Richelle Homo – Thriving at UCI

Thanks to your support, Richelle Homo is on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a culturally-sensitive physician with a deep passion to serve.

Born in New York and raised in Southeast Asia, Richelle Lu Homo has a wonderful charm, a zest for life and deeply focused personal goals.  She fell in love with UCI as a high school student touring the campus, sitting in on one of the lectures and feeling a spirit of collaboration amongst the students.  Thinking about her college career, Richelle couldn’t imagine herself in any other place.

Once she officially became an Anteater, Richelle pursued a double major in chemistry and biological sciences because she wanted to become a culturally-sensitive physician who would combine clinical practice with biomedical education and research.  Her inspiration and motivation to study medicine came from growing up with a brother with Down’s syndrome.  She knew that conducting chemistry and pharmacology research in Dr. Mahtab Jafari’s lab would allow her to explore a complex world of science that intrigued her – and fed a passion fueled by a very personal and meaningful influence. 

As an undergraduate researcher, Richelle co-authored an article on the effects of green tea in the development and reproduction of fruit flies, which share a similar genetic makeup to humans.  Her natural curiosity and inquisitive mind enabled her to confidently delve into the research that could one day help others like her brother, ultimately improving their quality of life and giving peace of mind to their families.

Richelle has other passions as well.  She is an avid photographer who has used her skill and enthusiasm to contribute to her community through events like the Chemistry Outreach Program which is targeted to local elementary and middle schools, teaching kids about chemistry through demonstrations.  Richelle took photographs of the activities and interaction to showcase the importance of mentorship and encourage moral and academic support for future scientists. 

Strong guidance and mentorship have been the hallmark of her success at UCI.  Dr. Jafari was an important role model for her as were the academic counselors at the Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences and the School of Physical Sciences.  The Campuswide Honors Program was also pivotal as it allowed her to take classes that would lay the foundation for learning the hard sciences she needed for her majors while also broadening her awareness and sensitivity of community health needs and challenges.  Above all else, Richelle wants to serve as a good role model and healthy influence to other students in the STEM fields – to cultivate great dreams and noble ambitions. 

From the bottom of her heart, Richelle extends her thanks to all UCI donors for helping her achieve her dream.  As a recipient of The Rose Hills Foundation Scholarship, the Physical Sciences Achievement Award, the UCI Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Research Grant, Richelle has been able to thrive in her college years.  She’s enjoyed participating in research, co-authoring a publication, serving as a mentor to students who share the same passions, and staying grounded through her personal hobbies.  UCI has proven to be an uplifting, encouraging and collaborative environment for her to expand her abilities and skills, and she couldn’t be happier.

“I am very, very grateful.  My parents are very grateful.  I’m a first-generation American college student, and the opportunities that have been opened for me here would not have happened without all of you.  Thank you for investing in me, my peers and our future.” 

We celebrate the success of the future Dr. Richelle Homo who will undoubtedly serve our communities with focused intelligence, tenderness and grace.

Richelle Homo

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