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Cassidy Bender

Year: Senior

Major: Biology

How/Why do you want to change the world?
Over the years, I have volunteered my time with various minority and low-income populations. My experiences have really fueled my passion to continue to work with the underrepresented, specifically through healthcare. Ultimately, I want to help improve some of the disparities seen in healthcare quality among these populations.

What are you proud to have been involved with at UO?
I am a research assistant in the Culture and Health Promotion Lab. Our lab focuses on factors that negatively affect health outcomes among communities in need. This lab has given me the opportunity to work on collaborative studies and create my own individual project. I am currently working on my thesis that looks at the association between depression and BMI among Latinx adults.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
My grandmother is my biggest role model. She immigrated to the US with mom during a war in hopes of extended opportunities and freedom. Throughout all of the sacrifices she had to make, her smile never disappeared. In my eyes, she is the epitome of strength.

What are your goals after college?
After graduating this June, my dad and I are going to volunteer in various orphanages in Southeast Asia. In the fall, I will be attending medical school. After I finish my residency, my goal is to volunteer my time in third-world countries and also in local homeless clinics.

Which fictional character is most like yourself?
I would say that I’m most like Shuri from “Black Panther.” She has an infectious game-for-anything energy and her spunk always lightens the mood.

What is one fun fact about you?
I have been to almost every state in the United States, 8 more to go!