Tess was born and raised in California's Central Valley. She completed her BSc in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in 2017 at the University of California, Santa Cruz. After graduation, she moved back to the Central Valley to pursue a graduate degree in Chemistry at California State University, Fresno. She is currently working as a Graduate Writing Consultant, Introductory General Chemistry Lab Instructor, and Chemistry Researcher.
Due to Tess' unique background as a woman of color in the sciences, she has partnered with countless outreach organizations to promote diversity in STEM. She has partnered with the non-profit Expanding Your Horizons that encourages young girls to pursue careers and mentors in STEM; the non-profit Latino Youth Leadership Academy that introduces POC to careers in STEM; CalTEACH a University of California initiative aimed to train and recruit highly qualified high school STEM teachers to high-risk schools; the non-profit Education and Leadership Foundation where she taught an intensive on medical sciences to over 200 minority high school students; and Project SEED an educational outreach initiative by the USDA and ACS that immerses economically disadvantaged high school students in hands-on research in the fields of chemistry and engineering.
Along with her outreach, Tess is active in her graduate research focused on zoo conservation outreach and partnering zoos with local universities to foster inquiry-based learning in general chemistry courses.