The Ball State University Foundation Top 100 Student Awards recognizes 100 outstanding junior and senior undergraduates at Ball State University who represent Beneficence both in and out of the classroom. We are thrilled to highlight the winners from Teachers College. Next up is Nicole Diaz-Castillo.


Elementary Education major with English as a new language, and reading instruction concentrations, as well as a Spanish minor.

Projected Graduation Date:

Fall 2023


Indianapolis, IN

What made you choose Ball State?

I chose Ball State because I heard they had a fabulous teacher preparation program. I personally knew of some alums who attended Ball State for teaching, and they only spoke highly of the program. Additionally, I liked that BSU was not too far from home and their residence hall spaces, especially the Living Learning Communities.

Are you involved with any campus organizations?

In the past I was a part of College Mentors for Kids. But currently I work in Housing and Residence Life, I am a Hall Assistant for Botsford/Swinford Hall, and I was a resident assistant last year at North West Hall.

What made you want to become an educator/teacher?

I have always wanted to become a teacher; I think it had to do with having strong and caring female teachers throughout elementary school. I have always loved learning and teaching others. I had the opportunity to teach swimming all throughout high school to children ages 2-13 then the opportunity to coach for competitive swimming. It was a teaching experience outside the normal classroom, but it was so rewarding, and it affirmed that teaching was the career choice for me.

Do you have any plans for what you would like to do after you graduate?

After I graduate, I would like to go back home and teach in an MSD of Warren Township school, still no preference in grade so you might find me with the kindergarteners or the sixth graders. I also will be coaching at Warren Aquatics Club. I am also wanting to take ceramics classes and learn to throw on the wheel!

Do you have any hobbies? If so, what?

Some of the hobbies I participate in now include reading, crocheting, and watching TV. I recommend books written by Sarah J Mass and Emily Henry. I am currently watching Game of Thrones, and just finished watching The Last of Us and White Lotus.

Fun fact about yourself:

I have a tuxedo cat, her name is Pringles, I adopted her this past year from ARF!

Is there anything else you would like to add? Any fun projects you are working on? Favorite class/professor? Etc.

Within housing this semester I have been leading the charge in creating an affinity group for Hispanic/Latine identifying residents. It is named Nuestra Communidad, or Our Community. I would recommend picking up the ESL or Reading concentration to anyone who is unsure on what to pick. Both concentrations are very informative and will help you when constructing lessons and understanding how to best support these needs. Both concentrations have fulfilling practicum experiences, that are unique and informative.

Congratulations Nicole!

Congratulations to all of the Teachers College Top 100 Students:

*Abbey Armstrong

Isabella Barounes

*Kathryn Burbrink

Jada Cooper

Nicole Diaz-Castillo

*Madison Groves

Stacia Hazlett

Mikayla Kirkling

*Lauren Langness

*Alexa Leisure

Kendra Loos

*Leah Meersman

Cole Miller

Sarah Owens

Erin Rossiter

*Isabella Watts

*Aubrey Wilson

*=Top 50