Nina Ballesteros is majoring in biology with an emphasis in pre-medicine at Eastern New Mexico University to get a step closer to accomplishing her goal of being a veterinarian.
She shares, "I hope to ultimately achieve being able to have my own practice and helping the animals in need. I also want to be able to teach those who are also interested in the same career path as mine."
Nina was born and raised in San Diego, California. She has two sisters, age 23 and 11, and one brother, 17. Her father graduated with a bachelor's degree from San Diego State University and is a nurse/manager at San Ysidro Health. Her mother received an associate degree from the University of California at San Diego and is a secretary for an elementary school in Chula Vista, California.
The ENMU women's soccer team member chose to attend Eastern due to her soccer scholarship and the "small campus atmosphere. I always knew I wanted to go away for college to grow on my own without my support system back home, and I found that being here at ENMU was the perfect choice for that."
She continues, "I come from a huge town, and my high school actually had more students in each class than ENMU. I love the small campus and small classrooms because I am able to interact with my professors one-on-one without having to feel like just a number in their classroom."
The sophomore's favorite class at Eastern has been Principles of Biology; Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution.
She explains, "I really enjoy my professor and how he has basically show-and-tell Fridays and shows us his collection of bugs. I think it's interesting to know how many different species are out in this world all due to evolution."
The dean's list honoree's go-to study spot on campus is the Golden Student Success Center. She explains, "The environment is really peaceful and has allowed me to study and finish multiple assignments or just have time to myself in the study rooms."
She offers guidance to students interested in her field of study: "It definitely isn't easy, especially if you're a student-athlete. You have to dedicate a lot of time to studying and doing your work on top of going to practice and dedicating time to getting better at your sport, but it is achievable. After I pass my courses every semester, it makes me very proud as I recognize all the hard work I put into school and soccer."
Her favorite part of being a Greyhound is "playing on the soccer field with my closest friends."
Nina's hobbies include going to the beach, hanging out with her friends, family and significant other, eating Korean BBQ and drinking boba, playing with her dog, baking, going shopping and thrifting, watching the sunset and meditating.
One of her dreams is to travel for at least two months straight, visiting new countries, trying new foods and experiencing other cultures. She would love to visit Portofino, Italy, and the Golden Bridge in Vietnam.