My identities, culture, circumstances, and experiences have strongly informed my orientation toward community and public service. I am AfroLatina, a first-generation student and American, the daughter of Dominican immigrants, and was born and bred in Miami, Florida. Aside from siblings and extended first-generation relatives, my family is primarily Spanish speaking (surname pronounced: PWEH-yo), and Spanish is my first language. I credit both my Dominican and Miamian heritage for inculcating collectivist values of reciprocity, interdependence, and solidarity, which guide my career, research, and personal life.
In addition to being a full-time PhD student, I am a higher education administrator. I hold a Master's degree in Higher Education Administration and currently serve as a Graduate Academic Services Administrator at the University of Colorado Denver's College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
I am also a cyclist. I am humbled that I am the first documented Black woman to bike across the continental United States via the TransAmerica Trail as of 2016. In 2017, I founded and now co-lead the Denver chapter of Black Girls Do Bike. I also serve on Bicycle Colorado's (bike advocacy non-profit) Board of Directors. I have written several articles and have been featured on podcasts, webinars, and summits discussing my bike touring experience and diversity in cycling and the outdoors more broadly. You may access these on my Linktree here, if interested.
One of my favorite quotes is by Dominican author Junot Díaz. It is an excerpt from a poem, which he recited in his acceptance speech at the 2016 Hispanic Heritage Awards (view here if interested):
“...We survived it all.
We are the people who survived.
We survived everything–surviving even the surviving, which is the hardest survival of all.
And in the middle of that surviving, some of us even learned how to live...”