Mariel is one of three national (non-Rutgers) students who participated in Project L/EARN during the summer of 2000. Instead she studied at the Universidad de Puerto Rico where she is a member of the Career Opportunities in Research (COR) Program. Mariel had been an Anthropology major and her academic research experience will involve working on a qualitative research project which has to do with the oral history of women who worked in the tuna fish industry in Mayaguez.
Mariel's interest in the customs and traditions of different cultures is what attracted her to anthropology in the first place. As a member of a training class which targeted racial and ethnic disparities as key components of their research projects, Mariel has been exposed to a wealth of evidence that racial and ethnic experiences and backgrounds do indeed play a role in beliefs about health care, health care seeking behavior, utilization and effectiveness as well as access. She believes "the experiences [she] has gained have opened [her] eyes to the importance of studying health related issues and the way these differ by culture".
The research methods and statistical training have also strengthened her preparation of graduate school and her confidence in her ability to succeed at that level.