Bryanna Caicedo ’22, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

"I knew I wanted to be at a college where school spirit was a big factor."

Bryanna Caicedo '22 standing next to plants in greenhouse.

Bryanna Caicedo '22 (CLAS), a biological sciences major, in the EEB greenhouses on April 20, 2022. (Bri Diaz/UConn Photo)

Why did you choose UConn?
I knew I wanted to be at a college where school spirit was a big factor. I found Division I sports attractive because I came from a high school in Massachusetts with a big sports culture. I was also interested in Research I universities because I could see myself having an interest in research in the future. I wanted a university that had support for people of color. I noticed the cultural centers at UConn and got excited when I toured campus. 

What’s your major and why did you choose it?
I’m a biological sciences major. I come from a STEM-focused household. My dad is in dentistry, and my mom does pediatric nursing. Growing up, I enjoyed hearing work stories from my mom. I was interested in pursuing a career in nursing, but I wanted to take my time with it and be open to change. I chose the general biology major because you learn about the different fields of biology. I decided to pursue a minor in ecology and evolutionary biology because I found it interesting, and I hadn’t been exposed to anything like it before. I also have a minor in human development and family sciences with a concentration in early childhood development. I’m interested in working with small children in a medical context.  

What are your plans after graduation?
I’m planning to work for a year or two before deciding what graduate school path to take. I’m trying to position myself in clinical research or other interdisciplinary work where I’ll be able to see professionals working in a community or hospital context. I want to better understand what different roles do. 

What activities were you involved with as a student?
I was a part of the UConn Health Leaders program. I participated in contact tracing for the State of Connecticut. I was able to take part in English and Spanish, which made me feel helpful when everything was still closed due to COVID. I was also part of the Learning Communities on campus, including Global House, for two years and got involved in undergraduate research. I have been a part of the Knutie Lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) since 2020. I was awarded the summer undergraduate research fellowship this past summer, and I presented my own research at the Frontiers in Undergraduate Research exhibition in April. I have also received the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) Supply Award for DNA extraction research. That project was related to the microbiome of wood frogs. 

What’s one thing every student should do during their time at UConn?
Visit the cows on Horsebarn Hill. When my family comes to visit, we go there and then get ice cream afterwards. 

Who was your favorite professor and why?
My favorite professor is Rachel Chazan Cohen in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS). She has been involved in legislation in Washington D.C. and does interesting research. She helped me find opportunities for internships. I’m very grateful that I was able to take classes with her and get to know her on a personal level through advising.