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Camilo Castelblanco Riveros graduated from Northwest with his bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology with a minor in chemistry. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Camilo Castelblanco Riveros graduated from Northwest with his bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology with a minor in chemistry. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Dec. 10, 2021

Castelblanco Riveros hones research skills, enhances global network at Northwest


Camilo Castelblanco Riveros transferred to Northwest Missouri State University from a community college on the recommendation of a friend who praised the University’s friendly atmosphere, supportive faculty and plentiful development opportunities.

Once he arrived on the Maryville campus, all of his friend’s statements checked out.

“When I came here, I realized that it’s really important to have relationships,” he said. “That was one of the huge things that I’ve been learning here – networking and making connections with people, not only in my major, but with different people as well. I think I’ve grown a lot, thanks to that.”

At Northwest, Castelblanco Riveros set his sights on completing a bachelor’s degree as preparation for pursuing a graduate degree.

“My main plan was taking classes related to my major, doing research experiences and then applying for grad school, which is what I’m doing right now,” he said.

On Friday, Castelblanco Riveros graduated from Northwest with his bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology with a minor in chemistry. He has accepted an offer to join Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, as a research assistant for neuroscience while pursuing a graduate degree.

He credits his instructors for helping him achieve his academic and research goals as well as his involvement in Psi Chi, which helped enhance his awareness and knowledge of psychology research. He names Professor of Chemistry Dr. Mohammed Meziani, Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Amy Barton, Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Jason McCain, and Professor of Communication Dr. Bayo Joachim as faculty who were most influential.

“Dr. McCain, Barton and Meziani have really taught me how to be a researcher, how to think critically, how to ask a question, how to have a method,” he said. “Whenever I had a question regarding my jobs, my obligations or research, they were always there like, ‘Hey, you can call me and talk.’ They were always open to help, and I really appreciated that.”

A native of Colombia, South America, Castelblanco Riveros made important connections, too, at the University's International Involvement Center, where he enjoyed cultural exchange activities with other international students attending Northwest.

Reflecting on his undergraduate experience at Northwest, Castelblanco Riveros says he is most proud of the ways he has grown as a person.

“Achievements are important, but many times they are thanks to a lot of people,” he said. “How everyone has helped me to grow – that is what I will take with me.”


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704