After seeing how media can help improve Latinas’ health behavior during a practicum along the Texas-Mexico Border, Maria Priscilla Brietzke believes that small changes have big power to help the disadvantaged.
Brietzke, who currently is a research assisting at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston School of Nursing, is focusing on making both small and large changes in age-related chronic illness.
Because she had questions about balancing work and life in a doctoral-level research career, she took a friend’s suggestion and joined Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training—which aims to increase diversity in Latino health disparities and cancer research by encouraging Latino master’s-level students and master’s trained health professionals to pursue a doctoral degree and a career in research.
At the Éxito!Summer Institute in June 2011, Brietzke had her questions answered and more.
She understood the immediate need for Latino health disparity and cancer research so much so that, just weeks after the institute’s conclusion, Brietzke already is contacting potential mentors and planning campus visits to find the right program(s) and looking to hopefully receive a short-term internship opportunity abroad.
“Although I was already interested in contributing to health disparities research projects,Éxito! motivated me to lead my own research in the future,” she said. “For me, the first step will be to complete a doctoral degree.”