Alma Cotero received her B.A in Anthropology and Social Sciences from California State University, Sacramento. Her work and research experience during her undergraduate career focused on underrepresented populations. Working for the California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal SOAP), she mentored and tutored junior high and high school students and conducted workshops to prepare the students for college. Within community colleges she worked at a multicultural center to help first generation college students and other underserved individuals successfully transfer to a four year institution. While at CSUS Alma also conducted independent research on homelessness under the guidance of an Anthropology professor and worked as a placement specialist for a program which assisted seasonal farm laborers to earn their GED. Currently she is working on her Master of Arts degree at CSULB in applied anthropology. She has conducted field work in the Latino gay, bisexual, and transgender community in Long Beach and hopes to continue working with this group and in HIV related research.
RIMI Health Scholars
Ms. Cordola graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Chemistry. While working at CSULB and volunteering, she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health where she hopes to advance her research and statistical skills.
Ms. Mull is a first generation college student and proud graduate of Howard University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Howard University in 2010, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health and a certificate in Health Care Administration. Brittney is an aspiring physician who seeks to work primarily with underserved and/or marginalized populations. Although she aspires to be a physician by training her dream is to touch the lives of others by empowering communities and individuals by way of community advocacy and research as it concerns health inequities and health policy. Brittney loves to run in her spare time and enjoys baking delicious cakes and other treats.
David Perez graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2006 with a bachelor of science degree in applied mathematics. While pursuing his undergraduate degree he participated in research examining the impact of mosquito-bird interaction on the spread of West Nile Virus through the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute at Arizona State University. Their work was presented at The Joint Mathematics Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. After completing his undergraduate degree, David enrolled in the graduate program at New Mexico State University and earned a master’s of science in mathematics. He is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Applied Statistics in California State University, Long Beach. David was introduced to the RIMI Scholars program through a fellow student and previous RIMI Scholar. His interest in Biostatistics and health equity drew him to apply. David intends to continue his education by seeking a PhD in Biostatistics and ultimately work in clinical research or teach at the university level.
Ivette Gutierrez is a graduate student in the political science M.A. program. As a CSULB undergraduate she completed a double-major in political science and Chicano studies. During that time, she served as a peer educator for struggling Latino students at CSULB, and was also a research assistant for faculty in the Political Science department. Her research interests lie in trying to understand the interplay of group identity and political mobilization. She hopes to investigate how an individual’s perception and awareness of commonalities with others, their sense of belonging to an identifiable group, interacts with political mobilization or direct requests to participate in a particular way. She is also deeply interested in health policy, the way universal health care and its beneficiaries are framed, and the policies enacted and resources allocated to address health disparities. She hopes to address future framing issues in public policy, as well as explore the politics behind the allocation of resources to disadvantaged communities.
Jenny Sok graduated in 2011 from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science. Her areas of research include tobacco education, emergency preparedness, and health policy. As an undergraduate, Ms. Sok participated in several grant-funded research projects that included examining cultural groups and their views on vaccinations as well as reducing tobacco use among the Cambodian community. She is fluent in the Cambodian language (khmer) and has used her linguistic skills in several research projects. One of Ms. Sok’s biggest projects was with The City of Long Beach’s Tobacco Education Program. Ms. Sok acted as survey conductor and collected survey results from various communities within the city. These surveys were presented to City Council and ultimately contributed to the implementation of the Long Beach No Smoking Ordinance which prohibits smoking in all Long Beach parks. Ms. Sok is currently in her last year of graduate school. She is pursuing a Masters in Public Administration along with a certificate in Employee Relations and Personnel Management. She aspires to pursue a Doctorate in Public Health and continue research in health policies working with federal health agencies.
Kyla is a MPH student in the department of Health Science and a RIMI Scholar at the National Council of La Raza at CSULB. She attended California State University, Chico and studied health education where she became passionate about women's health and LGBT health issues. She completed an honors thesis discussing breast and testicular cancer awareness and self-examination practices and also interned at the CSU, Chico Women's Center. She studied abroad to learn about the effects of eco-tourism in Costa Rica and volunteered as a camp counselor in Albania. Upon graduation, she moved to Miami where she worked at the Miami-Dade YWCA conducting health outreach to local Haitian and Creole women about the importance of breast, cervical, and colon screenings. Kyla hopes to continue working and advocating for health equity in her community and looks forward to diversifying her skills as a professional public health worker.
Madelyn Hong graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a double major in Psychology and English. Upon graduating, she began her research experience studying the cognitive and affective mechanisms of people with schizophrenia in the Department of Psychology. She recently moved to California to begin a graduate program at CSULB. Madelyn is pursuing a Master of Science in Counseling degree for Marriage and Family Therapy. Her primary interests lie in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health disorders in underserved populations. During her graduate program, she worked as a research assistant collecting data on health disparities in health-seeking behaviors among urban minorities. Madelyn hopes to serve the community as a licensed clinical psychologist working with a diverse population in mental health.
Monica Aguilar was born in San Antonio, Texas, and grew up in California. She earned an associate degree at Cerritos Community College before transferring to California State University, Long Beach and earning a B.A. in English. Her interest in health science and awareness of health equity issues was increased by participation in ‘Project Hope,’ a student support group at Cerritos College. Her experiences guided her toward a minor in Health Science and a desire to become a health professional by pursuing a Master’s in Public Health. Before starting graduate school, she returned to Cerritos College to attain another associate degree in medical assisting and graduated with Honors. Ms. Aguilar’s goal is to earn a Ph.D. in Public Health and conduct research in the area of Child and Maternal Health. She intends to use her clinical skills and doctoral degree to work with under-served communities improving health care access and services through non-profit institutions.
2011 RIMI Scholars
Ms. Sosa-Prado was born in Mexico City and immigrated with her five older siblings to be reunited with her parents in Los Angeles in the late 1980’s. She grew up in the predominantly Mexican and Central American immigrant neighborhood of Westlake in L.A., and attended Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA. She eventually received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine and began work at Latino Health Access (LHA), a non-profit agency that assists the multiple health needs of Latinos in Orange County. Under the leadership and mentorship of LHA's CEO, Dr. America Bracho, she was inspired to pursue a Master of Public Health degree at California State University, Long Beach. Ms. Sosa-Prado plans to earn a PhD in public health and conduct research to influence policy, challenge current public health practice and health systems, and address the unique health and social issues most prevalent in the Latino immigrant communities of Southern California. She considers herself an activist and advocate for social justice and environmental issues. She enjoys volunteering, mentoring, nutrition and fitness, and loves to listen and sing along to The Beatles!