Amazing Students Profiles

Colby Ruiz

Colby Ruiz

Colby Ruiz, a senior majoring in biological sciences, has successfully focused on his research since stepping foot on campus and has his sights set on becoming a physician.


Valdosta, Ga.

High School:

Open Bible Christian School

Degree objective:

B.S.A. in biological sciences

Expected graduation:

Spring 2015

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

As a student of the Honors Program and a recipient of the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Honors Scholarship, I began participating in undergraduate research in my first semester. I am studying a family of proteins that includes Ras, which is mutagenic in 30 percent of all human cancers. I have presented my research numerous times including at the UGA CURO Symposium and a regional research conference within my field. While I’ve made a very small contribution to the scientific community, I can’t begin to convey the value of my work to my learning experience; this project has taught me to manage my time, approach complex problems and communicate complicated ideas to audiences with a range of scientific understanding. The lessons I have learned though my research involvement couldn’t have been taught in a classroom, and I am forever thankful to CURO for providing such a valuable learning experience.

My extracurricular involvement has been focused on recruiting talented students from rural areas of Georgia for UGA and particularly the Honors Program. As an Honors ambassador and a member of the Georgia Recruitment Team, I have traveled to high schools to speak with potential applicants and met with dozens of potential students on campus to discuss my experiences at UGA and help connect them with academic programs that fit their needs and interests.

In the summer after my junior year I was selected to participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program at New York University; three out of the 35 participants in this program were from UGA, chosen from a pool of over 1,000 applicants. I spent the summer at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the City of New York where I worked on developing a protocol for processing biological evidence samples from crime scenes.

After three of the best years of my life, I’m excited to see what my senior year at UGA holds. I can say with confidence that I could not have chosen a better university, and I plan to be involved on campus in a significant capacity for many years to come.

Family Ties to UGA:

Though a family pioneer, I see myself as the first in a long line of Bulldogs.

I chose to attend UGA because…

I knew that UGA would best prepare me for a career in medicine. UGA offers an excellent science curriculum, backed by a strong undergraduate research program, at a price that can’t be beat.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

I like to spend time at Lake Herrick hiking, fishing and enjoying God’s creation. It’s a great place to relax and unwind after a long week.

When I have free time, I like…

… hunting, fishing, football, NASCAR, baseball and just about anything else as long as it’s outside and adequate shade is available.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

… leaving home to spend two months in New York City. It’s a crazy town, y’all.

My favorite professor is…

… Martin Rogers in the Honors Program. I’ve been in his seminars as a student and teaching assistant, and he’s been my Honors adviser since freshman year. His guidance has been incredibly helpful inside the classroom and out.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

… my family. Not to sound cliché, but as the years go by I value time with them more and more. I could not have made it a single semester without their constant spiritual, financial and emotional support.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to…

… become a physician.

After graduation, I plan to…

… become a medical student. I’d like to be trained as a surgeon.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

Every Saturday between the hedges is a Saturday I’ll never forget. Go Dawgs.