Graduating senior Valeria Miranda Ortiz has a passion for animals, and languages

Growing up in Puerto Rico, Valeria Miranda Ortiz always loved animals. So when she decided to go to college to pursue that love, she looked to go to the U.S. The only problem was, at the time, she didn’t speak much English. Miranda Ortiz says that Iowa State was very understanding and helpful, so when she got accepted, she jumped at the chance. She worked hard to master English while also taking classes, sometimes recording lectures so she could listen to them again late at night. And all that hard work learning English led her to another passion of hers: learning languages. Since she got to Iowa State, Miranda Ortiz has since learned sign language and Portuguese as well, all while staying on track to finish her Animal Science degree. For more on Miranda Ortiz's story, visit