Columbia University researcher Kathy Rodriguez is helping families of young people diagnosed with cancer cope during their time of stress and uncertainty. This University of Florida graduate is using her interest in medicine, knowledge of language and passion for people to better her community. In the future she hopes to attend medical school, but at this point in time we are impressed with the work she is already doing to make the lives of those around her less painful. For these reasons we are pleased to present Rodriguez as our inspiring young Latina of the week!
Here’s why Kathy Inspires Us:
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Kathy is the daughter of two Cuban immigrants who came to the United States in the 1970s. After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in linguistics, Kathy worked teaching English to many different levels of learners, some of whom were entirely illiterate. Reminded of research she did as undergrad dealing with the way the brain processes language, Kathy’s interest in the health sciences led her to want to use her vast language skills in a different setting than she had up to that point.
Kathy landed at Columbia University where she currently does work for a pediatric oncology study that helps parents strengthen their coping skills as their child goes through difficult bone marrow transplants. As Columbia Presbyterian Hospital is located in an area flush with monolingual Spanish speakers, Kathy plays a pivotal role as the only bilingual researcher on the study offering access to bilingual services. She makes an already impossibly difficult situation that much easier for parents forced to watch their child endure rough times.
Kathy has her eyes fixed on the future as she hopes to continue her studies and follow her enthusiasm for the sciences by attending medical school. She remains committed, however, to never losing sight of her roots as her chief goal remains serving people of a wide range of cultures in an effort to make the world a better place to live. We at Latina wish you the best of luck in achieving your goals Kathy, though with dedication and intelligence like yours we doubt you’ll need it!
Do you know an inspiring young Latina? If so, email us at InspiringLatinas@Latina.com!