Luisanna Hernandez Jeppesen, an international student from Venezuela, will graduate from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences with a double major in Microbiology and Zoology and a minor in Chemistry.
According to her nominator, Academic Success Coordinator Kari Schlobohm of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Hernandez Jeppesen has been wonderful to work with. She has taken a heavy course load every semester, been in the Honors Program, worked in the research lab of Professor Donald Mykles and volunteered at the WOLF Sanctuary.
Hernandez Jeppesen plans to attend a language institution in Berlin to learn German for a year, and then hopes to be admitted to a Medical Laboratory Science program. After gaining some work experience, she wants to apply to medical school and become a pathologist.
“The world is my oyster, and all that,” she said. “There are too many fun things to do!”
In their own words
Q. What experiences in your life or at CSU have required you to demonstrate courage?
Although I had always wanted to study in a foreign country, coming here from Venezuela was certainly an interesting journey! It took a lot of courage to immerse myself in a completely different world from what I’d known back home, all my life. I remember thinking that there were so many options to choose from, back when I was deciding what exactly I wanted to study. I changed my major and minors many different times until I realized I could do it all – I could take on the challenge if I wanted to – and so I did. My courage was not about never having doubts, but rather about believing I could do anything I set my mind to, in spite of them. I was open to every opportunity that presented itself to me, even when it seemed far beyond my capabilities, and one certain thing I learned was that I was much more capable than I originally thought.
Q. What was the most rewarding part of your CSU experience?
Without a shadow of a doubt, teaching molecular and general genetics (BZ350) students at TILT. There’s something special about connecting to them through shared experiences, and being able to explain things in a way that I would have liked them to have been explained to me, and seeing the way they start enjoying the course so much more once they understand that the University is not about grades or exams, but rather about learning concepts that can be directly applicable to their areas of interest in “real life.” I’ve met so many interesting people with such diverse backgrounds and have learned countless things from them. I look forward to every session; I truly and wholeheartedly enjoy them! Volunteering at the WOLF Sanctuary has also been one of the best experiences of my life. I am glad I have had the chance to help make these animals’ lives better, little by little.
Q. What is your advice to incoming students at CSU?
Don’t ever be afraid to reach out to your professors and classmates whenever you need some advice or guidance. CSU is filled with people who want to help you not only succeed, but also fill your life with unforgettable learning experiences. Join clubs, meet and talk to new people, seek out research, teaching and volunteer positions; the world is full of opportunities that are yours to try until you find the one that is exactly right for you.
Q. Could you talk a bit more about your experience growing up in Venezuela, and how that compares to your experiences at CSU and in Fort Collins?