Natalia Jaspeado Becerra
Department of Food Science and Technology
Food Science & Technology
Mexico City, Mexico
Being a member of the Ohio State Women’s (Varsity) Swim & Dive team has brought Natalia Jaspeado Becerra an extreme amount of joy and accomplishment. Natalia has grown as an athlete and a person from swimming and loves to train with people from all different backgrounds. At their conference championships, Natalia and her team placed in the top three during her first two years, and they were Big Ten champions last year, which was such an amazing feeling of accomplishment for all of them. Natalia is tremendously thankful for her teammates, coaches, and professors who have helped her and taught her so much throughout this process!
Serving as a CFAES Peer Mentor has been Natalia’s most rewarding experience during her time at Ohio State. Natalia has always considered herself a team player and has always enjoyed helping others, being there for others, and guiding others, especially when she has often found herself in the position of looking for guidance. She knew that she wanted to offer support to other students in the same way her Peer Mentor had assisted and supported her. After being the mentee and going through the process from the other side, Natalia felt ready and excited to pay it forward when she became a Peer Mentor.
Identifying Dr. Rafael Jimenez-Flores as her mentor, Natalia communicated, “Dr. Jimenez has always been supportive, welcoming, and encouraging in terms of me getting my research work started, which has been such a valuable learning experience. [A]nd I was so thankful to have someone to push me and encourage me to do it, especially as a student-athlete, because it could have been easy to postpone it, due to my busy schedule. However, that was not the case, and I always felt very excited, ready, and supported in the process.”
Natalia has not only taken classes and been a student-athlete, but she has also worked a number of jobs. After completing her freshman year, she worked as a lifeguard and a swim instructor at a summer camp. The next summer she worked with Ohio State Dining Services and with the Athletic Department. From these experiences, she learned how to ask for help, communicate, and solve problems on her own.
Working in her research lab has been an incredible learning experience for Natalia. She is surrounded by immensely capable and exceptionally skilled people. As an international student, it is always significant and memorable to meet people from your own country, and when she connected with some in her department, and specifically in dairy lab, it made this whole experience extremely special.
Natalia is still considering options for after graduation, including possibilities here in Ohio, as well as back home in Mexico City. She is currently enjoying her last months of undergraduate courses and her final collegiate swimming season. Natalia wishes to pursue graduate school, with the long-term goal of working in the food industry.
Service, involvement, and accolades: Towers Agricultural Honorary | Ohio State Varsity Scholar Athlete | Ohio State Women’s (Varsity) Swim & Dive team | Second and Seven Foundation | CFAES Peer Mentor