A resident of the Inland Empire, Alex Cortez was born in Mexico where he spent most of his childhood. The Cortez family settling in Riverside coincided with his teenage years. Alex currently lives in Riverside. Cortez is a scientist, educator, and advocate for higher education. His educational background is in Biology with work experience in cell and molecular biology, genomics, and scientific teaching. Coming from a first-generation, low-income, and Latinx background, Alex feels strongly connected to many of our local students. He has been an undergraduate researcher, a laboratory technician, a mentor, a scientist, and an educator. Cortez is a now an Assistant Professor of Biology at Riverside City College. Prior to RCC, Alex worked in UC Riverside’s Dynamic Genome Program as a Lab Manager and then as an Academic Coordinator & Lecturer for well over a decade. He also ran the program’s Science Outreach efforts in K-14 and the community at large. Alex is particularly passionate about scientific teaching, student success, and community engagement. As a volunteer, he leads legislative advocacy, fundraising for scholarships, and community service efforts. Cortez is actively involved in some local nonprofits like the UNIDOS For La Causa, the Riverside Latino Network, serves on the executive committee of the UCR Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, and chairs the UCR Chicano Latino Alumni. Outside of work Alex enjoys hiking, creative writing, and above all ­– spending time with his daughter.

Alex Cortez Board Member