Tess was born and raised in Hanford, Ca. 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 with a focus in education at California State University, Fresno. She is currently working as a College Success Specialist for The Wonderful Company.
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 underserved schools; the non-profit Education and Leadership Foundation where she taught an intensive on medical sciences to over 200 minority high school students; 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; and many more.
During her master's degree, Tess was active in research focusing on the experiences and needs of females and other underserved minority populations in university-level chemistry courses. Her research was part of a larger initiative by the College of Science and Mathematics at CSUF to develop courses that helped students better understand and experience a true STEM environment. Her research led to further reform of the inquiry-based learning chemistry course and identified key areas of improvement.
Tess now works as a College Success Specialist for The Wonderful Company where she oversees approximately 100 CSUF STEM Students. The primary focus of her role is to increase the retention rates of first-generation students, underserved students, and DREAMERS that are accepted into the program. Tess also works with students and parents across the Central Valley to ensure smooth transitions into the university setting.
Tess remains an active member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).