Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center

UROC Peer Writing Fellows

UROC scholars and researchers who have successfully completed a UROC Program are invited to apply to be a peer UROC writing fellow.  Applications open late fall; position begins in spring. Writing fellows mentor incoming UROC scholar cohorts as well as UROC researchers, Koret Scholars, LSAMP, and UROC Research Rookies students to support them in undergraduate research and professional writing development. UROC Peer Writing Fellows are responsible for: 

Back row: Alex Jensen, Robert Castro, Katie Brown, Emily Smith & Gina Dabbah; front row: Madison Heard and Natasha Oehlman


  • Facilitating weekly professional writing groups of 3-4 UROC scholars to provide critical, yet constructive, peer feedback on REU applications, ePortfolio components, and scholarships and fellowships.
  • Assisting scholars in all stages of the writing process—from idea generation, to content organization, and delivery of final message.
  • Attending professional development orientations as well as bi-weekly professional development meetings focused on strategies for effective group facilitation, best practices for responding to written work; reading strategies for comprehending complex academic texts; and calibration of written work.
  • Collaborating with the campus-learning center (CLC) writing team to co-facilitate workshops.
  • Leading select UROC Workshops.
  • Assisting in UROC program planning and development.

Meet the 2024 UROC Peer Writing Fellows

Emily Donahue holding a white bucket

Contact: edonahue@csumb.edu

Emily Donahue

My name is Emily (she/her/hers) and I am a senior majoring in Environmental Science, Tech & Policy with a minor in Statistics. During my undergraduate degree, I have worked to develop skills in science and outreach. I’ve participated in summer research projects with Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and a joint program with COAST and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. During these experiences I got the chance to work on unique projects from fish chorusing to abalone restorations while also developing my own outreach events and materials. I plan to use my experience to earn a PhD degree in Population Biology/Ecology and later become a professor. 

I am a UROC Scholar and LSAMP participant. I am also the founder and facilitator of the Processing Opportunities in Writing, Education and Research (POWER) group, where everyone is welcome to come and express their experiences in pursuing high stakes opportunities. I am so excited to work with everyone and be a part of your journey towards achieving your goals!

Ingrid Martinson

Contact: imartinson@csumb.edu

Ingrid Martinson

Hi everyone! I’m Ingrid (she/they) and I am a fourth year Marine Science major with a minor in Environmental Health Policy. My research experiences have covered a wide range of different topics–from oil spill impacts to plastic pollution– but have all focused on finding marine conservation solutions.

I am a 2022 NOAA EPP/MSI Scholar and a 2023 Goldwater Scholar. Last summer I conducted research with a NOAA non-profit partner, Puget Sound Restoration Fund, to evaluate the success of a bull kelp restoration project. Currently, I am continuing this research for my Honors Capstone. I have presented this research at the Western Society of Naturalists (WSN) Meeting, the 2023 NDiSTEM Conference, and I will be presenting at the 2024 Ocean Sciences Meeting in February. 

On campus, I am co-President of the Sustainability Club and a student representative on the President’s Sustainability committee. I am excited to help students write authentic, competitive applications that will help advance their research career! Outside of school I enjoy crocheting, making jewelry, baking, and spending time with friends.

Jessica Naranjo

Contact: jenaranjo@csumb.edu 


Jessica Naranjo

Hi everyone! I’m Jessica (she/her/ella). I’m a fourth-year Mathematics major with a minor in Data Science. I love hanging out with my friends, reading, and watching movies and TV shows.

Last summer, I conducted research at the Corbett-Detig lab at UCSC as a NHGRI GREAT Scholar, where we set out to determine which specific mutations on the proofreading parts of the SARS-CoV-2 genome cause the virus to mutate faster. I have presented this research at the 2023 NDiSTEM Conference and at research symposiums in UCSC and CSUMB. I will also be presenting this research at the 2024 NHGRI Research Training and Career Development Annual Meeting in April.

Last semester, I became a peer liaison in the CSUMB Mathematics and Statistics department, where I help connect students in lower-division Math/Stat courses to resources that can assist them in their educational journey. In addition to this, I was applying to the GEM fellowship and various Master’s in Statistics programs. I’m very excited to help students as a writing fellow with the knowledge I have gained through my experiences.

Contact: kimsmith@csumb.edu

Kimberly Smith

Hello all! I’m Kimmy (she/her) and I am in my final semester as a Collaborative Health and Human Services major, Biology minor. I grew up about 4.5 hours south of Monterey in a little town called Ojai. I transferred to CSUMB in Spring 2022 from Ventura College and moved to East Campus with my husband, Paul. We both love getting outside and exploring new places.
As a McNair Scholar and Sally Casanova Scholar, I have actively engaged in research and community-based initiatives aimed at addressing public health challenges and eliminating health disparities. I conducted summer social epidemiology research at the University of Arizona focused on cancer prevention resources for Hispanic women in Arizona and spent the following summer at Emory University where I developed an independent research project focused on poverty and maternal health outcomes. 

On Campus, I am a researcher in Dr. Lovell’s Child Health and Wellness Lab, where my central project has been a Youth Participatory Action Research project to assess the escalation of the youth mental health crisis through a community partnership with the Gonzales Youth Council. I have disseminated ongoing results through presentations at the Western Psychological Association 2023 Conference, the Society of Community Research and Action Conference 2023, and placed 2nd at the CSU Research Competition. I also serve as the maternal mental health representative for Family Friendly Club and am a resident advisor for East Campus housing. 

As a low-income first-generation transfer student, the mentorship and support I have received from my campus community have shaped my desire to provide mentorship for other undergraduate students with similar challenges. I look forward to helping students tell their stories and encouraging them to keep dreaming bigger.

Connor Quiroz

Contact: coquiroz@csumb.edu

Connor Quiroz

Hey folks, I’m Connor Quiroz (he/him)! I’m in my final semester at CSUMB pursuing an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, Technology, and Policy with a double minor in Data Science and in Statistics. I was born and raised in Sacramento, California, and I have a deep passion for exploring the outdoors as well as a drive to preserve our natural environment. I have explored these passions through research projects sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center (UROC) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

I’ve attended two Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs), both teaching me what I enjoyed and what I didn’t. During my first REU in 2022, I studied the ecology of pitcher plants using genetic techniques including polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing with Central Michigan University (I had no prior microbiology experience). During my second REU, I described historic marine environments by analyzing drill core samples during the late Devonian with Macalester College (I knew very little geology going in). These REUs fostered my passion for studying aquatic habitats from a quantitative angle, and I modeled species distributions for California red-legged frogs, a threatened species, for an honors capstone. I want to extend my knowledge in a Ph.D. program so that I can use my learning to benefit others!

As for writing (applies to any challenge in general), anyone can become a great writer - it’s about putting in effort and patience! I have learned through multiple revisions in internship, fellowship, and graduate school applications that you need to develop deep level thinking for why you do what you do and how your activities connect towards your goal. Make the most of the time you have, and learn learn learn!!