“I like sharing my experience and helping transform the book knowledge they gain in class to a working knowledge of how to use it.”
Victoria Ramirez is the lab specialist for the Biology Department in the College of Science and Mathematics. Victoria has been at USFSM for about three years, and she says that “there is no such thing as an average workday” for her.
Tell us about yourself!
I am originally from South Bend, Indiana, then I moved to Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona and finally Venice, Florida. Each place is so different, so I feel very fortunate to have lived in three very different environments.
Walk us through an average workday at USFSM.
There is no such thing as an “average” workday, but as a lab specialist, here are a few daily tasks:
- Figuring out what is eating our plants
- Making terrariums and aquariums
- Fixing microscopes, preparing labs by extracting DNA, PCR, ordering science equipment and chemicals
- Pouring agar plates
- Developing new protocols, managing chemical inventories and hazardous waste, and making chemical solutions
- Training all lab assistants
- Buying strange items from Publix, Wal-Mart and Home Depot.
- Organizing . . . lots of organizing!
What do you like most about your job?
There is always so much to do, and I am always figuring something out. Since science rarely goes as planned, I guess it’s the challenge that I like. I also enjoy working with the students. Having worked in a lab for over a decade, I like sharing my experience and helping transform the book knowledge they gain in class to a working knowledge of how to use it.
Any special talents?
Cooking and baking — with one grandma from Poland and the other from Mexico, I was able to learn and cook many ethnic dishes.
Tell us about your dream vacation.
I would love to raft in the Grand Canyon, Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, African Safari and cage dive with a great white shark in Australia!
Best moment in your life so far?
Naturally, my children. My two boys have kept me grounded and focused on what is really important in life. They will always be my greatest accomplishment.
Imagine you won the lottery . . . what’s next?
I would like to start an affordable science and adventure summer camp. If you have kids, you know how expensive these can be, and a lot of children don’t have these opportunities. I couldn’t possible not work… so I would just work to make a difference!