Daniel Agalsoff

2007 John J. Peterson Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Daniel Agalsoff, of Hacienda Heights, California, is a fourth year Business Economics major and Political Science minor pursuing College Honors. He has already had exposure to the fields of investment banking and public accounting through his internship experiences. He was part of a highly successful Mock Trial team for four years, and has conducted award winning research on the public policy issues surrounding the Central Valley Irrigation Project. He has also received countless awards for his service and leadership. In addition, Daniel was a three-sport athlete in high school. He wrestled and played baseball and water polo. He excelled in each of these sports, particularly in water polo. He was named All-League Varsity for three consecutive years and was also named as the Captain and MVP of his varsity team, leading them to the CIF Southern Section playoffs. While in college, he has continued to maintain his passion and involvement in aquatic sports. He attributes his athletic involvement as a crucial factor in his success as it has enabled him to develop a great talent for time management and instilled in him the value of teamwork.

Future Plans: In terms of Daniel’s personal career aspirations, his goal is to build a strong foundation in the business world and then to utilize his business acumen in order to help humanity. With a background in accounting and finance, his eventual plan is to work for a venture capital fund which raises capital for upstart biotechnology companies. He believes that there is tremendous potential for biotechnological innovations to improve and save lives. The work of Amgen demonstrates the enormous potential of innovative human therapeutics. However, he says that we need to see more upstart biotech companies contributing to this sphere of research, as these smaller biotech shops will be able to focus on developing therapeutics to fight less common, but equally devastating diseases. And he says that this is where biotechnological therapeutics are needed most. Biotechnological treatment offers the most promise in developing targeted “silver bullet” cures for the worst maladies that exist, and hence Daniel believes that we need to remain steadfast in pursuing such biotechnological research.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: The UCLA Department of Economics Scholarship Fund is investing in the future of individuals who are dedicated to driving change in our world. I am very proud and grateful to be a recipient of the John J. Peterson Scholarship. This award is a tremendous blessing for me as I remain committed to funding my own education independently of parental financial support. It has been a challenge to carry a full course load and to work hard to put myself through school. However, I believe it has built character and instilled in me a greater appreciation for my education. This scholarship will allow me to focus more time on achieving my intellectual and extracurricular pursuits. This scholarship is a gift that keeps on giving; not only will it ease my financial burdens, but it is an inspiring vote of confidence that tells me, “We believe that you can achieve and that you have a great potential to make this world a better place….” I am grateful for Mr. John J. Peterson, Sr.’s commitment to advancing the futures of students who are firmly devoted to making an extraordinary impact in our world.