Alexandra Briceno, 2019 Alumni Participation Challenge Scholarship Recipient
Alexandra Briceno moved to the United States in 2001 from Venezuela in search of a safe place to grow and prosper. Her family chose Miami because of the potential it offers as the major, cultural, economic and financial center of South Florida.
Upon moving to Miami, Briceno completed high school studies and pursued a career as a personal trainer and competitive bodybuilder. Realizing all of the myths surrounding food and eating habits, Briceno was determined to become an expert in nutrition to provide sound advice for the community.
In 2018, Briceno enrolled at FIU in the dietetics and nutrition bachelors – where she quickly shined.
“I made it my sole purpose to excel academically while helping my peers to do the same,” said Briceno. “I became extremely engaged in campus life serving as a Lead Transfer Ambassador for incoming students, Women who Lead Ambassador, a trained peer mentor in Dietetics and Nutrition department, and event coordinator for the Student Dietetic Association, to name a few.”
Briceno has worked hard as a student, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, consistently making the Dean’s list, and becoming a member of the Tau Sigma Honor Society are some of her most treasured accomplishments while at Stempel College. And now she can add one more: recipient of the 2019 Alumni Participation Challenge Scholarship.
“It is my hope to inspire others like me to pursue their dreams and careers with passion. Passion has carried me through my undergraduate career as a single mother of two and caretaker of my mother. Stempel College as well as the Dietetics and Nutrition Department have given me the wealth of resources needed to become a qualified and worthy professional,” Briceno continued.
Currently, Briceno is working with Dr. Cristina Palacios on the MetA-Bone trial, a project that is looking at the effects of soluble corn fiber supplementation on bone metabolism in adolescents.
“Alexandra is very motivated and always looking for ways to excel,” Palacios says.
She is also volunteering with Dr. Sabrina Sales Martinez on FIU’s EMBRACE program, which focuses on empowerment and self-efficacy among students with disabilities.
“Alexandra is a model student who is actively engaged both in and out of the classroom. It am confident she will be successful in all her future endeavors,” Sales Martinez says.
Briceno looks to continue her education, pursuing masters and doctoral study opportunities in preparation for a career in academia, where she plans to focus on researching the gut microbiome and its impacts on nutrient absorption to make the greatest impact in the dietetics and nutrition community.