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Lupus Blog & Current Events

Interview with Martha Rios & Mariela Martinez

Friday, July 10, 2020
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Interview with Martha Rios & Mariela Martinez

For the month of July, we will be featuring the people of UMass who support our research. This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Martha Rios and Mariela Martinez. Martha and Mariela work for our Environmental Building Services (EBS) department as custodians on our floor. We have worked together for about 6 years, during which we've become good friends. Martha and Mariela are some of the hardest workers I know, and they always go above and beyond to help us. Get to know them here!

  1. Can you tell our readers a little about how you ended up in your current role at UMass?

Martha: I've worked at UMass Medical School since 1996. I started in the hospital, but moved to the research building where I work for EBS.

Mariela: I started in 2000 at the hospital and moved to the research building in 2010.

  1. You play a supporting role for our projects, which we are very grateful for. What is your favorite part about your job?

Martha: We come here and do our best. I love all the nice people who we work with. We keep the research areas cleaned and supplied. This is necessary for the researchers to do their jobs.

Mariela: We keep the bathrooms, kitchen and lab spaces clean. My favorite part is the people I work with.

  1. Why do you think research is important?

Martha: Research is important to make medicines for future generations! I'm happy to help the people who are looking for cures for diseases.

Mariela: Research is important because it will lead to cures for cancer and other illnesses.

  1. Mariela, you have a personal connection to lupus. Would you mind sharing your experiences with our readers?

Mariela: One of my friends has had lupus since she was a child. I go visit her several times a year. She is turning 60 this year! But she is still fighting lupus. She has heart problems, and needs oxygen. She also has diabetes. So I've seen her struggle. But she's very happy in her family and personal life.

  1. Do you have any advice for people looking to move into a research support career?

Martha: Do your best to train and work hard!

Mariela: Keep researching and teaching other students!

  1. Any parting thoughts?

Martha: I wish all the best for the researchers. I hope God blesses us to find cures for future generations. I believe the world appreciates all you do and your efforts to discover new things. Gracias para su dedication!

Mariela: Everyone that comes here tries to do their best. I would encourage people to stick with it, and try your best. I really appreciate being at UMass, I've learned a lot from being here.

And we all appreciate you, Martha & Mariela! Your positive attitudes and hard work are as contagious as your smiles!

Thanks to all EBS staff who make our research possible! They are also playing a huge role in keeping our UMass community safe during COVID-19!

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