Highlighted Experiences

Estudio Sobre Clima, Ambiente, Bienestar, y Equidad en Puerto Rico (CABE-PR)

May 2023 to May 2024

The CABE-PR project is a collaborative research project between Puerto Rican researchers and the University of Michigan. It seeks to understand the experiences of Residents of Puerto Rico who have been impacted by multiple disasters (i.e., Hurricane Maria, earthquakes, and the COVID-19 pandemic) and how these may potentially impact physical, mental, and reproductive health. We interviewed 30 participants across the island of Puerto Rico to understand their experiences during these events. Data was collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews lasting between 1-2 hours. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically using Nvivo. 

Health Inequities & Immigration Research Lab at the University of Michigan School of Public Health

July 2018 to December 2019

The Health Inequities & Immigration (HII) Research Lab is a research center at the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education in the University of Michigan School of Public Health. This lab is led by Dr. Paul Fleming and Dr. William Lopez and applies community-based participatory research methods to understand the health consequences of immigration enforcement, immigration policies, discrimination and anti-immigrant rhetoric. 

I worked in the HII research lab as a research assistant primarily by leading and supporting qualitative data collection and analysis. Through this experience, I supported grant writing developed surveys and measurement instruments, coded and transcribed interviews, and generated a codebook for to analyze qualitative data using Nvivo. Working closely in this research team, I learned about the experiences of Latino immigrants in the United States and the experiences that place them at a disadvantage using a Socioecological framework, which strengthened my knowledge of community-based and public health research and practice. 

Program Evaluation Group at the University of Michigan School of Social Work (UM-SSW PEG)

January 2019 to December 2019

The SSW-PEG at the University of Michigan engages the community to provide professional evaluation services to a broad range of community-based agencies. They provide clients with services such as needs/capacity assessments, process evaluations, outcomes evaluations, and impact evaluations. They evaluate programs in areas such as child welfare, higher education, criminal justice, behavioral health, social policy, aging, and community development. SSW-PEG uses an utilization-focused approach to evaluation and implements rigorous research and evaluation methods to help organizations articulate their programs, define performance metrics, and measure outcomes. 

I worked at SSW-PEG as an evaluation assistant for one year as part of the requirements of my MSW degree. Here, I gained experience in program evaluation and applied research methods through practical projects, consulting with community-based agencies, and training in quantitative and qualitative data analysis approaches.

Office of Health Promotion at the Puerto Rico Department of Health

July 2018 to August 2018

The Puerto Rico Department of Health is the primary state-level government agency that is concerned with public health at the individual, community, and population levels. As a government agency, the Department of Health seeks to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all the citizens of Puerto Rico by providing health services and social services. The Department achieve this by monitoring population-level health trends, diagnosing and researching public health problems, developing health education campaigns, empowering community agencies, developing public policy, enforcing health policy, and ensuring competence of the healthcare workforce.

I interned at the Puerto Rico Department of Health's Health Promotion office as part of the requirements of my MPH degree in the summer of 2018. Here, I worked closely with health education specialists, nutritionists, epidemiologists, statisticians, public policy experts, and community-based practitioners to develop a health education campaign, analyze epidemiologic data, and analyze public policy regarding obesity, nutrition, and physical activity.

Future Public Health Leaders Program at the University of Michigan School of Public Health (FPHLP)

May 2015 to August 2015

FPHLP is a 10-week residential summer program at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention designed to encourage underrepresented college students to consider careers in public health. Students receive professional development opportunities, mentorship, and learning experiences to address health disparities at all levels. The program seeks increased awareness of the significance of health disparities, their impact on the nation, and actions necessary to improve the health outcomes of underserved populations. 

Through FPHLP, I interned with the Community Health and Social Services Center in Southwest Detroit, which was one of my first practical experiences within the field of public health. Here, I worked with the LA VIDA partnership and supported a summer camp for adolescent designed to reduce dating and sexual violence by revising its curriculum, facilitating focus group sessions, providing translation services, creating health promotion materials, and assisting with grant writing activities.

Facilitators, Instructors, in Alcohol, Security, and Transit (FIESTA) at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez

May 2014 to May 2017

FIESTA Is a health promotion program at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez which is sponsored by the Traffic Safety Commission of Puerto Rico. The program seeks to reduce the incidence of DUI traffic accidents through individual and community-level behavioral interventions and health education. FIESTA impacts lifestyle choices through developing and implementing social, educational, and cultural events such as theater performances, workshops, video campaigns, radio shows, conference presentations, health fairs, and talent shows.

Having worked here for 3 years, this program was instrumental in my development as a public health professional and introduced me to methods in health promotion, behavioral theory, and community-based practice. In FIESTA I stepped out of my comfort zone and led behavioral health campaigns by public speaking activities, developing multimedia educational material, and presenting lectures at college courses, schools, and health fairs to prevent impaired driving.