Grad program: Sociology
Undergrad: BA in Psychology, Gonzaga University
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
Advisor: Rebekah Burroway
How does it feel to earn an NSF GRF?
It feels surreal. Thanks to the NSF GRF, I’ll be able to afford to eat nice vegetables while in graduate school. It’s crazy.
What will this award allow you to do that you might not have done without it?
First, I will be able to afford the apartment I live in and the groceries I buy. Second, I will be able to attend conferences that were previously inaccessible to me. Third, I will be able to focus more energy on research that I was already beginning without the added stress of TA-ing and poverty. Thank you NSF!
What will you research and how might it benefit the world?
I am researching access to water and sanitation in low and middle income nations. Hopefully through my research fewer people will die from waterborne illnesses caused by lack of adequate water and sanitation facilities. I hope to also inform development lenders, multinationals and the field of sociology on a better way to obtain a deeper understanding of well-being in the global south.
What sparked your interest in your research, or science in general?
There are millions of people dying in the world through lack of their most basic needs. It is absurd that we live in a capitalistic society that allows this kind of suffering to continue while there are individuals who literally own islands, yachts and corporations. One of these individuals has as much money as the poorest 1 billion people in the world. I cannot live in a world where this gross injustice continues. Thus I will try to research solutions to providing people with their most basic needs, then I will begin to discuss psychological and social needs once these are provided for.