At a Glance

Year: ’25
Major: Biochemistry
Activities: Honors College, study abroad, research, Christian Student Fellowship

Chemistry BS

As a chemistry major, you will gain the expertise needed to enter the workforce as a chemist or enroll in graduate or professional school.

From the moment Stephanie Ceballos stepped foot in Madrid, she was in awe.

“It was breathtaking,” says Ceballos, who traveled to Spain’s capital for a nine-day study abroad trip following her sophomore year.

Ceballos, whose family hails from the Dominican Republic, made studying abroad a priority coming into college, as she wanted to immerse herself in another country’s culture. A biochemistry major in the Honors College, Ceballos found time to fit a trip into her rigorous academic schedule.

“It’s definitely possible for any major to study abroad,” says Ceballos, who suggests shorter study abroad trips over spring, summer or winter breaks for students who may not be able to commit to a whole semester.

Ceballos felt confident going to Madrid after learning about the city through the course Exploring Madrid’s Past and Present, taught by Honors College Study Abroad Coordinator Julian Zabalbeascoa. While in Madrid, Ceballos enjoyed visiting historic landmarks, popping into street markets, riding the Metro de Madrid and trying traditional cuisine, such as the Spanish tortilla, an egg and potato dish.

“There was so much to do, and it was all close by,” she says. “I loved it.”

The Honors College and Kennedy College of Sciences awarded Ceballos scholarships to help fund her study abroad experience.

“Their contributions were greatly appreciated,” she says. 

When Ceballos returned to campus for her junior year, she joined Chemistry Asst. Prof. Michael Ross’ research group to study nanoparticles. She received a $1,500 Honors College Fellowship for her work. Ceballos previously gained research experience with Physical Therapy and Kinesiology Asst. Prof. Yuho Kim. Through the Immersive Scholars program, Ceballos got a $4,000 scholarship to research the role of mitochondria in muscle health and disease in Kim’s lab.

“I knew if I had lab experience, it would help me in the long run,” says Ceballos, who plans on getting a master’s degree at UMass Lowell before entering the biotechnology or pharmaceutical field. “It was a great experience.”

Ceballos chose UMass Lowell because of the strong financial aid package she received from the university and its close proximity to her hometown of Methuen, Massachusetts. She also wanted to join her brother, Steven Ceballos ’23, who studied computer science at UML.

Ceballos commuted in her first year, but she chose to live in a residence hall during her sophomore year and beyond as she became more involved on campus.

“I was on campus a lot, doing different things, so my parents told me I should see what it would cost if I lived at school,” she says. “I emailed The Solution Center, and they were very helpful. My mom and I ran through the numbers and decided that since I received a good amount in scholarships, it worked out.”

A former soccer and track athlete at Methuen High School, Ceballos likes taking fitness classes at the Campus Recreation Center and walking around the city. She is also involved in the Christian Student Fellowship, an organization she sought to join on her first day of college.

“It’s inviting, welcoming and has quite literally changed my life,” she says. “Joining a club is a good way to feel part of the UMass Lowell community.”

Why study abroad?

Headshot of Stephanie Ceballos.
“By studying abroad, you learn so much about different cultures.”