Meet the NMPHA Interns - Spring 2024
Olivia De Alba - New Mexico State University
Hi my name is Olivia De Alba, I am married and have three beautiful children that keep me on my toes. I love spending time with my family whether it's staying home watching movies or having cookouts. In my free time I like to take pictures, make scrapbooks, and watch DIY videos for home projects. I was born in El Paso Texas, I come from a military family and like most of those families I moved a lot growing up. I experienced living all over the U.S, but my roots run deep in the southwest because this is this community I identify with. My goal in public health is to educate and advocate for border region families. I saw first hand through my parents how first generation citizens can encounter barriers along the way. My mom was married at 15 to my father of 19. My mom did not have family support to stay in the U.S and my father experienced homelessness as a teenager that prevented him from graduating high school on time. They both now have college degrees and I respect them immensely for all they have been through. I want to be someone who can help other families overcome socio-economic barriers and that is why I decided to pursue Public Health.
Teresa Lloyd - New Mexico State University
Hi, my name is Teresa Lloyd! I’m a current Public Health student at NMSU and I will be graduating in the Spring of 2024. I have a three-year-old daughter who is my life and part of the reason why I chose to go into public health in the first place. As a parent, the most important question to me is, “How can I ensure my child is healthy, happy, and in a safe environment to grow in?” I believe that I have the power to create a change and I strive for justice within our health system. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, reading, working out, or just lounging on the couch and watching a movie. I’m very excited to see what doors open for me during my internship with NMPHA and I look forward to expanding my knowledge!
Melody Lopez - University of New Mexico
Hi, my name is Melody Lopez. I was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and am so grateful to be a part of this beautiful state. I am a senior at the University of New Mexico and will be graduating in May 2024 with a Bachelor of Science in Population Health and a minor in Community Health Education. I have been very passionate about health care for underserved communities which is what piqued my interest in Population Health. I am also very passionate about mental health advocacy within young adults and hope to bring more awareness and resources to those who feel they are struggling. I also want to help our community in areas where it may be struggling, as I am very passionate about helping in any way that I can.
Judy Tucker - University of New Mexico
Hello, my name is Judy Tucker. I was born in Sierra Leone and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am a dual-degree MD/MPH student in the second half of my MPH year. In a couple of months and within the span of 9 days, I will have completed my MPH year, returned to the MD program to start clerkships, and have gotten married. I am so excited! My work with people experiencing homelessness on the data team of the City of Albuquerque’s multisectoral “Corona Crushers” coalition sparked my interest in public health and my current pursuit of an MPH with a focus on Community Health. I am interested in Primary Care, and I desire to work with underserved populations; both of which led to my acceptance into the med school’s Rural, Urban and Underserved Program (RUUP) and away rotation placement at IHS’ Whiteriver Indian Hospital in Whiteriver, Arizona on the White Mountain Apache Tribe. This incredible experience exposed me to the beautiful and complicated intersection of medicine, public health, and culture and makes me excited for the career ahead of me. I play the violin in the Health Sciences Center Orchestra, enjoy spending time with my fiancé, family, and friends, and keep busy with extracurricular student-led community outreach and research groups. I am grateful for the enriching opportunities offered to me through the ASPHN fellowship and by my NMPHA preceptor Dr. Holly Mata. Looking forward to all that’s to come!
Asia Soleil Yazzie - New Mexico State University
Yá'át'ééh, shik'éí dóó shidine'é. Naaneesht’ézhí Táchii’nii nishłį́, Naakaii Dine’é bashishchiin. Akótéego diné asdzáán nishłiį́. Hello, my relatives, and my people. I am Zuni-Red Running into the Water People clan, born for the Mexican Clan. And this is what makes me a Navajo woman. My name is Asia Soleil Yazzie, and I am from Chichiltah, New Mexico. I am a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) and a recipient of the Health Equity Fellowship Spring 2024 Award from the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN). I am a second-year graduate student at New Mexico State University’s Public Health Sciences, where I am pursuing a master’s degree in Health Promotion and Health Behavior. As a Navajo traditional and modern dancer, I have used my dance artistry since 2012 to demonstrate the importance of self-worth and cultural identity to connect with our Indigenous homelands and culture. As a dancer, I was able to build partnerships to serve Indigenous communities throughout the Southwest and provide education on domestic and sexual violence, suicide prevention, and health education to a variety of schools, communities, and institutions. Before entering my graduate program, I worked for 3 years as a project coordinator and research assistant, and through this work, I co-authored a journal article titled Teacher and Caregiver Perspectives on Water Is K’é: An Early Child Education Program to Promote Healthy Beverages among Navajo Children, which was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in 2023.In light of my prior expertise and professional objectives, I hope the New Mexico Public Health Association (NMPHA) will aid in my advancement. I feel this opportunity is essential, as it will help support my overall goal of creating culturally appropriate interventions and services designed to prevent, treat, and heal Indigenous communities through health policy and research.