Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Maria Sandoval-Navas

Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening Through Digital Stories

My research focuses on Colorectal cancer screening in a Latinx church community. Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of death in the United States and the rates of screening for Latinxs are low. Thus, we are targeting this population, in order to address these two problems. I will be working along side Vicky Gomez, who has been working with this community for years. We have recruited members of the church who have either experienced or had someone close to them experience a battler or loss due to colorectal cancer. These participants created a digital story, a clip in which they share their experience during these times and the way colorectal cancer affected their lives. This is with the purpose to show their experiences to members of their communities and urge them to become screened because they can connect to the stories they are seeing. The overall goal of our research is to increase the Latinx community colorectal screening rates.

Message To Sponsor

First of all, I want to thank you for allowing me to spend a beautiful summer focusing on cancer-related research which has been and continues to be a topic that I am passionate about. Your help gave me the opportunity to solely spend my time on my research experience and gain as much knowledge and experience from it as I could. Without your help, my time would have been split into a 30 hour a week job in order to be able to pay rent, but instead I could focus those hours on an experience that has contributed to my interest to attend grad school for an Masters in Public Health within the next two years. From this rewarding experience I learned that I do in fact love research especially when class work load is not an impediment to immerse myself in the research work that I love so much. I also learned that an MPH is the next step in my life, which I would have not decided to do if it weren’t for this amazing research opportunity. Lastly, I was fortunate enough to have a mentor who has offered and spend much of her time helping me prepare for my own professional development since I am a recent Cal graduate. This has been really helpful since I am a first generation student, and without her help I would have not been able to make my cover letters and resume sound as professional and well-structured as I did. I want to thank you for helping me grow professionally and personally.
Profile image of Maria Sandoval-Navas
Major: Social Welfare
Mentor: Amani Nuru-Jeter, Public Health
Sponsor: DeBenedetti Fund
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