Margarita Chavez

Margarita Chavez

With a mother and father who are both martial artists who actually first met at a tournament, it isn’t surprising that Margarita Chavez is an accomplished martial artist herself and has trained more than 400 adults and children at her family’s martial arts studio in Albuquerque, N.M.

But earning a 6th-degree black belt in karate and becoming a skilled teacher takes years of intense training and dedication—something that Chavez is now applying to the arena of public health.

She has spent time as a patient navigator and earned a bachelor’s degree in health education and a master’s degree in health education from The University of New Mexico.

Chavez’ aim to thrive in graduate school encouraged her to apply to apply to Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program, which offers a five-day summer institute and internships to encourage master’s-level students and health professionals to pursue a doctoral degree and a cancer research career.

After attending, she said she now has more confidence in her ability to obtain a doctoral degree and an increased interest in Latino cancer health disparities research.