During the commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6, Diana Sheehan was recognized as a 2016 Worlds Ahead Graduate.
Born in Ecuador and raised in Boston, Diana Sheehan juggled three jobs so she could pay for her undergraduate college education. During the week, she worked as a full-time clinical research coordinator. At night, she was a Spanish-language medical interpreter at a large hospital, covering night shifts. Then on the weekends, she worked as an ambulance EMT, putting in 16- to 24-hour shifts.
This experience provided Diana with perspective. It showed her that social factors were directly related to health, and that there were people in her very own Boston neighborhood with health issues who lacked the resources to advocate for themselves.
So with a passion to mitigate health disparities, she moved to Miami—specifically to FIU Stempel College, where she pursued a Ph.D. in epidemiology.
As the principal investigator on a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Diana’s current research examines the role of the neighborhood environment on health disparities and health outcomes among Latinos with HIV/AIDS.
Among her many accomplishments, she has produced 12 publications since 2013, received the FIU Stempel College Path Science Prize for Best Manuscript Published by a Student, and the National Award of Excellence for Best Poster by a Young Investigator from the National Hispanic Science Network.
After graduation, Diana will join the FIU Stempel College Department of Epidemiology in a postdoctoral position.