My name is Mariela Quesada Centeno and I am a Ph.D. student in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to being a scholar, I am also a Maternal and Child Health Research Fellow at Centro Hispano of Dane County and Roots 4 Change Cooperative’s manager- the first woman- and immigrant-owned cooperative in Wisconsin. My professional and personal interests have always focused on understanding the interactions between animal and human health and the role race, gender, and the built environment play in community development. As such, I not only earned my DVM degree at the Universidad Nacional in Heredia, Costa Rica, but after immigrating to the U.S., also earned my Master’s in Public Health at UW-Madison with a Certificate in Global Health.
My studies helped me further solidify my interest in aiding the realization of the community health workers/doula framework as a community-based empowerment program that simultaneously serves as a peer support model for Latina mothers as they develop a new relationship with their babies. My overarching vision is to develop community-based health and wellness educational opportunities fueled by the community, with the aim to proactively reduce the observed and documented health disparities in the Latinx population in the U.S. and abroad.
Professional Qualifications / Areas of Expertise / Certifications / Training