Diana L. Restrepo is originally from Colombia, South America. She is a McNair Scholar finishing a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biosciences with a minor in Sociology at the University of Kansas. She has received an Associate of Arts/Liberal Arts degree and an Associate of Science in Biotechnology from Johnson County Community College (JCCC), allowing her to gain extensive training in laboratory science using state of the art equipment.
Ms. Restrepo has also acquired skills as a field biologist while working with several Friends of the Kaw scientists, educators and volunteers during a study looking at the relationship between nutrient cycling and land usage around a significant reservoir, which serves as the water source for a large number of residents and used principles of this study to create a lesson plan for the High School curriculum of Friends of the Kaw. Diana also contributed to The Shawnee County Natural Resource Inventory and Assessment (NRIA) project with data collected from this study. Diana is interested in looking at how agricultural and/or horticultural practices affect the water sources of disadvantaged populations, i.e. Native Americans and Hispanics, and plans to compare these practices and its effects to those in her native country as part of her master’s thesis.
Diana has also been involved in the community using her bilingual skills and building the character of a true servant to the Hispanic community anywhere she goes. She has been a translator at the Johnson County Community College dental fair serving the Hispanic community of Kansas City. She has also been the translator for the JCCC international service learning project based in Santa Rosa, a village inside Las Pintas in Guadalajara, Mexico, in addition, she has volunteered several times as a server at the annual international dinner at the same school that collects funds for international student’s scholarships. Diana has been actively involved with the Traveling General Colombian Consulate and has participated in several films that attempt to increase awareness among the community in regards to issues faced by immigrants in different settings. She hopes to be able to use her cultural and language skills in future projects involving environmental education for the Spanish speaking population of the Kansas City Metro Area.
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