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Cynthia grew up in the small border town of Calexico, California, which really informed her interest in pursuing a public health degree, as she wanted to identify ways to improve healthcare and diminish differential health outcomes for historically underserved communities. Therefore, she moved to San Diego, where she completed her Bachelor's at UCSD in Public Health. She then worked as a community organizer at a non-profit agency in San Diego and as a community engagement coordinator for a COVID-19 testing research project. She is interested in promoting cross-sector collaboration to drive innovative health solutions that place health equity at the forefront and use human-centered approaches to solving complex issues within the healthcare system. Cynthia is a graduate student researcher working with Dr. Herd's research team on understanding COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and uptick among black and brown communities across time during the pandemic. She's applying her knowledge in qualitative research, to learn from community leaders about their engagement and outreach strategies.