Valen Diaz, MPH, MCHES, is very excited and humbled to join the team at UConn Health Disparities Institute (HDI) as a Research Associate and Project Manager. Before coming on board at HDI, Valen worked at Southern Connecticut State University for over two years, where she was the Project Manager for the CDC Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health. Valen started her public health career at Yale University, where she worked for over five years coordinating a diverse array of research projects that ranged from a relationship-strengthening HIV/STI prevention intervention for adolescent parenting couples in New Haven to a multi-site, longitudinal study examining genomic, psychological, and environmental influences on blood pressure among Black women and their children in Connecticut. She earned her B.A. in Healthcare and Health Disparities from UConn and her MPH from Southern Connecticut State University. Over the course of her eight years of experience doing health disparities work with Black and Brown communities, Valen has had the privilege to pursue and deepen her public health passions for health equity, racial equity, and social justice.