Erika Nacim

Graduate Student, Doctoral Program (Ph.D.)
MAS Outreach Coordinator

Erika Sylvia Nacim was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. Crossing the border almost daily into Juárez was an integral part of her childhood, though as she grew older and border politics more insidious, trips across the Rio Grande became less frequent. She attended High School in Tucson, Arizona and learned of a different and more perilous border reality compounded by the harsh Sonoran Desert. As a Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient, she moved to Los Angeles, California to attend Occidental College and double majored in Cell & Molecular Biology and Spanish Literary Studies. It was during her undergraduate degree, that her dedication to social justice became solidified, inspired by the Chicano movement in LA. She returned to Tucson for graduate school and spent a semester at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden studying the Swedish/European CDC response to the Ebola outbreak. She received a MPH in Family and Child Health, her thesis work focusing on Zika, structural violence, and paradoxical public health messages. Erika is now a full-time PhD student in Mexican American Studies and intends to continue her work on infectious diseases and structural violence.