Angelica Lemus Reyes is an Anthropology major. She graduated high school in 2009 and enrolled at Fresno City College. From there, it took her nine years to get to Fresno State because she did not have financial help from her family or the Dream Act to help pay for her education. During that time, she would enroll in as many classes as she could while working a full time job. She was accepted at Fresno State in 2018 and will complete her degree next month.
“I have always been fascinated by history, human interaction and, more recently, the study of bones (osteology),” Lemus Reyes said. “Growing up, I was told to choose something different, but I followed my dreams and decided to pursue anthropology.”
Lemus Reyes shared her academic experience at Fresno State in a Q&A
What is your career goal?
I always knew I wanted to be an anthropologist. My interests are everywhere so I didn’t know if I wanted to do biological anthropology or archaeology. My current plan is to be a forensic pathologist or forensic anthropologist. Since taking human variation with Dr. Chelsey Juarez, I knew that my focus would be in physical anthropology. I see myself working in the medical field in the future.
What do you think about our College of Social Sciences (COSS) professors?
My professors are simply THE BEST. They have been absolutely incredible. They are all so passionate about their careers and students. They are always making sure that their students understand the material and are ready to help to make sure that we succeed. I have never experienced so many teachers rooting for you to succeed. I am absolutely grateful for having them in my educational journey.
Did you experience any challenges as a student?
I experienced challenges left and right. Where to begin? First off, I am undocumented and I did not know if I was going to be able to go to college in 2009. My mother was hardly ever home, my father was in Mexico and my family was too poor to help send me to college. I had to struggle and work in order to make it happen. During that time, I moved around a lot and struggled with my mental health. When I was accepted to Fresno State, I had a 1 year old son and that presented challenges in looking for a babysitter. My first year, I got pregnant again and had to bring my baby girl to class with me on various occasions (Thank you Dr. J!). I’m graduating in the spring and this pandemic has thrown another curveball on all of us. These experiences have presented many challenges in how I navigate my journey, but they have never stopped me from pursuing my goals.
What is your most memorable experience at Fresno State?
My most memorable experience at Fresno State has been working in the lab with Dr. Juarez. It has been great to learn how a lab is run and how forensic anthropologists work.
How do you feel about being recognized as an outstanding student?
I did not see it coming! It’s great. It helps validate how much work I have put in my education. I’ve worked hard and I know others have too and I’m happy that COSS has recognized that as well.
How do you think COSS prepared you for the future?
COSS has given me all the tools I need to succeed. I think the biggest takeaway for me is that even if I am not prepared or in need of a bit of help, I can always come back and reach out to COSS for guidance.
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
I see myself in some sort of education setting. I’m hoping that I am either a forensic pathologist or anthropologist with a good reputation and my strong work ethic.
What is your advice for other students?
Always ask questions! Make sure you understand and communicate with your professors. They are there to help you succeed.
“Thank you to COSS and my professors for a wonderful experience.”