Research With A Heart

Community Engagement Specialist

July 2020 - September 2022

Continuing my work within the Infectious Diseases Practice, this role evolved into one that educates, supports, recruits, and retains volunteers into culturally competent research study opportunities. Studies were focused on HIV prevention and treatment, COVID-19 prevention and observation, and addiction treatment.

Through my work as a Community Engagement Specialist, my responsibilities included designing flyers and promotional material that raised awareness of the department's brand and mission.

Starting this work during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all of our community engagement efforts were limited to virtual-only options. Spending most of this time hosting events online and managing the social media platforms, I led and developed initiatives aimed towards improving and furthering the brand identities for both Research With A Heart and the Infectious Diseases Practice. Part of this initiative includes a departmental brand refresh that best accommodates and fulfills the needs of the communities served.

Furthering our brand identity, I have led initiatives that included content for Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking populations. Newark is a very diverse city with robust communities of immigrants and people of color. Understanding this, I developed material that acknowledges, celebrates, and raises awareness of events and commemorative dates; such as: Black History Month (February), Women's History Month (March), LGBT History Month (October), Latinx Heritage Month (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15), and more.

When we did have the opportunity to physically go out into the community, most of these initiatives centered around community-based partnerships and directly engaging with and educating people around initiatives and research opportunities tied to one's physical, mental, sexual health. Much of this work requires the active commitment of maintaining the community's trust by advocating for and supporting one's needs, whether through referrals, educational opportunities, and more.

Included are some samples of the work I have developed for the department, with a focus upon the importance of representation for diverse and historically marginalized communities of Newark.

Redesigning the graphic mark that aligns with our mission, I had the opportunity to put together an image that encompasses the LGBTQIA+ progress flag into the graphic mark.

Final edits were made with the support of community partners, and this graphic mark is used for social media posts and events specific to LGBTQIA+ causes and topics.

Managing a brand's social media requires the creativity, strategy, and thoughtfulness to successfully engage with the community.

Check out some of the posts I have designed that honors and brings awareness to holidays, events, and observance days throughout the year.