Mariana Guerrero is a first-generation student studying health systems and policy and plans to advocate for women’s and children’s health.
What interested you about health systems and policy? And why did you choose OSU’s MPH?
I developed a keen interest in this field because I envision myself as a driver of substantial change.
My goal is to have the ability to shape health care policies in alignment with my values and principles by influencing policymakers and collaborating with advocacy organizations.
I chose OSU because of the abundance of opportunities in the College of Health.
Have you had to overcome any challenges in your academic journey?
Certainly. Much like many first-generation students, I grappled with imposter syndrome. This had a significant impact on both my mental well-being and academic performance.
Have you participated in research?
I haven’t had the chance to engage in research yet, but I eagerly anticipate forthcoming opportunities.
My particular interest lies in conducting research in the field of maternal and child health. My dedication to maternal and child health has been deeply influenced by a blend of personal and professional encounters.
In my own upbringing, the mothers in my life consistently prioritized their families’ well-being over their own, sometimes to the detriment of their own health.
Along my professional journey, I’ve been fortunate to work with children who, despite their vulnerability and the challenges they’ve faced, have demonstrated remarkable resilience and a positive perspective on life.
Have you received a scholarship? If so, how has it impacted your life and studies?
Indeed, I was fortunate to be awarded the MPH Health Systems and Policy Scholarship. Beyond alleviating some financial concerns, it instilled in me a sense of confidence that the university had faith in my ability to thrive in the program.
What do you think of your experience at OSU and in the college so far? Any stand-out experiences?
My time at OSU has been truly rewarding. The faculty members are exceptionally knowledgeable and incredibly supportive.
Notable highlights of my journey include the chance to serve as a graduate teaching assistant and my involvement in the OSU Extension Service.
These roles have allowed me to acquire a wealth of skills and connect with individuals from diverse majors and research interests.
In my Extension role, I actively contribute to advancing digital equity by addressing state and federal policies. This involves disseminating information about the historical disparities faced by marginalized communities in terms of broadband access.
Additionally, I’ve been involved in producing articles that illustrate how broadband access is a key social determinant of health and has a far-reaching influence on health care accessibility.
What are your post-college dreams?
My aspirations include pursuing a PhD in health policy and contributing to an organization that advocates for policy reforms in the realm of women’s and children’s health.