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Mandy Castro ’17

Mandy Castro in a science lab

Basketball is a great antidote to the rigors of academic life. As a student-athlete, I have to manage my time wisely and to stay focused. I have learned so much from being captain of my team—including leadership skills and problem-solving strategies.

My upper-level teammates recommended that I take the course Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation with Professor of Biological Sciences David Smith in my first year. Immediately, I knew this field was the direction I wanted to go. Adding the education track to my major in biological sciences was perfect because I’ve always wanted to work with kids. I will do a teaching practicum my senior year and graduate with teaching licensure. Last summer, I was part of a team of Smith students who spent six weeks in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, through Smith’s Belize Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Program, teaching at the environmental education youth camps. The program is designed to involve local children in reef ecology and encourage them to take an active role in reef preservation through field trips, experiments and creative activities. This summer, I am co-leading the teaching team in Belize, and I will be collecting additional data for my thesis on coral health, abundance and diversity.

“Being at a women’s college has given me the confidence to explore new experiences.”

At Smith, I’ve discovered that I’m a lot more capable than I thought. Whether it’s serving as president of Student Athlete Advisory Committee or pursuing research opportunities, I have become self-assured and ready to take charge. Being at a women’s college has given me the confidence to explore new experiences, and being at Smith has taught me that I can do whatever inspires me. I love being a Smithie.

Mandy Castro

About Mandy

San Diego, California

Biological sciences major, education track

Basketball team captain

Coral Reef Ed-Ventures team

Student Athlete Advisory Committee