Kirsten Lezama, originally from Chicago, Illinois, moved to Milwaukee, WI for her undergraduate degree, completing her Bachelor’s in Science of Nursing at Alverno College in 2014. She quickly found a passion for community and public health at the City of Milwaukee Health Department, working as a public health nurse in both the Prenatal Care Coordination and Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention Programs. She later relocated to Southwest Florida where she worked as a school nurse, introducing a new comprehensive sexual health education program for Title I High Schools within Hispanic minority communities. After graduating with her Master's degree in Public Health from Nova Southeastern University in 2018, she served at the Florida Department of Health as a Health Education Program Consultant in the Community Health Education, Engagement and Development program, later being promoted to Manager of the state's Tobacco Prevention Program within the county. Kirsten most recently worked as a Public Health Specialist, further expanding on her previous experiences in Florida by continuing to promote best practices in policies, community engagement, communications, and building community capacity. She also currently sits on the board of directors for the National Association for Hispanic Nurses Greater Milwaukee Chapter. Kirsten’s interest in the Public and Community Health PhD program, as part of the Institute for Health and Equity at Medical College of Wisconsin, aligns with her desire to step into a more formal research role in improving population health outcomes among vulnerable and historically marginalized populations. Her research interests include: the Social Determinants of Health, Health Equity, Social Justice, Community Capacity Building, Representation in Health Care, Health Disparities, Racism and Systemic Oppression, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Health Beliefs and Behaviors, Outreach and Engagement, Effective Communications and Messaging, Culture and Health.