This CBS undergraduate leads through service across campus.
Your name: Denise Quintanilla
Your year: Senior
Your major: Biology and Neuroscience Minor
What volunteer and leadership positions do you have on campus?
I am involved with the student groups MSTEM (Multicultural Students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), College of Biological Sciences Student Board, and the Dean’s Scholars Program as a scholar and TA.
Why did you want to join in on those opportunities?
I wanted to help students here on campus to feel as though they are part of a community, and to know if they are struggling that they are not alone. Specifically for MSTEM, I was motivated to join and to ultimately become President of the student group because I wanted to help minority students create a community in fields where they are ultimately underrepresented. I am passionate about this because not only am I one of these students, but I also teach middle school students who will come to universities like this one, and I want there to be a community and resources ready to welcome them.
You are on the CBS Student Board and were their representative for Minnesota Student Association. What does that role entail?
The role as a Student Board member is to be the voice of the student body that I represent. The role as a Minnesota Student Association student group representative includes making sure that I am representing the views and concerns of the student body as best I can. The MSA has in the past, and continues, to make many positive changes on campus that positively impact the student of this campus. As a representative I want to ensure that this continues. This means I attend the meetings and then report back to the CBS Student Board so we can discuss in case there are any questions or concerns that I can then bring up to MSA in the next meeting.
What has been the thing you’ve learned that will stick with you the longest through your leadership positions on campus?
Nothing is achieved without hard work, teamwork, collaboration and passionate individuals. There are many obstacles that will always arise when trying to achieve anything whether it is personal or for the public sphere, but I have learned that determination and a great support system is essential.
If you had to offer one piece of advice to your first-year self in CBS, what would it be?
Learn how to use a Google calendar as soon as possible. This tool is a lifesaver, and now my new obsession! Not only does it help me to not forget any commitments, I can make my assignments all day tasks so I NEVER forget to complete an assignment. Also, you’d be amazed at how much can be accomplished in a day if you plan it out (including naps).