UC Merced Update

Sustainability Research Opportunities Abound for 2010 Grad


Andrea MercadoAndrea Mercado has a knack for finding opportunity. She left her hometown of Lake Arrowhead in Southern California for college in Seattle, but a year later, her horizons opened up in a different direction.

“I transferred to UC Merced my sophomore year because of the research opportunities, the small size of the school and the amazing financial aid,” Mercado said.

Mercado, a 2010 graduate, majored in applied mathematics with an emphasis in engineering mechanics and a writing minor. But that’s only the start of Mercado’s accomplishments at UC Merced. She also served in the ASUCM Senate and helped found the UC Merced chapter of Lambda Alliance, an organization that helps to represent the interests of LGBT students and faculty on college campuses nationwide.

Mercado remembers her experience with Lambda as particularly strengthening and inspiring. While at UC Merced, she came out as a lesbian.

“It was challenging, not because I faced hardships at UC Merced or in the community, but because I had to do most of the overcoming,” Mercado said. “UC Merced's welcoming and encouraging environment helped me flourish.”