alumni spotlight: sam olvera ’15

Hi all!

We’d like to take a minute to introduce you to Sam Olvera, a compassionate and bright young woman who graduated from our program in 2015 and is now an employee! We’re so fortunate to have her as part of our team, and we thought you’d like to get to know her a little better too.

Sam is originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado. When it came time for her to choose a college, the Global Health Technologies program was a big reason behind her decision to attend Rice.

“I knew I wanted to do engineering and I also really liked the idea of medical application and having a global focus in my studies.”

Sam completed her Rice 360˚ summer internship in Malawi, traveling throughout the country and witnessing her team’s device in the early stages of implementation.

“It was the perfect way to experience the reality of scaling up technologies. Everything from the drudgery of data collection, long road trips to remote districts, witnessing patients benefiting from CPAP, and exploring beautiful places in Malawi.”

Fast forward a few years and you’ll find Sam working in Blantyre, Malawi as one of Rice 360˚’s CPAP Managers. She works to make sure the Pumani bubble CPAP device is properly implemented in hospitals throughout Malawi.

“Living in Malawi has made me more interested in many areas related to health, especially food production and permaculture, so I may explore new ways to combine my interests in engineering, health, and the outdoors over the next couple of years.”

When talking about her future career plans, she added: “I’ve always admired my mom’s career, which has included a whole range of challenging jobs in healthcare and education. She is a caregiver in every sense of the word and truly selfless in her service to others.”

Sam is an invaluable member to our team, and we’re certain she, too, will contribute to the world of healthcare in immeasurable ways.

Emily Mooney

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