Career Connection

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March: Full Career Panel! - Save the date.

Picture of Sara Bleich


  • Areas of interest: USDA Agriculture, Geospatial Data, Nutrient Management, Bioinformatics
  • Date & Time: March 27, 11-12noon
  • Zoom link

March: Dr. Sara Bleich (Cancelled)

Picture of Sara Bleich

  • Title: Director of Nutrition Security and Health Equity
  • Company: Food and Nutrition Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Date & Time: Will reschedule in spring.
  • Room & Zoom:
  • Bio: Dr. Sara Bleich is the Director of Nutrition Security and Health Equity in the Food and Nutrition Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), after serving as the Senior Advisor for COVID-19 in the Office of the Secretary at USDA (2021). She is a policy expert and researcher who specializes in diet-related diseases, food insecurity and racial inequality with more than 175 peer-reviewed publications. She is on leave from her post as a Professor of Public Health Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Kennedy School of Government, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Dr. Bleich was also a White House Fellow during the Obama administration, where she worked at USDA as a Senior Policy Adviser for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services and with the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative. She holds degrees from Columbia (BA, Psychology) and Harvard (PhD, Health Policy).

Feburary: Ricardo Aguilar

Picture of Ricardo Aguilar

  • Title: Research Computational Scientist I
  • Company: Children’s Health of Orange County (CHOC)
  • Date & Time: Feburary 10, 12pm-12:45pm PST
  • Room & Zoom: Online Only. Zoom link
  • Bio: Ricardo Aguilar is a graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles with a MS degree in Biostatistics. His academic research focused on identifying interaction terms in correlated, high-dimensional data using a feature selection machine learning algorithm. He has 5 years of experience as a statistical consultant where he gained experience in various areas of research such as life sciences, community health sciences, education, and agriculture. He is now a Research Computational Scientist I at Children’s Health of Orange County (CHOC) where he supports research through project ideation, study design, data management, inferential statistics, statistical and machine learning model building, and manuscript writing. Additionally, he catalogs and investigates databases to expand the scope of research conducted at CHOC.

November: Natalia Cañas

Picture of Jeff Gonzalez

  • Title: Research and Policy Associate
  • Company: National Alliance for Hispanic Health
  • Date & Time: November 30, 12pm-1pm PST
  • Room & Zoom: Online Only. Zoom link
  • Bio: Natalia leads research efforts on the NIH All of Us Research Program at the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. She is part of a team working to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the Hispanic community using All of Us data. Additionally, she has conducted qualitative research with the Latinx community in Washington, D.C. and in Colombia with Venezuelan migrants. Additionally, she has written mixed-methods reports on COVID-19 perceptions among Hispanics throughout the U.S. for CDC grants.

November: Jeff Gonzalez

Picture of Jeff Gonzalez

  • Title: Director of the Mathematical Statistics Research Center in the Office of Survey Methods Research
  • Company: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Date & Time: November 17, 12pm-1pm PST
  • Room & Zoom: Online Only. Zoom link
  • Bio: Jeffrey Gonzalez is the Director of the Mathematical Statistics Research Center in the Office of Survey Methods Research at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. He completed his Ph.D. in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland in 2012, following a MS degree in Biostatistics at the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina. Jeff has over 15 years of service in the Federal Statistical System, having recently been a Research Mathematical Statistician with the Economic Research Service at the USDA where he served as the technical lead for survey and data development for the Second National Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey as well as a Mathematical Statistician at the BLS from 2007 to 2019. His research interests include modular survey designs, responsive/adaptive designs, respondent burden, and nonresponse bias and in his free time enjoys spending time with his spouse their three cocker spaniels - Griffin, Winston, and Stirling - and enjoys traveling, marathoning, and non-competitive Cross Fitting.

October: Ana Zepeda

Picture of Ana Zepeda

  • Title: PHD Student in Geography
  • Company: UC Davis
  • Date & Time: October 27, 2pm-3pm PST
  • Room & Zoom: Online only. Zoom link Passcode: 188851
  • Bio: Ana is a Geography PhD student at UC Davis, where she studies the impacts of compounded disasters on farmers, specifically women farmers in Latin America and the Caribbean. Using qualitative data, she analyzes how public policies and educational programs can best assist farmers. In addition to her research, Ana is a teaching assistant for various courses at UC Davis, including qualitative research methods and international agricultural development theory.

September: Mariby Cruz

Picture of Mariby Cruz sitting on steps looking at the camera

  • Title: Process Analyst I
  • Company: Quidel
  • Date & Time: September 22, 12noon-1pm
  • Room & Zoom: Online only. Zoom link
  • Bio: Mariby is a Process Analyst at Quidel Corporation, a diagnostic healthcare manufacturer serving to enhance the health and well-being of people around the globe through the development of diagnostic solutions. She is responsible for developing reports to analyze data, to predict product quality, and summarize product performance periodically. She assists in product quality improvements which increase quality, lower cost, and increase manufacturing capacity.