Month: March 2018

Six Months Later…

As I have mentioned in previous posts, Puerto Rico’s recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane María is far from over. Today we hit the six month mark of the storm’s impact, and there is still much to do. As a founding member of Puerto Rico Stands, I have been working with members of the Johns Hopkins community to host several events to raise awareness about the public health needs still affecting Puerto Ricans. Check them out and see how you can help! Tuesday, March 27, 2018 – Panel Discussion Johns Hopkins University (JHU) forums on Race in America is hosting the panel, Six Months After Maria: Public Health Issues in Puerto Rico. The following article by JHU’s The HUB outlines the current state-of-affairs and the topics to be discussed. Here is an excerpt of my interview: “It’s important to continue to bring light to the issues that are happening on the island,” Rivera says. “We thought it would be good to do a follow-up six months later to remind people that the people of Puerto Rico are …

Unexpected Uber Smiles

It was a bright yellow car. You’d think I had ordered a cab. “Uber?” I asked, as soon as he pulled up. He smiled as I got in, which made me smile, too. “How was your day?” he asked. I think he saw my tired face. “It was good. I’m ready to go home, though. I’m exhausted!” “Hey, at least is was such a beautiful day outside today,” he said. I wholeheartedly agreed – it may still be cold out, but at least it was bright and sunny. “Such a pity that it is going to snow again next week… we’re in the middle of March!” I sighed and told him that it doesn’t surprise me anymore. When he asked why, I said I guess a lot of things have stopped surprising me, and worrying me while at it. That’s when the conversation got interesting. “How do you do it?” “Do what?” I responded. “Stop worrying. I ask because it’s so hard to do, and I’d love to know how you do it!” I started laughing …

Navigating that #phdlife: Why do you want a PhD?

Three simple letters with so much meaning. A terminal degree. Subject matter expertise. Street cred. The pinnacle of your academic training. For me, it’s the ability to finally become an academic researcher and a professor. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to teach, mentor and explore new ideas. I was an extremely inquisitive child – I constantly sat in the front row and raised my hand to ask my favorite question of all: WHY. I also loved the feeling of creating something new, whether it be through dancing, singing, acting or writing. That is why it doesn’t surprise me that I gravitated towards research. I distinctively remember being in a high school seminar where we were discussing what professions to explore in college. My hand shot up when they asked who wanted to be a scientist. Since I loved genetics, I was convinced my career goal was to pursue a PhD in Biotechnology. Why a PhD? Well, the few scientists I knew all …