The Research Design Associates Blog


The Empathy and Compassion of Nursing I got

The fact of the matter was that while I was interested in science I didn’t know how to absorb scientific or conceptual information. I would read the text about cells but I couldn’t grasp the concept of what cells were or how they worked, because I was too focused on trying to figure out how this magnified picture of a cell lived in my body! My teacher at that time operated under the assumption that the foundation of science had already been laid because this was in fact college, not grade school.

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My Path Into a STEM Field

After getting my massage certificate I started making a decent living and enjoyed my work immensely. I enjoyed interacting with and helping people.  As a result of not being educated early on I always found concepts difficult to grasp so being able to touch a muscle and call it by its name, or massage someone’s shoulders until they were loose came much easier to me. This massage skill was concrete and somewhat spiritual, but not necessarily intellectual. I felt comfortable with this work and starting this would give me the confidence I would need later to embark on new dreams.

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Health Informatics – My Current Focus

I spent a year in Arizona, during which time I worked very hard studying in more depth the issues about logistics and transportation that I had started studying during my doctoral thesis.I also had the opportunity to deepen my collaboration with my colleagues at the Department of Geography and Geo-Information Science at George Mason University. I started to work on completely different issues with them, participating as a consultant on a project that brought me closer to issues in health care and, in particular, to the system used in the U.S. for allocating organs for transplantation.

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Work Experience Opened New Interest

During my time working for the Rome Agency for the Preparation of the Jubilee Year 2000, I had changed my mind again: the desire to continue to study and investigate similar research problems was ripe inside me.  I started to study again, and I won a fellowship for a PhD in Operations Research at the University of Rome La Sapienza.

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From Political Science to Statistics

One day I was at my desk reading the same page of a sociology textbook for the tenth time, and the next day I was sitting in my first class of Mathematical Analysis. I had changed my major from Political Science to Statistics.

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Operations Researcher

I am an Assistant Professor of Operations Research at the University of Salerno in Italy, and I am currently working on a two year assignment as a researcher at the Georgia Tech Institute for People and Technology. But that's not how it started out. My story tells of a path that is tortuous and far from linear.

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Turns Out Public Health Is My STEM Field

It seems obvious now, but it took some time to remember that I never went to medical school because of medicine; I went to medical school because of the role medicine allows me to have in the lives of the vulnerable, the sick, the scared.

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I thought Medicine Was My STEM Career of Choice

This blog, as you may know, is a way to document the path—however haphazard and zig-zag it may be –of “arriving” at a career in STEM.  At this point in my life, however, I feel much more like I’m becoming than arriving, so I consider this my attempt to describe a somewhat tumultuous journey to my fifth and final year in Emory University’s MD/MPH program.

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Equine Veterinary Care

Equine Veterinary Care is a race horse practice located at the Fair Hill Training Center. The practice and Training Center have both developed into leading resources for Thoroughbred Racing training in North America.

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Having a Veterinary Practice and Life

Fair Hill Training Center was love at first sight!  When I drove through the entrance in February 1992, I was 6 months pregnant and beginning to feel the need to settle in to raise this new person who would soon arrive.

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