Andrew Tsiu ’08

Andrew Tsiu ’08 writes: “Currently, I am continuing my academic career at UCLA’s School of Public Health in the Environmental Health Sciences department to achieve my Masters in Public Health. I am also an intern at the Los Angeles & San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council working on their Angler survey project. Additionally, I am the Co-President of the Public Health Students Association and am applying to the Environmental Science and Engineering Program at UCLA.”

Shirin Moghtanei ’07

Shirin Moghtanei ’07 writes, “I attended UCLA from fall of 2003 to spring of 2007 and enjoyed every moment of it! I’m totally a BRUIN FOR LIFE! I majored in general biology, and loved the freedom to take classes within all the life science departments. I originally had more interest in evolutionary biology, but later discovered biochemistry and somehow ended up in pharmacy school shortly after! I am currently in Chicago, attending pharmacy school at Midwestern University. I started this program in the fall of 2007 (right after graduating!) and will be graduating with a PharmD in March 2011. I can’t wait to come back to SoCal and be reunited with the BRUIN alumni family. I will be working as a pharmacist with CVS/pharmacy in the Ventura County area. This will allow me to stay connected and hopefully attend EEB events in 2011!”

Ritesh Salvi ’07

Ritesh Salvi ’07 writes, “As of right now I am currently working as a part time tutor and taking classes at a community college in preparation for my start of Dental School next year at Western University of Health Sciences. At UCLA I had been assisting Brian Smith (’08 PhD, Blumstein)with some of his experiments involving guppy fish for his PhD thesis.”

Maria A. Diuk Wasser ’03 PhD

Maria A. Diuk Wasser ’03 PhD (Taylor) is an Assistant Professor in the Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale University School of Public Health. Her research interests include environmental and ecological drivers of vector-borne and zoonotic diseases; landscape epidemiology; and generation of spatio-temporal predictions of risk.

Louis La Pierre ’02 PhD

Louis La Pierre ’02 PhD (Hespenheide) now at the Department of Biology & Environmental Science of Lower Columbia College, Longview, WA, recently learned that a species of parasitic wasp has been named after him, Horismenus lapierrei Hansson. Specimens of the wasp were reared by Louis as part of his dissertation research on the leaf-mining beetles of trees in the genus Cecropia at the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. The photo, from the factsheet at, shows the frontal view of the head of a male H. lapierrei.

Virginia (Vicky) Perez ’02

Virginia (Vicky) Perez ’02 writes, “After I left UCLA in the summer of 2002, I came to Village School, a private elementary school in the Palisades. I worked first in the science department as an assistant teacher. Since 2006, I have been working as the head of the Spanish department teaching kindergarten through fourth grade. It has been an amazing experience to be able to express my appreciation for the arts, language, and culture of the Spanish speaking countries. Working in an area that has very little to do with my background has also provided me with the opportunity to know how deep my passion for science and nature is engraved in my soul. In essence, this is my last year teaching Spanish. I am ready to take flight again. I am not sure where, but definitely it would have to be something that involves being able to express my passion for nature and science. When I first came to UCLA, I was pregnant with my son. He is now sixteen and a junior at University High School. My biggest passion and accomplishment is my son. He is my driving force and the reason I do things the way I do.“

Gwen Noda ’99

Gwen Noda ’99 (Marine Biology), MA ’06 is the co-Director at UCLA for COSEE-West, one of a network of COSEE (Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence) Centers around the United States that is funded by the National Science Foundation. Gwen has worked and volunteered in a variety of field and lab science research positions as well as in informal and formal education settings, including shipboard instruction and summer outdoor science camp in the Sierra Nevada. Her current volunteer efforts are dedicated to diving in the Kelp Forest exhibit in the new Ecosystems wing at the California Science Center.

Jerika Lam ’98

Jerika Lam ’98, who double-majored in Biology and the History of Art at UCLA, received a PharmD from USC in 2003 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Sciences at the Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy. Along with her faculty responsibilities as an Assistant Professor, Dr. Lam works as a clinical pharmacist and HIV expert at her clinical practice sites located at the Desert AIDS Project, Riverside Neighborhood Health Center, and the Perris Family Care Center. She has also implemented and established an HIV/HCV co-infection clinic at these practice sites.