Barbara Garcia: A first-generation college student spends summer doing research at PPPL

As a first-generation college student, Barbara Garcia had to figure out a lot of things on her own when applying for college. Her parents were Mexican immigrants who didn’t go to college and couldn’t help her navigate the application process, couldn’t help her study for the SATs or look over her application essays.

Garcia forged ahead and found out everything she needed to know herself. That resourcefulness was useful to her as a Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program participant at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), where she spent 10 weeks doing hands-on research on an advanced liquid centrifuge with physicist Erik Gilson.

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