Ignite Innovation

Claribel Alcantar

STEM Trailblazer

Close up portrait of LMU biology student Claribel Alcantar with her arms crossed, looking to the left and smiling.

Claribel Alcantar ’23 knew she wanted to pursue a career in STEM, but it wasn’t until she met biology professor Christina Vasquez that she found her place in the discipline – and soared.

There isn’t a corner Alcantar didn’t uncover at LMU. She served as a research and teaching assistant in the Biology Department, participated in various service opportunities (earning her LMU’s Marian Award for service and leadership), and combined her love of STEM and culture on an Alternative Breaks trip to El Salvador, connecting with her family’s roots.

“Every organization helped me feel at home and welcomed at LMU,” she says. “The faculty, staff, and students allowed me to feel like I could excel – whether through service or research. That continuous support and guidance pushed me to succeed and accomplish my goals.”

Alcantar’s interest in STEM extends beyond graduation. She has presented at conferences and secured a post-graduate research fellowship at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in biology and become a professor. Her goal? To open the doors for underrepresented students in STEM, just as Professor Vasquez did for her.