2022 Science, Engineering, Math: Bradi Palomarez

Student Bradi Palomarez stands in front of the Science and Math building on campus, wearing graduation regalia.

First-generation college graduate Bradi Palomarez enrolled in Cypress to be part of the SEM division. She took physics, and it clicked. Her strength in the program led her to work as a Supplemental Instruction leader for physics, sharing her love of the science with others. Bradi did all of this while caring for her ailing grandmother, who helped raise Bradi when addiction struggles affected her parents’ ability to do so. It was difficult to overcome a childhood marked by struggle and, afterward, hard to juggle family care with schoolwork, but she pulled through with determination and excelled in her area of study.

Bradi will continue learning and sharing her knowledge with others after graduation. She will apply to universities next semester and will spend the summer at Boston University conducting physics education research. This scholar is in motion and will stay in motion toward her goal.

Please tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

I grew up in Huntington Beach, California, and I am a first-generation college student. I have always wanted to pursue a college degree and go into higher education because I love learning. Throughout my life, I have faced financial and emotional hardship because my family struggled with addiction when I was growing up. In 2019, my grandmother who helped raise me was diagnosed with a terminal lung condition, so I have dedicated myself to helping care for her in addition to school and work. I have put in a tremendous amount of effort to overcome the obstacles I have faced throughout my life to be a successful student and individual! In my free time I love painting and sculpting. I also like to get outside and go hiking whenever I can.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am most passionate about learning and teaching others math and physics! I have been able to discover how much I love sharing my passion for science with others by working as a supplemental instruction leader for physics at Cypress College. I am also passionate about inspiring other students to pursue a college education regardless of limitations they may face.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

I chose to attend Cypress College after doing research on many local community colleges because I felt that Cypress College would offer the best support throughout my education. I read excellent feedback about the STEM faculty at Cypress College and this was a leading factor in my choice.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?

When I started my educational journey at Cypress College, I was unsure what path I wanted to take. I found my passion for physics when I took physics 221 with Dr. Ron Armale. After excelling in physics 221, I was presented with the opportunity to work with Dr. Armale as his supplemental instruction leader for physics 221. Since starting my supplemental instruction job in fall 2021, I have dedicated myself to inspiring my peers to be interested in physics and supporting them throughout their education in any way that I can!

Share a memorable event or experience while you’ve been a Cypress College student.

The most memorable experience I have had at Cypress is the relationships I have gained with my peers and my professors throughout my journey. After returning to campus last semester post-pandemic, I was very grateful to be able to spend time on campus studying and spending time with my friends. I wouldn’t be where I am today without support from my friends at Cypress.

Who are the faculty and staff (in your major, an academic or other support program, etc.) who have helped you get where you are today?

Dr. Ron Armale and Dr. Brinda Subramaniam in the physics department have continuously supported and inspired me throughout my journey at Cypress College. Their passion for physics and teaching has encouraged me to pursue my career path and a physics professor as well.

How has Cypress College supported you throughout your time at the college?

I have gained endless support and knowledge from my instructors. I have also gained valuable networking experience by attending workshops provided by the STEM2 program and the career center. The transfer center and counselors have been extremely supportive in helping me consider my transfer options and the best educational path for me.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

I will be applying for transfer to universities next semester and transferring to a 4-year university in fall 2023. I have also been accepted to participate in Boston University’s Physics Research Opportunity Program for summer 2022 where I will be conducting physics education research over the summer. I plan to continue pursuing research opportunities where I can embrace my passion for education. I will also be continuing my position as a supplemental instruction leader at Cypress College because I love helping students excel in physics!

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

I plan to transfer to a 4-year university in fall of 2023 to obtain a B.S. in physics. After earning my bachelor’s degree, I am going to continue my education to earn a master’s degree in physics.

My passion for learning and teaching others has inspired me to pursue a career as a college physics professor. I believe the most meaningful way I can apply my passion for physics and dedication to helping others is to work as an educator. My long-term career goal is to improve the connection between theoretical physics and technical ability in undergraduate students.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the perseverance and dedication I have demonstrated by maintaining a 4.0 GPA throughout my education at Cypress College.

What bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

Asking for help is a strength! Even when life gets difficult, remind yourself what your passions are and put in 100% in everything you do. Working hard and being passionate about your education will make you stand out!

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to thank?

Dr. Ron Armale- Thank you for teaching me what it means to be an excellent professor and making me realize how fun physics is!

Dr. Brinda Subramaniam- Thank you for always challenging me to be the best student that I can be and always being available to share your passion for electricity and magnetism with me.

I would like to thank my grandmother and mother for their continuous encouragement and support throughout my educational journey at Cypress College.

A huge thank you to the SI team and my fellow coworkers for always supporting me!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I am endlessly grateful for the support and community I have built during my time at Cypress College. I am proud to represent the SEM pathway as the Presidential Scholar of Distinction!