Doctoral candidate in cognitive neuroscience by day. Loving new father, husband, and son by night (and also day). For Claudio Toro Serey (’13), his life experiences have led him to be exactly who he wants to be.
Toro Serey and his family emigrated from Santiago, Chile, after he graduated high school so that his parents could pursue their passion—serving as missionaries for the Hispanic community in Lexington, Kentucky. Stripping away the luxuries of their old life was difficult but made easier when Toro Serey decided to attend Northern Kentucky University in 2008.
“I was fortunate to have had a smooth experience during college. That said, since I emigrated from Chile right after high school, the biggest challenge was adapting to the structure of American education,” Toro Serey says. Like many international students, writing essays in their non-native language is an added difficulty to an already challenging time of change. “This initially eroded my confidence, which of course impacted my performance in other classes. Having professors that cared helped me overcome that.”
Professors like Jon Cullick, Jodi Ferner and Rudy Garns were a big reason Toro Serey’s time at NKU was a success.
“These individuals embodied what NKU promised during recruitment, patiently guiding me as I adjusted to academia in the United States," Toro Serey says.
The biggest impact, however, came from Dr. Mark Bardgett, professor of Psychological Science.
“He introduced me to the world of neuroscientific research," Toro Serey says. "Beyond being an excellent teacher, his mentorship gave me the confidence to continue growing in a field that I've come to love.”
"These individuals embodied what NKU promised during recruitment, patiently guiding me as I adjusted to academia in the United States."