My research and educational choices have consistently been driven by my passion for eliminating root causes of injustice. Purposefully addressing health disparities requires an exploration of the issues, ideas, and practices that contribute to health inequities. Attending and presenting at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM) conference as a doctoral student allowed me to do just that. It was clear that AcademyHealth membership afforded me important opportunities to network and learn from some of the best in our field. I’ve been an active member ever since.

As a founding member of the AcademyHealth student chapter at the University of Minnesota, I was excited to become connected to AcademyHealth’s professional development opportunities, resources, and networks during the timeframe in between the annual meetings.  

My involvement in the chapter led to countless other career-molding opportunities. In May of 2010, I was selected to be a part of AcademyHealth’s first cohort of the Minority Scholars Program. My participation in this program gave me access and connections to key mentors and future colleagues in the field. While I was developing my research interests and experiences, I was also becoming more deeply integrated in AcademyHealth and learning that their goals and missions mirrored my own. Doors were opened to service opportunities that have since then matured into leadership roles in the field. I have appreciated the opportunity to review abstracts, and as a result of the Minority Scholars Program, I joined the Disparities Interest Group (IG) where I served as a student representative. I am currently serving as Chair of the Disparities IG and have learned a lot about becoming a leader in our field.

My professional career was shaped by my involvement in AcademyHealth. I have always felt that I have a lot to contribute to this organization and vice versa. AcademyHealth is my professional home and I’ll always do my best to invest in its future success.

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