In my career as a dietitian, it has always been important to me that I am making the greatest impact on the lives of people and families that I serve, so much so that I measure my success on that impact. In growing as a professional, my understanding for how I can contribute to the health of others has also evolved. Instead of treating each individual suffering from chronic diseases as a result of unhealthy weight, I am hoping to contribute to a solution that will prevent chronic disease and eliminate the disparities between ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
The PhD program at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is allowing me to work towards providing evidence for these solutions, all the while working alongside likeminded community organizations and individuals. At the mid-way point through the program I have seen how my impact on a community has grown by being able to learn from and collaborate with many well respected researchers in Hawai‘i and the Pacific. In the future I can also see how the relationships I have built here with my mentors and peers will continue to support my professional growth and contributions to preventing disease and reducing health disparities.
– Monica Esquivel, MS, RD