PhD Environmental Health Sciences
“I am proud of having the courage of getting out of my comfort zone. From the EHS program students and faculty, I have learned that we can create positive changes in the world. I strongly recommend MEZCOPH to other students because they offer the opportunity to dream big.”
Peñuelas, Puerto RicoPrior Degree(s):
B.S. in Chemistry & minor in Biology from Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, San Germán Campus; Master in Public Health from Ponce Health Sciences UniversityBefore entering the program:
Finishing my master’s degree in Puerto Rico.Why did you choose public health?
I chose public health because I always dreamed about protecting others and creating a positive impact in the world. Public Health is the field that allows me to combine science knowledge to find solutions to those factors that have an impact in the population’s health.Why did you choose MEZCOPH?
I chose MEZCOPH because of the varied faculty and research opportunities that are available. Also, I was looking to lengthen my knowledge in a well-rounded program that allow me accomplish my career goals while obtaining the required experience and understanding to prepare me to effectively communicate and confidently pursue a career in this competitive health field. When I found out about this college, I knew that there was no better place to fulfill my goals.Public health interests:
Vector-borne diseases, climate change, water pollution, heavy metals risk assessment, and radiation exposure assessment.Internship:
I completed a summer internship the Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Dengue Branch in Puerto Rico. In here, I worked with the Entomology Unit in developing my current research project related to vector competence of mosquitoes from different breeding sites in Puerto Rico. Also, I completed a project about nutrition and population density as determinants of mosquitoes larvae survival. My dissertation will be related to the environmental factors influencing the transmission of vector-borne diseases in Puerto Rico, identification of breeding sites of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and development of an exposure model to Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya virus in Puerto Rico.Interests/hobbies outside of school:
Sailing, traveling, play volleyball, and play videogames.Tip for future students:
Make sure to have fun in this journey and embrace every opportunity to try out new things and explore the world of public health.