STEM Role Models

Profile photo of Ceshia Palos Castellanos:
I was born in Jalisco, Mexico and raised in a small community in Southeast Los Angeles, where I first took interest in community health. At Cal I've become more interested in the varying aspects of public health through my 4+ year of involvement in The Suitcase Clinic, where I served the roles of Food Security Coordinator in one of the clinics, Undergraduate Student Instructor for the DeCal, and Executive Director for the whole nonprofit. Additionally, I was a Health Career Connections (HCC) Scholar in 2022, where I had the internship opportunity in the Office of Belonging and Equity at John Muir Health in Walnut Creek. I am a UCLA College to Career (C2C) 2020 Scholar and a Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) 2023 Scholar. I am also an NSF CAMP Scholar, and had the opportunity to do research on water equity with the S/HE Lab, and was a awarded an Honorary Research Award in this year's (2024) NSF CAMP Symposium. Other than my academic and professional involvement, I dance, and am part of the Salsa at Cal Decal! I enjoy writing poetry, meditating, catching sunsets, and getting cafecitos with friends and family! I am eager to continue exploring the intersections between environmental and racial justice, public health, and urban planning. I dream of a day where metropolitan areas in the United States shift from being automobile-centric to people-centric, and include green and blue spaces in an equitable manner - where community health support is of utmost priority.
Female student stands in front of SACNAS conference poster board.

NERDS has been my northern star throughout my time in Cal. I can confidently say I would not be where I am without this community! I've found lifelong friends, mentors, and colleagues here. I've had the opportunity to explore my creative and leadership skills as a Student Director. I've had the opportunity to explore my own research ideas and be supported through the NSF CAMP program. In personal hardships and mourning, I've found a family that has held me and picked me back up. I never cease to be inspired and moved by the countless of stories shared with community members here. NERDS impact in my undergraduate journey has been tremendous and unforgettable! I feel forever grateful to Di, Chris, and this community as a whole! The Cal NERDS Center truly is a home away from home! Thank you!

I whole-heartedly believe that Cal NERDS is an amazing organization where you can invest your funds and resources in. Cal NERDS really invests in the futures and dreams of their students and centers exposure as a mode of learning. Cal NERDS empowers a diverse body of leaders and innovators, it shows first-gen students the hidden curriculum and makes the impossible possible! I believe that choosing to donate to this organization is a very powerful investment in the future of science! I do not say that lightly, you should see the countless testaments and stories of former NERDS and how extraordinary their stories are! Thank you for making the choice to support students, like myself, you are transforming the lives of so many and it does not go unnoticed! ¡Gracias de todo corazón!

Ceshia Palos Castellanos's STEM