Samantha Marquez is a young innovator, scientist, entrepreneur, and high school student. She, along with her younger sister, Michelle, was born in Hartford, Connecticut while their parents were at Yale pursuing their PhD’s.
Growing up in a household where both parents’ careers are ingrained in science, Samantha found she had a passion for the sciences as well.
She truly began pursuing her passion in the 7th grade when curiosity and an idea merged together into what is now a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional project.
Her work, creating a 3D, spherical capsule of living tissue, has applications in Tissue Engineering, BioEngineering, Environmental Science, Genetic Engineering, and cell/drug delivery as well as many other fields of science.
Her 8th grade year at Robious Middle School was focused on getting the project started and running. At this time, Samantha worked vigorously in the labs at VCU, Arizona State University, and Harvard to obtain groundbreaking results.
As she approached her freshmen year at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, she yearned for more participation in the scientific community in the Richmond area, as well as farther out.
And, wow, did she ever get her wish!
In the course of barely four months, Samantha participated in six science fairs ranging from the local Metro Richmond Science Fair (where she won one of the grand prizes that would allow her to move forward to other fairs), to the State Science Fair held at Old Dominion University, to the Virginia Junior Academy of Science, to the Virginia Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (where she won the opportunity to present at the National Competition), even to the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (where she placed with an honorable mention for her poster presentation), and finally off to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, also known as ISEF, (where she competed with over 1,600 students from all around the world and won a first place and the Best in Category award for her category of Engineering: Materials and BioEngineering).
As a result of her winning a First Place at ISEF, Samantha, along with the other first and second place winners, will have an asteroid (dwarf planet) named after her, to forever leave a mark on the universe of her achievements.
Samantha’s hard work has paid off with the result of her being the co-inventor of six patent applications based on her BioEngineering innovation.
All this, at the ripe age of 15 years old!
As a young innovator, Samantha’s goal for this conference is to motivate and inspire young students just like her to find their passions and go for it! “There is nothing more rewarding than doing what you love and loving what you do,” she says.
Samantha Marquez answers the Proust Questionnaire:
What is your most marked characteristic?
I think it’s my determination. I’m always striving to succeed and push forward while keeping in mind the ideas and suggestions of those around me.
The quality you most like in a man?
Humor, sensibility, and honesty. And a British or Irish accent wouldn’t hurt either!
The quality you most like in a woman?
Honesty and sincerity
What do you most value in your friends?
The ability to assuage any bad moods or down feelings with a simple smile or joke. My friends have really been there for me and helped me survive (mostly intact) my first year of high school.
What is your principle defect?
My utter lack of organization. If I had a dime for every time my mom told me I was disorganized and needed to clean my room/bookshelf/backpack, I would never have to work another day in my life.
What is your favorite occupation?
Experimenting! Nothing in the world beats the feeling of discovering something completely new and sometimes the result branching from a complete accident.
What is your dream of happiness?
A life with my family and friends!
What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
To live without really knowing the world in which we inhabit.
What would you like to be?
Happy! Even more so than I already am!
In what country would you like to live?
I don’t know if I could choose just one. Most likely Spain or some country in Europe. I love the wide variety of culture and history there. And, let’s be honest, it wouldn’t hurt to add a little British or Irish accent spice to my life either!
What is your favorite color?
Green! It’s lively enough that it’s like yellow, but still a cooling color, like blue.
What is your favorite flower?
I think I’d have to go with Orchids. Not only because there are so many species, but also because of their modern simplicity.
What is your favorite bird?
Mockingjay. Sorry, I couldn’t resist making that Hunger Games reference!
Who are your favorite prose writers?
I don’t really have just one. I can appreciate great literature, and it amazes me when I find a new genre or series that I really love. Some of my favorites so far would include: Jane Austen, Nicolas Sparks, Emily Giffin, Hermann Hesse, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Who are your favorite poets?
Edgar Allen Poe. He may have been mildly insane, but wow could that man write!
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Boo Radley. He completely contradicted the perceptions of those around him and proved that one cannot judge a book by its cover.
Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
I love the young wisdom of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. She speaks with the conviction of a grown woman, but her growth in the book shows just how much she still must learn.
Who are your favorite composers?
I’d have to go with the classic Carl Orff. “O’ Fortuna” is genius!
Who are your favorite painters?
Salvador Dali, I’d have to say. He had the skills AND the mustache.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, my parents (Manuel Marquez and Carolina Marun), and my little sister, Michelle. I want to be like her when I grow up!
Who are your favorite heroines of history?
Marie Currie. She was a successful scientist in a time where men dominated. It’s nice to know that my middle name came from someone so strong and poised.
What are your favorite names?
Shelly (the nickname I call my sister). It’s spunky but sweet at the same time. Her perfect fit!
What is it you most dislike?
Superficiality. Please, just put the mirror down already!
What historical figures do you most despise?
Hitler and Joseph Kony (the man responsible for causing devastation in Uganda and forcing young children to become child soldiers).
What event in military history do you most admire?
The events that end without the need to fire a weapon or shed any blood. These are the ones that leave behind the least hurtful scars.
What reform do you most admire?
The personal one that drives someone to better themselves for their own satisfaction, rather than the wants of others.
What natural gift would you most like to possess?
Organization and, while we’re at it, how about the gift of song. I could make a salary off of people paying me NOT to sing, so if I could sing well, I wouldn’t have to turn up the radio loud enough to block out my own voice for the safety of the public.
How would you like to die?
Happy and without regrets.
What is your present state of mind?
Relaxed. Summer is here and the warm weather is just what I needed.
To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
…Chocolate… it’s too good!
What is your motto?
“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom, one helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.” –Sandra Carey