When Rosario Chaclan toured College of Saint Mary during her senior year of high school, two things stood out to her: the people and the small campus.
Now a junior biology major and Spanish minor, Rosario still enjoys the small campus and seeing familiar faces daily.
“Because it is so small, you’re able to make that one-on-one connection with your professors and have conversations outside of the classes you’re taking,” she said. “If you’re struggling, most people will recognize it.”
The small inclusive campus has also allowed Rosario to get involved, even in her freshman year. She joined Student Senate and Campus Activities Board. As a sophomore, she served as an executive for both organizations. She’s also attended meetings for the Spanish Club and Secret Cooking Society Club. She's also a resident advisor.
Rosario plans to go to dental school after she graduates in 2025. But she initially didn’t know what she wanted to study for her undergraduate degree until she received CSM’s prestigious Marie Curie Scholarship, which provides significant support and resources to outstanding young women pursuing STEM majors – biology, chemistry, math, or human biology.
“I chose biology because of the sciences I was interested in doing, too,” she said.
Marie Curie Scholars receive up to $20,000 annually for four years in gift aid. In addition to having access to substantial financial resources and facilities, participants also receive free tutoring, have opportunities for undergraduate research, and have access to top programs like the National Institute of Health and NASA research fellowships.
Rosario learned she received the scholarship after getting a package in the mail. She opened it with her parents.
“It was just an exciting moment,” she said. “I was going to be able to go to college and not have to stress about where I was going to the money to pay for it.”
Rosario said the transition from high school to college was easy after attending CSM Advantage, a week-long event to help students dive into college life and get equipped to succeed in college.
“It was a good opportunity to meet the people who were starting the same year as me and also get a good feel for the surrounding community,” she said. “Many of my close friends are from my CSM Advantage days.”