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Grad Slam Finalist Profile: Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Student Kristina Rodriguez

UC Davis grad student Kristina Rodriguez
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 12:00am

Meet Kristina Rodriguez, Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Student and Grad Slam Finalist

Kristina Rodriguez

Program, Degree & Year of Study
Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership, Master's Program, 2nd year

Research Interests
Nurse Resiliency, Burnout Prevention, and Styles of Debriefing

Previous Degree(s) & College(s)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Dominican University of California

Title of Grad Slam Presentation
Resilience and Burnout Among Burn Intensive Care Unit Nurses: The Development of a Debriefing Resource Tool

Describe your presentation style in three words.
Charismatic, Passionate, Resilient

What did you do to prepare for Grad Slam? 
While I am stuck in my car, I rehearsed consistently and when I am at home, I practiced in front of my bathroom mirror (best acoustics)

What initially attracted you to your field of study? 
I have been working as a Burn ICU nurse for over five years. In 2018, California was suffering from devastating wildfires. I witnessed these wildfires parallel our acuity. As the acuity increased Burn nurses were expressing symptoms of burnout. There was a problem and I wanted to find a solution.

What do you like to do in your free time? 
Honestly? I work from 7 pm-7 am. So, I love to sleep! But once I wake up, I love watching my reality television. I can watch anything from The Real Housewives, Keeping up with the Kardashians, or The Bachelor!

Do you have any mentors who helped you develop your interest and strength in research communication? If so, how did they help you?
Dr. Jann Murray Garcia. It is truly an honor to have her as my thesis chair. Her publications and lectures inspire me to develop a writing style that is influential and impactful for all. She has guided me throughout the program with honest feedback at our weekly sessions. I appreciated her form of mentorship because she reduced the pressure I placed on myself and this allowed me to read, write, and translate my research effectively.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 
As a proud Filipino nurse, I hope to establish a non-profit organization that helps children in rural areas of the Philippines. I have been blessed to achieve my goals and dreams because of the resources that have surrounded me. Sometimes, we take for granted basic supplies such as paper, pencils, and books. So, I hope to create an organization that allows children to have these resources and more.

About This Year's Final Round

Due to the shelter-in-place order and the ongoing Coronavirus situation, UC Davis Graduate Studies chose to cancel the 2020 UC Davis Grad Slam final round event on April 7. 

Though the event’s cancellation draws this year’s competition to a close, Graduate Studies is eager to continue rewarding and recognizing the efforts of this year’s finalists. Graduate Studies, along with Grad Slam sponsors Public Scholarship and Engagement and Global Affairs, will be awarding each of the ten finalists a prize amount of $625. 

Graduate Studies will also be highlighting each of the finalists in web profiles and working with campus partners to identify alternative ways in which their contributions to society might be publicly recognized and celebrated over the course of the next year. 

For more information about UC Davis Grad Slam, visit the Grad Slam website or contact Kathryn Raley, Program and Event Manager for Graduate Studies, at

UC Davis Grad Slam Sponsors

Graduate Studies would like to thank this year's UC Davis Grad Slam sponsors for their generosity and support.

The Office of Research serves as the primary campus resource for matters related to research and technology commercialization. OR provides services and resources to simulate research, facilitate collaborations,  optimize infrastructure, ensure compliance and  translate innovations into commercial applications for societal benefit. Learn more by visiting the UC Davis Office of Research website.

Public Scholarship and Engagement (PSE) is fostering a culture of engagement at UC Davis that increases the university’s impact through mutually-beneficial relationships that have local, regional, statewide, and global reach. We envision UC Davis research, teaching and learning that serves society and makes a positive difference in the world. Learn more by visiting the Public Scholarship and Engagement website.

Global Affairs brings the world to UC Davis, welcoming more than 10,000 international students, scholars and leaders, and hosting programs that inspire global curiosity, understanding and engagement. Compelled by the valuable outcomes of thinking globally, we make transformative opportunities a reality by supporting the thousands of students and faculty learning and researching globally—and by facilitating collaborations that tackle the world’s most pressing challenges through more than 150 global partnerships.

Putting our vision of a UC Davis community that engages, thrives, and leads in this interconnected world into action, Global Affairs is in pursuit of an ambitious goal: Global Education for All.

About Graduate Studies

Graduate Studies at UC Davis includes over 100 dynamic degree programs and a diverse and interactive student body from around the world. Known for our state-of-the-art research facilities, productive laboratories and progressive spirit – UC Davis offers collaborative and interdisciplinary curricula through graduate groups and designated emphasis options, bringing students and faculty of different academic disciplines together to address real-world challenges.
UC Davis graduate students and postdoctoral scholars become leaders in their fields: researchers, teachers, politicians, mentors and entrepreneurs. They go on to guide, define and impact change within our global community.

For information on Graduate Studies’ current strategic initiatives, visit the Graduate Studies strategic plan page.