TGIF guys! To celebrate we have another new Global Health Fellows to introduce.
Meet Sonia Sosa, a recent graduate of LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas with a degree in biomedical engineering.
Below is a glimpse into my initial conversation with her:
Emily: Sonia! Welcome to our team! Let’s start off by talking a little bit about you and your interest in global health.
Sonia: Thank you! I’m excited to be here. I am originally from Tampico, Mexico, but went to undergrad in Longview, Texas. My parents still live in Mexico.
And, for me, the draw to global health comes from my desire to serve people. Health is a major universal topic and need. I’m particularly interested in aiding in the provision of quality healthcare services worldwide, which could entail designing and distributing medical equipment, training clinical staff, or educating people in various communities.
Emily: So where does Rice 360° fit into that vision?
Sonia: A professor at LeTourneau forwarded me the flyer about Rice 360°’s fellowship since he knew of my interest in global health and medical devices. I hope my experiences during past mission trips to Africa have allowed me to see critical health needs firsthand — needs that can be met if someone takes the time address them.
I want to contribute my time, knowledge, and past experiences to achieve meaningful advancement in this field and devise technology that is affordable, easy to use, and impactful in the lives of the people that use them.
And, after joining the team, I’ve gotten to learn more about the NEST360° project and it’s vast potential global impact. I admire the entire team’s commitment to reducing newborn mortality rates in low-income countries. It’s very inspiring.
Emily: I agree. It’s hard to not get on board with the NEST360° proposal. In a world with so many uncertainties and cruelties, it’s nice to devote time working towards something that will better humanity.
What are some goals you’ve set for yourself during this fellowship? And how do you see it fitting into your future goals?
Sonia: I have many! I’m looking forward to learning more about global health, frugal design, and needs finding, in general. I’d also like to learn as much as I can from this organization, the other Fellows, and my superiors.
I’m also deeply invested in forming enduring relationships and networks both at Rice and in Malawi. I can’t wait to be part of both teams!
I don’t have the future figured out yet, but I’d like to do something in medical equipment repair or appropriate design. Oh! And being in a place where I can make the most meaningful impact.
Emily: We are really happy to have you! I can tell your heart is really in this type of work, and that’s such a great quality to have. What other traits would you say define you?
Sonia: Perseverance, service, and charisma.
Emily: Awesome trio! In some ways, I think you perfectly summed up the whole Rice 360° team in those three simple words.
Now for a tougher question: how do you define success? Or, what does success — either in this job or in life — mean to you?
Sonia: To me, success is the ultimate state of finding yourself exactly where you’re supposed to be and doing what you are called to do; using your full potential and the available resources to give back to the community while being surrounded by the people you appreciate; to love and be loved in return.
Emily: Sonia, I think you could do my job on the side — you have a way with words. Do you write in your free time?
Sonia: Since I’m still new to the city, I like to explore Houston. I love being outdoors, watching movies, hiking and camping, and listening to good music. I also enjoy theater, the arts, and swimming!
Emily: That’s awesome! Let’s go hiking together sometime! Now, to conclude, tell me a fun fact about yourself.
Sonia: I have two! I have a picture with Michael Phelps, and I used to be on Mexico’s synchronized swimming national team.
So, with all that said, after you’ve gotten a fresh cut from Jack, you can probably coax Sonia into teaching you a few enviable synchronized swimming moves.
Thanks for reading and happy weekend!
Emily and Sonia