. I am aware of my strengths but understand my limits.”


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Marlene Garcia Araiza