Adriana Cheraso – Student Spotlight

Adriana Cheraso

Adriana Cheraso completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Welfare at the University of North Florida in 2015. After graduating, she took a position at a Non-profit Organization that provides aid and support to survivors of domestic violence and later worked as a Benefits Counselor for recipients of Social Security disability. After working in the non-profit sector for a few years, she began to feel like something was missing from her day-to-day at work. Adriana decided to return to school and pursue a master’s degree with the Department of Environmental and Global Health in the Master of Health Science in One Health program. Adriana had begun her undergraduate studies in the health sciences and hoped to find a more fulfilling career in this field.

“I really liked what the program could offer as far as classes and research opportunities, and I believe this will benefit me in terms of career goals,” Adriana says.

Since beginning her program, Adriana has made many connections with not only her advisor but also other faculty and students in the department. Adriana is a member of the Gainesville ToxSquad, and also has begun volunteering with Dr. Tara Sabo-Attwood on an air quality research project. The project is focused on assessing the air quality of a space that has been proposed as a green space for kids admitted to the Children’s Hospital at Shands. Since the proposed space is close to a busy road and bus stop, Dr. Sabo-Attwood’s goal is to determine how safe the area is for children with compromised immune systems and are susceptible to harmful pollutants.

For her role, Adriana monitors two weather sensors, pulling data once a week, and averaging the data collected to check for patterns and comparing with air quality data to determine the affect weather conditions may have on air quality. Adriana says she prefers getting her hands dirty, so-to-speak, rather than being in a lab, so this is a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience on a research project. Adriana even presented a poster highlighting the project and weather data she collected at PHHP Research Day in Spring 2019.

After graduation, Adriana hopes to secure a position with a governmental agency such as the Environmental Protection Agency or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or a private environmental consulting firm.

“There is a lot of opportunity and flexibility in this department to tailor your graduate experience into exactly what you want it to be,” she says.

Learn more about what you can gain from an MHS in One Health here.

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