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Ruth Vergara ( received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minor in Spanish Literature at UC San Diego in 2012. Since then, Ruth has been involved as a bilingual research assistant in several research initiatives that study health disparities faced by minority groups and individuals battling several mental illness. Her research interests revolve around exploring how sociocultural factors, such as cultural values, health literacy, and language relate to both physical and mental health among ethnic-minority groups, as well as understanding barriers to healthcare and how they shape health disparities among specific groups.

She is currently enrolled at USC as a dual degree MSW/MPH student. Through her MSW fieldwork, Ruth had the opportunity to work in multidisciplinary teams and provide therapeutic services, crisis intervention, and case management to a diverse number of populations ranging from school settings to hospital inpatient and outpatient settings.

Currently, Ruth is a bilingual research assistant under the direction of Dr. Erick Guerrero, Assistant Professor at USC School of Social Work; where she has a supportive role in data collection at community-based outpatient abuse programs for a NIDA-funded project. She plans to integrate her fieldwork and research experience with both Social Work and Public Health disciplines in the future to promote positive social change and enhance quality of health services