Claudia Kazmirak, a Notre Dame senior double majoring in Science Preprofessional Studies and Spanish, has been extremely effective at integrating her seemingly disparate majors.
Her Spanish studies have allowed her to explore the intersection of health and culture. Claudia said, “My experiences interacting with different Latino communities, both abroad and locally, have shown me how diverse people are. A person’s beliefs and customs affect their decisions, thought processes, medical concerns, and thus can, and should, influence the course of their medical care.”
One such experience was a Kellogg Institute funded internship in Córdoba, Argentina with Child Family Health International during the summer of 2017. Claudia rotated through various hospitals and learned about healthcare practice and policy in Latin America. While in Argentina, she also took Spanish classes, Argentina culture courses, and shadowed physicians in the NICU of Hospital Pediátrico.
Claudia also attained valuable experience as a research assistant in the Infant Studies Lab run by Jill Lany, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. The lab focuses on language development in infants. This enabled her to attend the National Student Leadership Conference on Neuroscience & Psychology at Harvard Medical School during the summer of 2016, where she organized and presented lectures on learning and memory.
In addition to her studies, Claudia is passionate about volunteering. She tutors at La Casa de Amistad, an organization providing tutoring and care for Hispanic children in South Bend. She is also the treasurer for RareND, a club aiming to raise student awareness about rare and neglected diseases. On weekends she works at A Rosie Place, a licensed specialty hospital in South Bend offering respite for medically fragile children on weekends. Volunteering has reminded Claudia “of the need for compassion in a world that is quick to identify us by our differences. It is imperative to embrace the inherent vulnerability in humanity.”
Outside the classroom, Claudia enjoys cooking and baking, taking spontaneous trips, and spending time with friends and family. After graduation, she plans to attend the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago, where she will pursue a dual-degree MD/MPH with an emphasis on global and women’s health.