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Student Spotlight: Martha Amador

How did you become interested in Bioethics?

While working as an intern in my second year of graduate studies for social work at USC, I had the opportunity to gain experience as a clinical social worker in the medical-surgical department at Keck Hospital of USC. Since keck hospital attracts complex cases transferred from throughout many regions for various reasons such as for a higher level of quality care, I came across complex cases in multiple units such as cardiothoracic, neurology, and intensive critical care units. Serving patients and their families during such a critical time helped me to develop an interest in bioethics. It ultimately led me to seek a further understanding in this area. I also became interested in global bioethical issues that I have acquired through the lens of visiting developing countries through former international humanitarian mission trips.  


What is your favorite kind of food?

I love pizza; what can I say. You can never go wrong with pizza. I can tell you my favorite pizza places throughout Los Angeles. There are some good local pizzerias I like to visit often!   

What is your favorite destination and why?

In the summer of 2019, I had the opportunity to travel to Israel for a summer course called Trauma and Resilience: The Israeli experience at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I absolutely fell in love with Israel. I am a true sociologist at heart and was captivated with the culture, history, religion, the traditions, hospitality, and amazing traditional Israeli food. I engaged in the learning program about the country's trauma and resilience and preventing the pathological consequences of trauma. Additionally, the history and the holy sites such as the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and visiting Sderot, a city near the Gaza border only bolstered my experience by giving me a richer understanding of the religion, culture, and life, which greatly impacted me. Other enjoyable experiences and places were walking through the Old City, as well as the Yehuda Market, also called the "Shuk." This Jerusalem marketplace had the most fruitful, rich flavor traditional Israeli food that I will never forget. Visiting the country of Israel was an enriching and memorable experience for me.     


What would someone be surprised to know about you?

What someone may be surprised to know about me is that I used to know some breakdance moves. When I was 15 years old, my brother, a renowned street dancer in the 1970s, taught me many different breakdancing moves. It took a lot of practice and physical strength as a teenager, but it was something that I enjoyed. I have always loved dancing that articulates creative expression. I feel honored to have learned from my brother. He is no longer with us, but I am forever grateful for that time. 


Academic accomplishments, Certifications, and Internships: 

- University of Southern California, the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Master of Social Work (MSW) in Adult Mental Health and Wellness.   

- Certificate: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Trauma & Resilience Training: Theory & Practice from the Israeli Experience. 

- University of La Verne, Bachelor of Science in Sociology.


- Keck Hospital of USC- Clinical Social Work. 

- Fontana Unified School District, Fontana Leadership Intervention Program: Worked with school law enforcement as a collaboration between police and social work in serving at-risk youth and their families incorporating a trauma-informed lens and holistic approach. 

LMU Bioethics Institute Logo thinking man sitting on microscope
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