Group of bioscholar students talking


The National Science Foundation has awarded Los Angeles Mission College with a $1.3 million grant to support efforts to increase success rates for biology majors, college officials announced today.

Titled “Building Capacity: An Intervention to Improve Success of Biology Majors in Mathematics”, the project seeks to increase success rates for undergraduate biology students by providing them with additional support, such as weekly workshops to help them pass college algebra and trigonometry courses. "Building Capacity: An Intervention to Improve Success of Biology Majors in Mathhematics".

BioScholars Program at Los Angeles Mission College offers the following services to all Biological Sciences majors enrolled at LAMC: 

  • FIELD TRIPS ​​​​​​

LAMC student shared her experience after attending our Trigonometry Academic Success Workshops:

"In the beginning of the online Trigonometry class I thought I would be able to teach the subject to myself but it was a bad idea. I started attending the Math workshop/tutoring and saw a major improvement with learning and understanding the material."

Why I Dream - Bio Scholar Student Spotlight

My name is Stephanie Izazaga. I attend Los Angeles Mission College and I’m working on my Associate in Biology Degree. Being able to write this statement is quite surreal; I never thought I’d be where I am today. I had just turned 17 and finishing my sophomore year in high school. I was eager to start prepping for college and had plans to take college courses and start thinking about what I’d do with the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I learned early on, life did not quite work that way. I came back home from school with my clothes packed and my mother waiting to break the news that we would be moving to Stockton, CA. Things had gotten progressively worse during high school due to family related issues. My mother was desperate to flee the dark cloud and start a new life somewhere else. I was able to say goodbye to only one friend, as we rushed to leave that same evening. We spent the first two weeks looking for work and applying at different places. My older sister was the first one to get a job, so we drove her to a job in the fields where she would sort cherries and pack them. After a while, my mother and I found work at a sunflower field. I skipped school the entire senior year. I felt like I was to far behind and there was no chance for me to be successful academically. I lived near a university and would see students walk by with their book bags and I would daydream of a day where I too had something important to say. I had finally decided to attempt going back to school. I convinced my mom to take me to the nearest adult school. A month later I was enrolled. I enjoyed attending class. I was able to buy a bicycle and rode to class every day. Sadly, I was not able to finish adult school because of work and needing to help at home.  Later, I started a job at a cookie factory and enrolled into a G.E.D program. I worked at night and attended courses in the morning. After receiving my GED, I began to enroll to Los Angeles Mission College. It was quite hard the first year and a half. I didn’t know what I wanted to do and life began to affect my mental health again and my grades began to drop. Things began to change when I attended therapy. I began to feel joy for life and school soon became my outlet. I started to love attending class and challenging myself. I was finally able to declare a major I was happy with. I fell in love with science and became more confident. I signed up with the Bio Scholar’s program and met Dr. Par. She was the first person that ever believed in me and motivated me to stick to my goals and not feel deterred if a class seemed difficult. The program has been so supportive; weekly posts of internship opportunities were introduced. I was able to apply for a paid fellowship in Vermont and was accepted. I was able to work in a lab as well as meeting amazing people and make true connections. This experience truly made me feel seen and important, as a first-generation Mexican American woman, being in the field of science seemed impossible. Dr. Par was there all the way checking in on me and offering math workshops that were incredibly helpful. I finally felt seen and believed in, even after all the mistakes I had made. I am currently working on my last three classes and getting ready to apply to CSUN and work on my bachelor’s degree. 

Student among leafy plants

REEU Fellowship Program 

We got in contact with Stephanie to see how her summer internship was going and this is what she had to say... 

"In the first week, we were introduced to commercial hemp and its many uses. We were able to grind down the hemps fibers and create paper as well as learning basic machine knowledge. In the beginning of the second week, we visited Heather Darby's farm, where I observed beetles that destroyed crop like corn, and was introduced to test trials that used nematodes to control the beetle's population. These nematodes are parasitic, which influence the beetle's offspring population by killing the eggs before they ever hatch. I was able to extract dozens of beetles under a controlled environment using a small vacuum gun for later observation. The next day, we ran tests on samples collected in the farm, specifically soil gathered from hemp plants to have a better look at the microbiome surrounding it. I was excited to put into practice what I learned at Los Angeles Mission College by using ELISA testing, centrifuge, pipetting, PCR, petri dish swabbing, and microscopy. The duration of the program is 21 days, which is being held at The University of Vermont. I am looking forward to what we may find from the samples collected on Heather Darby's farm." 

Students working at Heather Darby Farm


"Shohreh and Gavin are the most patient people to give me a clear understanding of the subject. It was an honor to be part of the Summer and Fall Math Academy. My next math course will be Math 265. I will use the skills and techniques learned in the academy to pass my course. Thanks again for the opportunity to be able to be part of Bio Scholars." 

- Joslyn Medina, Biology Major 

Educational Activities 

LAMC Biology majors visit the LA ZOO! 

The LA Zoo is home to more than 2,100 mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles, representing more than 270 different species, of which more than 58 are endangered. LAMC Bio Scholars had the pleasure of taking sixteen LAMC students on a guided trip to the LA Zoo on November 19, 2022. Dr. Livio, a biology faculty was kind enough to provide students with the tour. Students who participated were interested in learning new topics related to biology, developing their skills, and having a fun outing with their peers. Students could attain an ecological perspective of the animals living at the LA Zoo. Dr. Livio also discussed potential internships and careers available for Biology students. Students spent a lot of time observing monkeys, birds, and giraffes. Overall, students reported they very much enjoyed the field trip and were able to apply what they learned in the classroom to real life examples.

Dr. Livio and students at the zoo

University Visits


LAMC BioScholar’s program had the pleasure of taking 20 LAMC students on a trip to UCLA on February 2, 2023. The BioScholar’s Program collaborated with UCLA Center for Community College Partnerships (CCCP) to make this trip possible. The CCCP team provided a great tour of the Biochemistry labs. They also organized a student panel so our students could ask about the transfer process. Overall, the students enjoyed the visit and learned about the campus, the transfer process, and other campus support services. 

Students in UCLA Chemistry Lab

Award Abstract #1832348
All materials on this website were prepared with support provided by NSF HSI Award number 1832348.

Interested in transferring to UCs?

Learn more about the Honors Program!

Apply to the Honors Program

Contact Us


CMS 221


Vice Chair: Par Mohammadian, RPh, PhD
Center for Math & Sciences
Email: @email
Phone: (818) 833-3424

Alexandra Gladkih
SFP Technician