Expert Explorer.

Expert Explorer.

Estefany Argueta (Animal Ecology) was not afraid to try new things. Her prowess in preparing for adventures and challenging herself both mentally and physically opened the doors to a truly unique combination of experiences.

An Iowa State University program called Science Bound, which helps underrepresented Iowa students to pursue degrees in STEM fields, piqued Estefany’s interest in science. The highlight of the program was an experience at an Iowa State-led turtle camp in Illinois that led her to choose her animal ecology major.

But Estefany wasn’t about to limit herself to her academic interest in wildlife. She opted for a field-based experience in Alaska, where she was kayaking, camping and doing research for a more hands-on experience. In addition, she joined the Iowa State’s Army Reserved Officer Training Corp (ROTC) and developed leadership skills she could apply in many settings. She worked to help other students by serving as a tutor for Science Bound, acting as a cultural ambassador with the Iowa State International Student and Scholars Office, and as an active member of the Iowa State chapter of Minorities in Agriculture and Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS).

Estefany’s hard work didn’t go without reward. She was one of five students in the US to be presented the inaugural George Washington Carver Spirit of Innovation and Service Award. Read more about how Science Opens Doors to Explore for students like Estefany in STORIES online.