Claudia Carrillo

Claudia Carrillo hopes to become a pediatric dietitian. When she isn't studying, Claudia enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking healthy recipes, and practicing yoga.

Claudia Carrillo challenges herself to grow as a student through undergraduate research

With the encouragement of her family, Claudia Carrillo packed her bags and moved from Puerto Rico to Ames, Iowa, to study nutritional science at Iowa State University.

Claudia has always worked to become a shining example for her younger family members. In high school, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in the health industry.

From her freshman to junior year as a nutritional science major, she felt she wanted to pursue another path of study. She decided to declare a second major in dietetics; she realized she could be an example for many kids by becoming a registered dietitian for pediatric patients in a hospital or clinical setting.

Claudia had to challenge herself and step outside of her comfort zone to pursue her goals; the first step was building up the courage to ask one of her professors about research opportunities. Now, she is a Louise Rosenfeld undergraduate research intern under Kevin Schalinske, studying how whole egg consumption can slow neuro-inflammation related aging.

“It’s really nice that the Rosenfeld internship not only pays me, but that I get to work in research and understand what being a researcher is,” Claudia said. “You get to look at all the steps you need to do when performing an experiment, even afterwards during the reviewing process. It’s great exposure for grad school.”

This internship has helped Claudia to determine that she values research, and wants to continue conducting research during graduate school. Claudia said that all of this wouldn’t have been possible without gathering a minute of courage, or taking a minute to be brave and step out of her comfort zone, similar to when she decided to come to the U.S. from Puerto Rico.

“I just wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I used that as my fuel to [network],” she said. “My classes have the same professors, and they get to know you on a personal level. When you need a recommendation letter, they actually know you and know how to help you get into the program that you want.”