Science-driven Spiders

December 6, 2021


One thing stands out to Spiders Carlos, Michael, and Lyndda Cevallos about their childhood: They were guided by a sense of curiosity.

“We wanted to know how stuff worked and why stuff worked,” said Carlos, a 2017 University of Richmond graduate. “We wanted to figure out the reasons behind things, behind nature, the human body, and everything around us.”

Originally from Ecuador, the family moved to Richmond when Carlos was 7 and his brother Michael was 6. Their sister Lyndda was born in Richmond, where the three spent their childhood. 

Her brothers were fascinated by nature, Lyndda said. “They would always go outside, explore.” And she developed similar interests. “We've all been into science our whole lives.”

The desire to explore and understand the natural world would later draw all three to study science at UR.

“The professors are super approachable, and make science accessible for everyone,” Carlos said. “It is such a supportive group at the University of Richmond.”

Carlos majored in biology, while his brother, Michael, a 2018 grad, majored in chemistry. Lyndda is a sophomore on campus.

Carlos is now in his last year of medical school at the University of Virginia, and Michael is in his final year at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. A former Bonner Scholar, Michael says his experience in that program inspired him to go into the medical field.

“It guided me into a career where I could help people,” Michael said.

In the program, he mentored middle school students through a non-profit organization called Higher Achievement, and found that he could make a difference in other people’s lives.

“I got to know the city I grew up in in a different light,” he said. “We got to dive deeper into social problems that affect Richmond and most other cities. Discussion and reflection were encouraged about how we fit into our community. This definitely helped guide decisions in my personal and professional life.”

Carlos added that their parents instilled in them a sense of family and a responsibility to help others, which also influenced his desire to go into medicine. And their parents emphasized the importance of staying connected to each other.

Seeing her brothers succeed at UR made Lyndda want to join the Spider family. She is planning to follow in their footsteps and major in biology and chemistry. The two brothers did have some advice for her as she wraps up her third semester on campus.

“Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can,” Carlos said. 

“And read your SpiderBytes,” Michael added. “You never know what opportunities you might find.”