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Department ofAnthropology


Noel Del Toro ‘20 Isn’t Monkeying Around

Costa Rican triple threat: undergraduate research, international travel, and multidisciplinary coursework

Costa Rican triple threat: undergraduate research, international travel, and multidisciplinary coursework

By Ally O'Connor '20
Noel Del Toro ‘20

Noel Del Toro ‘20

This summer, Santa Clara University sophomore and College of Arts and Sciences REAL Scholar Noel del Toro has the unique experience of spending almost four weeks in the jungles of Costa Rica studying rare white-faced capuchin monkeys. Del Toro, a public health and anthropology double major with a biology minor, explains, “I have always been fascinated by neuroscience, and am thrilled by the opportunity to learn about the communicative and behavioral actions of these monkeys because of their similar biological makeup to that of humans.”

Through her summer anthropological experience, del Toro will be one of 20 SCU students at the La Suerte Biological Field Station conducting undergraduate research under the supervision of anthropology professor Michelle Bezanson. Alongside her independent capuchin monkey research project, del Toro will also earn ten upper division units by taking both biology and environmental science courses.

As a REAL Scholar, del Toro has been awarded a $5,000 grant to support the research component of her work in Costa Rica. She excitedly notes that she is grateful for the program because “it will make my first trip outside of the country possible and will expose me to the type of work I hope  to do professionally later in life.”


About the REAL Program

The College of Arts and Sciences developed the REAL Program to allow students to discover their interests, gain a rich understanding of a particular field, discern their career goals, and explore future employment fields. We believe financial means should not determine whether or not a student can participate in internships, research, or creative works opportunities. Committed to providing paid experiential learning opportunities for students, the REAL program provides stipends up to $5,000 for undergraduate opportunities lasting up to 10 weeks over the summer. In 2018, its first year, the REAL Program distributed $550,000 to over 125 students.

For more information about the REAL Program, email

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