In this episode, we’re talking with Nixon Arauz, who is a PhD Student in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Nixon’s personal experiences have shown him how important things like housing, education, and local politics are for health and wellbeing and has prompted him to become a passionate advocate for improving social determinants of health through his research. Nixon got his bachelor’s degree from Cornell, and a Master’s degree from Columbia. After this he worked at the Office of Health Equity within the Division of STD Prevention at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. While working there, Nixon realized he wanted to hone his technical skills, and so returned to school to get his PhD, where he is now researching HPV-related cancers and beliefs about the HPV vaccines in Hispanic/Latino populations in the US.
Some of the topics we discuss in this episode include:
The nitty-gritty of what a PhD in health policy looks like
Nixon's approach to community-engaged research
How relationships can help foster community resilience