Karina Mercado is a first-generation college student from Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She is dual-enrolled in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. In May 2021, Karina will receive a BS in Public Health and a certificate in Health Disparities. A fun fact about Karina is that she’s a vet tech! She was first introduced to Public Health through a Microbiology course at Middlesex County College before starting her undergraduate career at Rutgers University. She immediately fell in love with Public Health and knew she wanted to impact other’s lives positively. Her research interests includes: the relationship between health inequities and social determinants, adverse childhood experiences, and mental health and substance abuse among the aging population. After graduation, Karina hopes to pursue a nursing career to advocate for marginalized and medically underserved groups.