Welcome back to the Latinas Who Lead interview series!
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If you weren’t familiar with the term ‘epidemiologist’ before COVID-19, you’ve likely heard it many times by now. Epidemiologists study not just the science of diseases but also understanding community according to Dr. Cherise Rohr-Allegrini, PhD, MPH.
When I learned that I had mutual connections to an epidemiologist who happened to be Latina, I knew I wanted to talk to her. Dr. Cherise Rohr-Allegrini is a public health advocate and at the time of our interview she was serving as the San Antonio Program Director for The Immunization Partnership. She recently left there to join the San Antonio AIDS Foundation as the new CEO. Wherever her professional career elevates her, she continues to be a community leader in San Antonio, TX.
As the resourceful blogger that I am, I stalked her online before I reached out to ask for the interview. And, I am fascinated with her knowledge and ability to communicate incredibly complex issues (like a pandemic) with language that makes it easy for me to understand. Her social media content like her Medium feed is full of data-backed information. What continues to draw me in, though, is her steady inquiry to seek solutions.
I began to have questions of my own. I wanted to know how a Latina from California becomes an epidemiologist and then ends up in San Antonio, TX serving on the City of San Antonio’s Public Health Transition Team for COVID-19 response. That has nothing to do with her being from California. I am always curious how leading Latinas get to where they are. In Dr. Rohr-Allegrini’s case, it started with her desire to learn about other people and understanding other cultures.
With her impressive education career, I was curious to know how did she get to it and get through it. How do Latinas get accepted in to graduate programs at Yale University whose entire Latino student population is less than 13%? In our interview, Dr. Rohr-Allegrini gets real about being a Latina admitted to an Ivy League university. Latinas, listen! She shares something that is too common for Latinas pursuing higher education and battle with the internal talk about being a ‘diversity’ student. It’s real talk.
How does a scientist leader define leadership? Dr. Rohr-Allegrini says it’s about recognizing the talent in others. Honestly, in the interview, she gives us an excellent and tangible leadership tip – make a spreadsheet of your team’s talents not just their job titles.
Finally, as a fellow Latina mom, I wondered how important it is to her to pass down her cultural heritage to her children. Dr. Rohr-Allegrini shares why making sure her kids understand not just their own multiculturalism but other people’s is so important to her as a mom. It’s why she chose pursue epidemiology in the first place.
Listen to us discuss each of these topics in our Latinas Who Lead interview.
Interview with Dr. Cherise Rohr-Allegrini – The Multicultural Epidemiologist
WATCH THE INTERVIEW
ON YOUTUBE: https://youtu.be/K9zx7zKdCIs
Here’s a break down of the interview:
0:45 – 2:49 BECOMING AN EPIDEMIOLOGIST
2:50 – 5:59 REAL TALK ABOUT HIGHER EDUCATION
6:00 – 9:39 DEFINING LEADERSHIP
9:40 – 10:44 COVID-19: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
10:45 – 14:59 INSTILLING APPRECIATION OF CULTURE IN KIDS
Follow Dr. Cherise Rohr-Allegrini on social media:
Watch more Latinas Who Lead interviews on QueMeansWhat.com!