Scholar Stories

Brisa Sánchez

As an undergrad at UTEP, Brisa studied math, a subject she loves, and aspired to become a math teacher. However, after visiting high school classes as part of her training, Brisa realized the challenges of teaching math to teenagers go beyond just the math. “Although my admiration for high school teachers increased even more with those classroom visits, I just knew I couldn’t be a good ‘math shepherd’ to teenagers,” she remembers.

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Erin Hager

Finding her calling wasn’t a straightforward process. Erin began her career pursuing a Ph.D. in biochemistry. When she realized that wasn’t for her, she got into breast cancer research. That wasn’t the right path for her either; as she explains, “I wanted to be connected with the community.” Finally, she hit upon the right line of research with pediatric obesity prevention. She became captivated with the idea of schools as a vehicle for helping kids become healthy and active.

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J Margo Brooks Carthon

Growing up in a household with family members who were often sick, Margo desired from an early age to influence the health of the people she loved. These influences drew her to nursing. “I wanted to apply my knowledge and help communities as a whole,” Margo says.After practicing as a nurse for some time, Margo notes that she saw “clear and marked differences in how individuals in minority communities and historically disadvantaged communities received care and engaged with the health care system.”

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