Sonia Diaz '02, M.S. '05, Ph.D. '12

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I began my academic journey at UCR. I started as a freshman at eighteen-years-old, with a four-month-old daughter, a first-generation student with few resources, no mentors, and love for Biology. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, a Master’s Degree in Biology, and a Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology with an emphasis in Physiology. 

It took me fifteen years to earn all three degrees, and it was not without sacrifice, struggle, and hard work. It was with the help and guidance of my family, friends and student and faculty mentors that I was able to persevere and succeed. 

My education opened my eyes to the world of opportunities that were available to me (and that I honestly never thought I was capable of achieving). I traveled and presented my research at national conferences and taught undergraduate students, not an easy task for an extremely shy introvert. 

Throughout my fifteen years at UCR, I learned immensely about myself, my strengths and weaknesses, but most importantly, I think, was my love of teaching others. I wanted to share the incredible beauty that I saw in biology with the world, and thankfully Chaffey College has allowed me to achieve that dream. I am a full-time faculty member at the Fontana Campus. The classes I teach are Human Physiology, Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology (lecture and lab), General Biology, Beginning Medical Terminology, and occasionally Microbiology Lab (at the Rancho campus).

I enjoy spending time with my two children, husband, and dogs. We love to be outdoors, hiking, running, gardening, and eating! I enjoy reading about the history of biology and crime novels. I am also an unofficial caretaker for my mom with Alzheimer’s on the weekends. I am pretty crafty and enjoy making my decorations for parties, holidays, and my home. I understand that life can be challenging, but we cannot let it be the reason we do not reach our goals.

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