Peace Corps volunteer Stephen Maurano doesn't know where to stop when he lists the great opportunities he had while an undergraduate at Santa Clara.
He conducted research on monkeys in Costa Rica, counted a rare plant population in Monterey County, studied biological control programs in the state of California, and measured arsenic levels in San Jose's Guadalupe River. He was able to present the results of his work at a number of conferences and poster sessions at SCU and at other schools.
He also taught English in East San Jose, worked on air quality issues in California's Central Valley for an internship, and went on two immersion trips in Mexico.
"I feel really lucky to have had the undergraduate experience I did," he says. "I can point to the skills I gained—from a solid understanding of ecology fieldwork, to social science research and primatology. I had all the support to take on a project on my own."
He's now working on agriculture programs in Paraguay with the Peace Corps.
"I can't even begin to name all of the professors whose classes I felt engaged in and who were interested in seeing me challenged and successful," he says. "I can only hope, now that I feel a little more adjusted here in Paraguay, that I'll find time to keep in contact and write letters to thank as many of them as I can."
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