Dominican University of California Graduate Named Jack Kent Cooke Scholar

Rocky Chavez, who graduated this year with a degree in biology from Dominican University of California, has been named a 2005 Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholar. He was selected out of a group of nearly 1,300 nominations from more than 600 colleges and universities across the United States.

Chavez was first named a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar in 2003 through the Undergraduate Scholarship Program. At Dominican, where science majors are strongly encouraged to research, present, and publish at the undergraduate level, Chavez worked with Dr. Sibdas Ghosh, chair of the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, on a number of research projects. Three times Chavez was part of the Dominican team presenting work at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research. While at Dominican, his research was published in the peer review journal Plant Physiol Biochem.

Chavez, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., was the first person in his family to attend college. By his freshman year at Dominican, Chavez had earned a competitive internship at the University of Texas-Austin, where he conducted cancer research. He also spent two summers as a research assistant at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Chavez his fall will attend medical school at the University of California-San Diego. His long-term career plans include working intensively in a medically underserved community.