Rocio.jpg

Amaris Castanon

Biological Sciences Professor

El Paso Community College

And - Clinical Research Coordinator at IQVIA

,,

Look at your barriers not as obstacles, but as gifts, for they will serve you to cross your next challenge.

,,

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am currently a Biological Sciences Professor at El Paso Community College. I also work for IQVIA as a Clinical Reseach Coordinator in a Clinical Phase III Trial for an AstraZeneca Vaccine targetting COVID-19.

My time is shared between these 2 positions. As a Biological Sciences Professor, I teach Biology classes for Majors and Non-Majors as well as their respective Lab classes. Due to COVID-19 regulations, at the moment this position is remote and consits greatly of taping myself and having online meetings with my students.

As a Clinical Research Coordinator, I am responsible for consenting patients participating in the Clinical Trial Study and ensuring that they understand the research protocol as much as possible before they consent to participating. I am responsible for keeping up with patients' follow ups and recording their data in appropriate databases for clinical research use. Essentially, I am responsible for writing each patient's book throughout the duration of this study.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

During my last senior year in high school, I was set on becoming an Architect. I decided to take a course on Architecture during my senior year and realized I hated it. I entered college knowing that I was going to study something in the Sciences, because I was drawn to them but was not really sure what to pick.

My mother is a Microbiologist and a Nurse. I grew up with conversations about Bacteria and Cells. I remember my mom bough me this cool microscope when I was young and she even bought me slides of bacteria to view--it was my all time favorite toy.

When deciding my major, I always thought back on the Science Channel shows I would watch--stem cells and molecular biology always captivated me most. The idea of working in a laboratory sounded exciting and something worthwhile to spend my time in and make a living. After much thought between engineering and biochemistry, I chose Biochemistry as my declared Major.

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

I have faced many roadblocks on the way as a women in STEM.

The best way to tackle obstacles has proved to be to change my perception about them.

I no longer view obstacles as factors that bother me or throw me off, rather I view them as opportunities and teachers. Whenever I face an obstacle I ask myself, What can I learn from this? What is this teaching me?

 

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

All the STEM research programs, scholarships, and internships available. If I had known there were so many, I would have spent more time applying to these!

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

STEM is an innovative field that is constantly changing. Our activities have the opportunity to strongly impact the world and the interactions that take place in humanity. STEM is revolutionary and life-changing.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Look at your barriers not as obstacles, but as gifts, for they will serve you to cross your next challenge.

INSPIRATION

The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it’s really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad — because you never know what will be the consequence of the misfortune; or, you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune--Alan Watts