IC Honors Alumni Spotlight: Jason Diaz ’09

Meet Jason Diaz, a special Alumni spotlight! Jason will be speaking at the Senior Banquet next week – he graduated from IC in 2009 with a degree in Biochemistry with a Politics minor, went on to complete his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014 and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the same university. Learn more about Jason below:

Diaz Profile Photo.jpg

Current position/grad school: “Completed a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology, with a focus on virology, at the University of Pennsylvania in Dec 2014. My advisor was Dr. Jianxin You.

Am now a post-doctoral fellow, still at Penn, under Dr. Kim Gallagher. I study how proteins move from cell to cell to establish developmental programs in plant roots.”

One piece of advice you wish someone had given you in your years at IC: “Looking back, I don’t think there was anything I wish I had been told – I feel like I had a lot of people offering me sound advice and I ended up having an incredibly fulfilling experience at IC. If I were to give what I felt was the most important advice to students now, I would encourage you all to really immerse yourself. Make strong connections with both your peers and your faculty, get involved with groups that interest you, take classes that ignite your passion or explore something interesting, study abroad and explore Ithaca outside of campus!”

Favorite Honors seminar you took and why: “Picking a favorite one is really hard, so instead I’ll cheat and say which one was the most life changing: Sexing the Gender of War, with Zillah Eisenstein, Spring of 2006. This course introduced me to basic feminist theory, deconstructed concepts of sex and gender, and then tied these fluid concepts to militarization. Zillah has a particular play with language in her writing that really opened my eyes to the power of words. What was particularly life changing about this course was the book Sexing the Body, by Anne Fausto-Sterling. This book opened my eyes to the political structures underlying the research of biology and especially sex, taught me about the incredible variety of sexual development in humans (something not covered in my basic biology class!) and ignited my passion for the intersection of biological science and politics. This personal experience of bridging the humanities and the sciences really exemplified what the Honors Program was designed to do, and fundamentally affected my development as a scholar and a global citizen.”

One word that sums up your university experience: “Immersive.”

We’re always looking for interesting students to highlight in our Student Spotlight series.
Do you know a really cool Honors student? Nominate them to be a Student Spotlight here!
Do you know a really cool alum of the Honors program? Nominate them to be an Alumni Spotlight here!
Email sguter1@ithaca.edu with any comments, questions, concerns or nominations.