Kalena is a rising senior and will graduate from Garfield high school in the spring of 2021. There, she hopes to further her knowledge in STEM, taking courses in environmental and computer science. She’s excited for her (hopefully somewhat in-person) senior year, in which she’ll be her school’s yearbook editor for business and communication. Kalena spent much of her free time before Covid-19 volunteering at the Seattle Aquarium, creating art and looking for snails after days of Seattle rain. Currently, she’s taken up new socially distant hobbies and passes time outside of ISB skateboarding, mural-painting and attempting to master the ukulele. Kalena has been a vegetarian for nearly four years and is passionate about conscious consumerism and personal changes to better our environment.
With ISB, Kalena is working with her partner Avni and their mentor, Adrian Lopez Garcia de Lomana, to understand the connection and dependency between computer science and biology. Her group is utilizing Python to learn more about transcriptomics on the Raspberry Pi microcomputer. So far, her favorite part of the internship has been listening and discussing Covid-19 with a systems thinking approach. Looking at different facets of the virus’ effects has allowed her to better understand the perspective of different people, direct/indirect influences she hadn’t thought about, and much more. Kalena has also enjoyed learning from and asking questions to ISBers. With their insight, she’s learned about interdisciplinary fields of study and how it’s possible to combine many different interests into a career perfectly suited for you. Kalena will likely major in biology for her undergrad years, while hopefully taking courses on computer science, marine biology and environmental science. Past that, she has no idea. Because of her multiple interests, she’s still unsure about the specific career path she wants to take, but ISB has inspired her to look into labs that allow scientists to explore different skills and interests.