Maria Encinosa questions the narratives that many take for granted, placing those who are overlooked at the heart of her work.
She is fascinated by the intersections between health and sociocultural environments, positioning her to serve as Normal Next Community Manager for the RWJF Culture of Health Leaders program.
Encinosa is currently revising an article for publication entitled “Embodied Injustices: COVID-19, Race, and Epigenetics” that combats myths of innate biological differences between racial groups and the normalization of minority sickness. The piece analyzes how the epigenome embodies racialized social experiences as comorbidities that enhance vulnerability to COVID-19.
Her holistic view of health equity is a result of pursuing a dual degree in Biomedical Sciences and International Relations & Politics with minors in Anthropology and Spanish at the University of North Florida. As a member of the Hicks Honors College, she co-designed and taught a course that develops students as deep learners, pitching solutions to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
From serving as a Board Fellow with the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville to investigating the ubiquitin protease system of muscle atrophy to shadowing in Guatemalan hospitals, Encinosa can adapt to many fields.
She learned her best lessons from the most unexpected opportunities, making her a firm advocate of treading new ground outside traditional areas of expertise. When she needs a fresh perspective on her studies or community-focused work, Encinosa experiments with recipes from all over the world.
As a native of South Florida, she scuba dives, where being underwater transports her to a surreal and beautiful underwater planet.