Hello everyone! I am Claudia Carrillo, a 5th-year senior student in Dietetics at Iowa State University. I graduated this past May with a BSc in Nutritional Science Pre-Health and in a year I will be completing my second BSc in Dietetics. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and moved to Iowa back in 2016 to pursue my Bachelors’s degree. I am aspiring to become a clinical Registered Dietitian, particularly interested in pediatrics and women’s health. I’ve always had a passion for food, healthcare, and helping others and I believe that this profession integrates all my interests.
My native language is Spanish, but I am fully bilingual and I don’t think this was a barrier for my transition to Iowa at all. It was definitely hard getting used to a new culture and being away from home, but everyone I met has made my experience an unforgettable one. I thankfully had not come across peers, mentors, or friends that do not understand cultural competency. I have felt very welcomed and have not been excluded from opportunities just because I have a different cultural background, and I understand and assume that privilege. Unfortunately, I know it is not like that for every multicultural individual studying in accredited schools, which is why I believe more education is needed for our caucasian peers to understand what cultural competency encompasses and the magnitude of the effect it has on so many healthcare practices.
In a predominantly Caucasian field like Dietetics, inclusivity should be practiced not only by our peers but also by preceptors. As a Latina woman, I would like to see more representation in our field because we have the same qualifications and deserve the same opportunities as any other student. I am excited to continue growing in a field that values diversity and bringing awareness to our community!