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Francisco Fernandez

​California State University San Marcos
Trustee Emeritus Kenneth Fong Scholar

I made my goal to help my family and the best way to do that was by obtaining an education."

Francisco Fernandez is a first-generation Mexican-American college student, having immigrated alone to the United States at the age of eighteen. Francisco managed to learn English, obtain his GED and enroll in college while working at a car wash to support himself.

Today, Francisco is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in molecular and cellular biology at California State University San Marcos, conducting undergraduate research in plant biology, genetics, and diabetes. Francisco is also part of the highly competitive Maximizing Access to Research Careers-Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (MARCU*STAR) program.

A stellar student, Francisco has presented his scientific work at conferences, symposiums and research competitions. On campus, Francisco is the secretary of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in the Sciences (SACNAS), which focuses on promoting science careers to underrepresented minorities. Francisco’s goal is to earn a Ph.D. in biomedical research and continue his mentorship of young educationally-at-risk students.