First undergraduate Fullbright Scholar Odalis Castro
Odalis Castro Landeros is the first ever Fulbright scholar from one of our programs! As a first-generation student, Castro Landeros never imagined applying for a program as distinguished as the Fulbright, and she owes much of her success to the CU Denver community for supporting her in what she calls a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Castro Landeros’ motivation for continuing research in the field of skin cancer comes from her experience volunteering at free health clinics across the Denver metro area. She explained, “When we see patients, many of whom are people of color for a dermatology clinic, many of them are unaware of skin cancer and how it might affect them.” She hopes to create awareness of skin cancer in patients of color in her future career in medicine. “This same passion for finding solutions and improving the quality of care for members of our community is what’s propelling me to conduct skin cancer research in Kraków, Poland this fall. I’ve received a Fulbright award to study at Jagiellonian University. When applying for the award, I originally thought I would go to a Spanish-speaking country, given my heritage. But Poland really stood out because in their description they strongly encouraged women in STEM to apply, “says Castro Landeros.
The Fulbright award covers a monthly and move-in stipend, as well as additional funds needed for research and travel. Castro’s goal is to serve as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. abroad while simultaneously establishing an international collaboration in the sciences. “I hope to showcase the presence of Hispanic culture in the U.S. while immersing myself in Polish culture and collaborating with scientists in Poland,” Castro Landeros added. “Upon my return to the U.S., I will be applying to medical school to serve Spanish-speaking populations in the U.S., while developing international scientific collaborations.”
“My advice for students, and for other first-generation students, is just go for i —try things you aren’t comfortable with, take classes outside of your majors, join an organization,” Castro said. “See if you like it and you will find these intersections that open doors for amazing opportunities.” You can read more about Odalis Castro Landeros here.