Belinda Vicuña

RWJF Center for Health Policy Doctoral Fellow
Biography 

Belinda Vicuña has received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology (double major) and Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of New Mexico. For Belinda, New Mexico is home, but she is certainly proud to claim her roots in Bolivia. She feels strongly about health equity/social justice, which has led her to bridge psychology and public health with her research. Taking a strengths-based approach, it is her aim to appreciate the importance of resilience within individuals and communities. Especially among marginalized and underserved communities, resiliency resources (for example: culture, family, or spirituality) can be greatly influential in promoting health. Belinda’s greatest motivation is to serve her community through her research in cancer prevention, finding the place where her deepest desire meets the greatest need.

Research Interests 

Research Interests

Belinda Vicuña’s research centers on cancer control and prevention, in particular among Hispanic/Latino communities, both locally in New Mexico and in the U.S. as a whole. Motivated from a health equity approach, her goal is to engage in research that challenges and confronts cancer health disparities. Her primary research interests focus on efforts that aim to refine and evaluate culturally-centered approaches and interventions to be most effective in promoting and facilitating cancer prevention among Latino communities. Her dissertation explores the role, significance, and impact of spirituality/religiosity on engagement in cancer risk assessment (genetic counseling) among Latina women at increased risk for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer.

Recent Accomplishments 

2015 University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center Matching Support Pilot Project Award for Dissertation Research
2014 University of New Mexico La Raza Latino/a Fellowship
2014 Scholarship to attend the 12th Disparities in Health in America: Working Towards Social Justice Workshop, Houston, TX, June 23-28, 2014.
2013 University of New Mexico, Department of Psychology. Highest Graduate Student Teaching (IDEA) Rating for a Small Course Teaching Award