Happy to make a difference

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bella De Soriano Stairs Lean

Bella De Soriano is our newest research associate, on the job since September. Find out more about her with this Q&A, andclick here to read a profile article about De Soriano.

Question: Where are you from originally?

Bella De Soriano: I'm from southeast London in England. I came to the United States in the summer of 2008 to attend the University of Iowa. I had a roommate from Albuquerque, N.M., and Iowa was completely new to her as well, so I think that helped both of us adjust.

Q: When did you graduate and what degree did you receive?

BDS:I graduated in 2013, with a B.A. in anthropology, with a focus on medical anthropology. I find it so interesting to hear about other cultures and how that can help us look critically at the society we're living in.

Q: What about this position here in the UI HDSA COE was appealing to you?

BDS:I think I like seeing how my work can affect others in a beneficial way. During the first research visit I coordinated, everything went well and everyone left happy. They seemed like they had a good time, which I don't think you expect from a research visit. So it was really nice to see that they left in a good mood.

Q: What do you see as the strengths of the UI HDSA COE?

BDS:We have people who are really dedicated to what they're doing and genuinely care about the participants and about the research and the quality of data that we're getting.

Q: What's been the best part about your job so far?

BDS:;Knowing that someone had a good visit and part of the reason was me. Because it could've been rubbish, they could've had a terrible time, they could've hated every minute of it and they didn't, and part of the reason they didn't is because I was there.

Q: What do you like to do with your free time?

BDS:;I go running and I rock climb. My boyfriend and I have been climbing in Colorado and in Iowa. And lots of lounging.

Q: Do you have any pets?

BDS:;I have a cat, and his name is Sir Kenneth Wellington Esquire von Meowington III, but we call him Wellie for short. He's very independent, so he doesn't call when you ask him to, but he can be really affectionate when he wants to be. He's a farm cat, orange and white.

Q: Is there one thing about yourself that people may not know?

BDS:I volunteer at the local prison (Iowa Medical and Classification Center), they have a choir that meets during the semester and we have two concerts at the end of the semester. I sang in high school so it's a nice way for me to combine something I love doing with helping other people.

Q: Who would you want to play you in the movie about your life?

BDS:;Emma Stone. She's confident and I think she's adorable.

Q: What's your favorite food?

BDS: Chicken without a doubt, roast chicken with brown gravy and roast potatoes.

Q: Name something you always wanted to do and you accomplished it.

BDS: Being completely independent: Financially independent, emotionally independent and being able to survive by myself and on my own merit is a nice feeling for me.

Q: What is your favorite part about living in Iowa City?

BDS: Iowa City has been good to me. It's so stress free. I live downtown so it's easy to get to work, there's no having to get on the train and spend an hour get to work. Everything I need is close by and it's relatively peaceful here.

Q: If your family/friends were going to describe you using one word, what word would that be

BDS:I've heard this word used to describe me before: Personable.