Community Leadership Committee
Shirley H. Brown, M.S., J.D.
Sandra Finestone, Psy.D.
Nicole Laurita, M.S.
I’ve dedicated my professional life to translational and clinical research. Over the last eight years, my research projects focused on understanding diseases on the molecular level, analyzing the effects of novel interventions, and evaluating innovative treatments in a clinical setting. I completed my undergraduate degree at UMBC, followed by a graduate degree in Molecular Medicine from the University of Maryland. As a graduate researcher, I investigated novel approaches to cancer treatments – looking at widespread questions in cancer and finding early-stage solutions. I moved across the country to pursue a research position with Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. As a member of the research team, I manage the Army of Women® program, a research initiative that connects researchers with participants internationally, and the Health of Women (HOW) Study®, a high-profile epidemiology study which aims to identify factors which may influence one’s risk of developing breast cancer.
I’m the Executive Director for Promoters for Better Health, a nonprofit organization that empowers community residents to live healthier, happier lives by engaging with communities, removing health barriers, and serving as a bridge to needed resources and health education. I have a BA in Children Pedagogy of the School Normal Profesor Serafín Peña from Montemorelos, Mexico. Currently I am working on my Associate’s Degree in Health and Nutrition in Migrants (Diplomado en Salud y Nutrición del Migrante) from the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico and the University of California, Berkeley. As a certified Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach, I have more than 20 years of experience working at a community level.. My interests and passion are to connect community members to opportunities to improve their well-being by understanding not only the language barriers that migrant communities face, but also the trauma and stress that they face.