Name: Cristy Portales
Officer Position: Public Relations Committee Chair
Officer Duties: Coordinating the activities of the PR Committee which is in charge of letting the
world know about SURGe and our events. We do flyer design, distribution, social networking and a
lot of creative advertising.
SURGe Past: I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy SURGe since my first semester at UT as a member
of the Public Relations Committee. I especially liked the volunteering events because they give us a
chance to interact with little kids and get them interested in science. But what surprised me the most
was how the lectures and workshops helped me during my first year; from understanding how the
science world works to having a conversation about nano materials and not remembering where it
came from… well that’s a SURGer!
Research Experience: I am part of the FRI Stream Biology of Biofuels. We study switchgrass as a possible
source of biomass to produce ethanol. To do this, we look at it from a variety of perspectives
including genetics, the physiology of the plant and the symbiotic relationships it forms with other
organisms. This semester I will be starting a project regarding fungal symbiosis.
About Me: I am an international student from Mexico! As a child I used to move a lot so I really
love traveling and exploring any place I’m in. Meeting new people and getting a glimpse how they see
their world is intriguing to me. One of the reasons why I love UT is this; the amazing array of people
it attracts and all the different stories we all bring.