Graduate School celebrates students during Hispanic Heritage Month


To celebrate the 2020 Hispanic Heritage Month, the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences recognizes a few of our students in the Global Child Health Master’s program.

portrait of Adriana Porras Moreno

Adriana Porras Moreno, MD

Specialty: Hematology and Oncology

Home Hospital: National Children’s Hospital

Native Country: Costa Rica

A life-long hands on learner, Adriana Porras Moreno, M.D., thrives in situations where she can learn by doing. That includes her six years working with patients diagnosed with leukemia and other benign hematological disorders. Joining the Global Child Health Master’s Program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital afforded her the chance to learn by doing, while also presenting the opportunity to work with, and learn from, some of the finest researchers in the world.

She has a special relationship with pediatric oncology patients, relating her own experience as a child wearing corrective shoes and braces on her legs. That experience led to her goal of becoming a doctor, and a constant motivation to improve her skills when it comes to growing her career.

“This program has opened my eyes and broadened my horizons. It has become like a solid concrete foundation that will allow me to build the rest of my career.”

Portrait of Jocelyn Rivera

Jocelyn Rivera, MD

Specialty: Specialist in Emergency Pediatric Medicine

Home Hospital: Hospital Infantil Teleton de Oncologia

Native Country: Mexico

For Jocelyn Rivera, M.D., admission to the Master’s in Global Health program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is an opportunity to learn the highest quality standards from the organization that is known for excellence in treatment, diagnosis, and research in pediatric oncology.

A specialist in pediatric emergency medicine in her native Mexico, she is always looking for ways to enhance the standard of care from diagnosis to treatment. Though she has been in the field for seven years, she is still an active learner who is constantly looking for ways to improve the skills she learned in medical school, while also becoming a leader who can help to educate others when she completes the program.

“The Master’s in Global Health has brought to my life not only academic knowledge, but it has broadened my perspective of the concept of health. It has also redefined the concept of leadership and brotherhood while helping me get to know myself better.”

Portrait of Thelma Velasquez Herrera

Thelma Velasquez Herrera, MD

Specialty: Pediatric hemato-oncology

Home Hospital: Unidad Nacional de Oncologia Pediatrica

Native Country: Guatemala

Through her previous relationship with a partner hospital in Central America, Thelma Herrera-Velasquez, M.D. was aware of the work being done by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the global community. When presented with the opportunity to learn from St. Jude researchers while still able to continue with her job, the decision was easy for her to make.

Through the program, she hopes to gain knowledge in managing the national, international, governmental and institutional aspects of pediatric cancer. Through this knowledge, she hopes to improve the treatment of pediatric cancer in her native Guatemala, while also learning how her peers in other countries deal with similar challenges.

“The St. Jude Graduate School provides an incredible opportunity to learn about Global Health in an environment of cultural diversity, completely inclusive, partnerships and friendships. It is a constant learning experience among our experiences that has not only shown our differences but more than that, our similarities. I cannot think in another center that could achieve this incredible atmosphere.”