BME alum and first-generation student Jocelyne Rivera is the first Hispanic woman to be accepted to the National Institutes of Health Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program, an accelerated doctoral training program for students committed to biomedical research careers. Rivera, who grew up in Hermosillo, Mexico, will spend two years conducting research at the University of Oxford.
Rivera studied biosensors in the Gutruf Lab, led by BME assistant professor Philipp Gutruf, for a year then applied for the UA Maximizing Access to Research Careers Program, which provides training, mentoring and financial support to underrepresented students in biomedical fields. In the program, she joined BME professor Minkyu Kim’s lab to study biomaterials and develop microscopic gels for treating cardiovascular disease.
“My plan is to represent my community in research, science and engineering wherever I go,” she said.
Rivera also recently spoke with news station KOLD about her acceptance and focus on encouraging women and people of color in STEM fields.
“I am here trying to improve other people’s life quality and improve human health worldwide,” Rivera told KOLD. “I encountered amazing people, amazing mentors [at UA]. People motivated me to push beyond my limits and to further my career."