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Maria Carrillo

Maria Carrillo

Chief science officer | Alzheimer’s Association | Class of 1991

At La Casa Cultural Latina, Dr. Maria Carrillo founded a sorority and found Mr. Right.

For the psychology major who’d go on to be chief science officer at the Alzheimer’s Association, the center was her “home away from home, where I met my husband my freshman year at a spring dance” and “where we also incubated and launched the Alpha Psi Lamda co-ed fraternity, the first ever for Latinos at UIUC, in 1992.”

Twenty-seven years later, Carrillo also vividly recalls lots of late nights on the second floor of the Illini Union, then home to the Student Government Association. She was involved for three years, serving as executive VP as a senior.

“I should also mention that the Beckman Institute had just opened up during my tenure there, and I was able to join a lab there my junior year, which launched my neuroscience trajectory,” she says. “I loved that Beckman building and it was so inspiring to see science and technology in one building and the collaborations that were possible.

“That influenced me and I believe solidified my love of science and commitment to working on the brain.”