Spotlight On Colorado's Santos

By Laura Witherspoon

Colorado's Anicia Santos is a standout on the volleyball court and in the classroom.

Santos has had an impressive volleyball career that was sparked in middle school after watching her older sister play. She got serious about the sport through playing club volleyball which lead to a scholarship to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., which is member of the Big West Conference.

After two seasons with the Mustangs, she joined the Buffs and demonstrated her talent and leadership from the very beginning. But there is one thing that makes Santos stand out from all the rest: her academic excellence.

As a neuroscience major, she has a 3.5 GPA and is a three-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll. To say she has embodied the word 'student-athlete' is an understatement.

In May 2010, Santos was published in the Medscape-Pediatrics Journal.

"At the time, the journal was asking for submissions on interesting cases and seeing if someone could produce a diagnosis based on records," Santos says. "I worked in a clinic at the time and had access to medical records and read up on the kid's past medical history and all his notes so I wrote up a report on how I diagnosed it and my mom edited it from there."

With the aid of her mother, who is a pediatrician, Santos gained valuable experience working in her office.

"I try and work in her office or shadow her as much as possible and she has actually allowed me to visit a neurosurgeon at work," says Santos.

When asked how she feels about her future in the medical field, Santos says she is hopeful.

"I'm starting to do research work and write up articles with my mom so it has been a great experience and I feel very fortunate that I was published already," she says.

In high school, Santos went on a field trip to the Spine Education and Research Institute, where she and her classmates were able to dissect a cadaver. After that field trip Santos was hooked on neuroscience and the medical field.

She said she wants to keep her options open, but would like to attend medical school and focus on neuroscience and neurosurgery. In addition, Santos also hopes to participate in Doctors Without Borders.

"(Doctors Without Borders) is a non-profit organization that goes all over the globe that provides medical service to underprivileged communities. I love being exposed to new things so that kind of experience sounds amazing," says Santos.

This season Santos has had her ups and downs returning to the court after having surgery for a torn labrum. She hopes her hard work and dedication to rebuilding the program at CU will be her legacy after she graduates.

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