Carmen Rodriguez

Folklorico. Merengue. Line.

Dancing keeps Carmen Rodriguez connected to her Dominican culture and roots.

Those roots also gave her a strong foundation when she moved from rural Dominican Republic to New York City, studying mathematics at Bard College.

Rodriguez went on to earn her master’s degree of public health in epidemiology and biostatistics at the City University of New York’s School of Public Health and Health Policy.

Now she’s hard at work as a project manager for a breast health study among immigrant Latinas.

To further her experience and education, Rodriguez applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program.

The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from the National Cancer Institute, recruits 25 master’s-level students and professionals each year for a five-day summer institute and optional internships to promote doctoral degrees and careers in Latino cancer.

“[After Éxito!] I realized it’s better to start preparing my application early. I already started a document to gather information about different programs and I am currently working on giving myself deadlines/ keep me active and motivated. I have set a goal to start a doctorate program in fall 2020,” Rodriguez said.

She had some advice for future program participants.

“One thing Éxito! will make you realize is the importance of finding mentors and sponsors, so start now.”