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First-generation college student completes decade at UArizona

Norma Villagómez-Márquez at UA
Posted at 7:05 AM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 00:41:09-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — While sitting at Old Main, Norma Villagómez-Márquez reflected on ten years at the University of Arizona.

"It's been a lot of hard work," said Villagómez-Márquez.

Villagómez-Márquez is the first in her family to attend college and she went three times. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at UA and will soon graduate with her PhD in environmental science.

"My focus was in investigating organic pollutants in different water matrices, but in particular, roof harvested rainwater," said Villagómez-Márquez.

Her focus was specific, but important, especially in the desert.

"Families across Arizona are harvesting their water and they're using their roofs to do that. We're investigating the quality of that water. We work with the community, so they know how to use their roof harvested rainwater safely," said Villagómez-Márquez.

Villagómez-Márquez spent many hours in an on-campus laboratory. She earned several honors and awards for her work, but helping the community she loves is what she finds most rewarding.

"You do the science, but you also have the human aspect. You know the impact of your work. That's what really kept me going throughout the years. I'm looking forward to continuing that in the future," said Villagómez-Márquez.