Human Science Junior Plans Medical Career to Promote Health Equity

Posted in News Story

November 21, 2019 – Marelyn Perez-Badillo (NHS’21) is a junior human science major who is pursuing the pre-med curriculum. At Georgetown, she has developed her skills in research through a study abroad opportunity in Argentina and has spent her time working on various social justice efforts, including co-leading, this year, the NHS Minority Health Initiative Council. 

Marelyn Perez-Badillo poses on the steps of Old North with trees behind her.
Marelyn Perez-Badillo (NHS’21) stands by the Old North Building with Dahlgren Quadrangle in the background.

Question: Where did you grow up, and how did you discover Georgetown?

Perez-Badillo: I was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia, where I lived for two short years until my family and I moved to New Jersey where I grew up. In high school, I discovered Georgetown by chance through one of my close friends who had already decided to apply. After doing some research on my own, I fell in love with Georgetown’s Jesuit values, especially cura personalis, and decided to apply as well.

Question: How are you enjoying Georgetown and the human science major?

Perez-Badillo: I have been truly enjoying my time here at Georgetown in the human science major. I love how close-knit the faculty, staff, and students are and how supportive everyone is. There’s always someone I can reach out to if there’s ever anything I need. Shout out to Jen Ericson, my superstar academic dean – I am especially grateful to her for helping me to persevere through some tough times!

Question: Tell us a bit about your time at Georgetown, including your activities.

Perez-Badillo: During my time here, I’ve been involved with various social justice groups around campus, specifically those that advocate for minority groups. For the past couple of semesters, I have served as a coordinator for the DC Schools Project, which provides English literacy tutoring to immigrants in the DC area. I am also a board member of Hoyas for Immigrant Rights, which is a club dedicated to promoting awareness, building safe spaces, and empowering and serving as advocates for immigrant students on and off-campus.

Additionally, I am co-chair of the Minority Health Initiative Council in which we “facilitate access and support for minority students” and promote “the importance of optimal health to minorities through health education and training, research, and community outreach to reduce health disparities.”

Question: How did you enjoy your research-clinical experience in Argentina through the Translational Health Science Internship program?

Perez-Badillo: I loved my time in Argentina this past summer where I was able to work with researchers from the INFANT Foundation and shadow physicians in pediatric hospitals. Learning about the culture, the people, and the health care system of Buenos Aires was truly a rewarding experience. I hope to apply many of the methods of research and data analysis that we learned there to my work here in Georgetown. 

Question: What are you thinking about after Georgetown?

Perez-Badillo: After Georgetown, I would like to delve deeper into my passion for health equity in minority communities by pursuing a career in medicine and possibly even a master’s degree in public health. I hope to be able to help improve the quality of life of these populations by addressing and eliminating the health disparities that they face in our society.