The inaugural 40 Under 40 Public Health Catalyst Awards aim to highlight the rising leaders and innovators of the public health field. The Boston Congress of Public Health (BCPH) and the HPHR Journal selected a group of “leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, activists”, and doctors that will inspire the next generations of public health workers to change the world. The individuals featured for this award have not only shown excellent work performance and an extensive academic history but have also brought innovative solutions to public health issues around the world.
The NYC Daily Post interviewed 40 under 40 award winners to learn about their career journeys leading up to their nominations.
Q1. What’s a piece of advice you’ve received that has impacted your career journey?
Make sure you understand how your career is part of your life. Not the other way around.
Q2. Do you have a mentor you’d like to recognize? If so, what would you like to say to them?
Patrick Whitney, Carlos Teixeira, and Weslynne Ashton: may this journey continue to create new opportunities for you, for me, and for us to work together.
Q3. What advice would you give a young professional beginning their career in your field?
Find the right mentors, be optimistic about the future, and work with people experiencing the problems you are trying to solve.
Q4. If you could do one thing, leave one mark, on your profession, what would it be?
Increase rigor in the creation and use of design frameworks and methods.
Q5. Name a challenge you’ve faced and how it turned out.
Being a dedicated parent in a foreign territory while starting a design lab during a pandemic has been an ongoing challenge, but also an opportunity for personal and professional development.
Q6. What is your ultimate career goal as you see it today?
Continue to unleash potential for healthier, happier, and more prosperous futures.
Q7. What alternate role(s) would you be interested in pursuing?
I am particularly attracted to roles focused on prototyping futures rather than benchmarking the past. I am energized by the challenge of the unfamiliar, and the potential that designers have to create meaningful things that actually lead to more sustainable, equitable, and just outcomes.
Q8. What core values are important to succeeding in your professional field?
Design means different things to different people. It is a situational practice and an emerging discipline. So, it is basically impossible to have a single list. But if I were to quickly think of a few examples, I would say:
1. Equity: Every stakeholder is a user
2. Autonomy: Users are makers of their solutions
3. Iteration: Offerings are considered prototypes
4. Integration: Offerings are presented as systems
5. Responsiveness: Core system has feedback mechanism
6. Flexibility: Systems allow for customization
7. Effectiveness: Greater impact with the necessary resources
Q9. Ten years ago, I thought I would be …
Helping create sustainability-driven, equity-based change in low-income settings and marginalized populations…
Q10. Ten years from now, I want to be …
Creating new production and consumption systems that support the well-being of people, organizations, and the ecosystem within which they both exist
Q11. Would you want to acknowledge any family/friends/partners (beyond mentors)? If so, who?
I work collaboratively; the list is big, as is my gratitude. My professional journey reflects the hard work of those who proceeded me and the ongoing support and dedication of my family, my friends, and colleagues.
Q12. Please indicate your hometown, place of study, degree field(s), and an interesting fact about yourself.
I currently live in Providence, Rhode Island. I have Ph.D. in Design from the IIT-Institute of Design, Chicago, a Masters in Geography, Cities, and Architecture from Escola Sao Paulo, and an MSc. in Urban Regeneration and a dual major bachelor’s in Architecture and Urban Design from the Makenzie University in Sao Paulo, where I was born and raised.