Skip Navigation

Southern Oregon University

McNair Scholars

Maria Livaudais is a senior earning a baccalaureate of science in International Studies with an emphasis in public health and completing a minor in Biology, a minor in Economics, and a minor in French. She anticipates graduating in December 2013. Maria is particularly interested in global healthcare policy and health informatics technology.

As a high school student, Maria was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student and spent a year in France. She broadened her knowledge of what it is to be a global citizen and how to adapt to different cultures. Her desire to actively participate in the global community led her to major in International Studies at SOU. Maria minored in Biology because she is intrigued by the human body and how it works. Anatomy and Physiology was her favorite Biology class. While taking a Healthcare Economics course Maria grew passionate about the field of Economics and its usefulness in understanding and addressing the complexity of healthcare.

In 2012, Maria was accepted to the SOU McNair Scholars Program. She appreciates the program’s focus on encouraging students of diverse backgrounds to excel and seek post-baccalaureate education.

Prior to her sophomore year at SOU, Maria became an intern for Quantros, a small health informatics software company focused on patient safety and quality in Silicon Valley.  Maria learned that a small group of people could organize research and developed health policy which can have wide-reaching impacts. She chose to continue her work with Quantros 2 years later as a Business Analyst. The most significant project she completed was to research States’ legal requirements for healthcare facilities to report adverse events. Maria located and analyzed documents, rules, and regulations, contacted health departments, and created a database. She compiled the information in to a dense but concise report.

In Fall 2012, Maria began working with the SOU Research Center on a health literacy survey. The work largely consisted of data entry and data analysis using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SSPS). Later in the term, she was contracted to do the data analysis for a community needs survey for ACCESS, a community action nonprofit in the Rouge Valley. Maria’s experience in applied research projects has provided her with pragmatic knowledge of how research contributes to the development of public policy.

Maria hopes to improve the quality of healthcare at home in the United States and around the world by working on healthy systems and development and incorporating technology in new and innovative ways. Maria is looking forward to further refining her skills in health policy and research and analysis by attending a doctoral program focused on global health services, clinical informatics or health policy. Upon completion of a doctoral degree, Maria intends to have an active role in creating improvements in health policy and technology. She understands her goal to improve healthcare is ambitious but Maria believes great accomplishments start with one person’s determination.


McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Niemann, Ph.D. Professor of International Studies

McNair Faculty Co-Mentor: Douglas Gentry, Masters in Public Health, Professor of Economics



Curriculum Vitae


SOU McNair Scholars Journal 2013

Article: Early Adopters' Attitudes Towards a Community Based Health Information Exchange


2013 McNair Scholar Symposium

Presentation Handout: Stakeholder's Anticipated Benefits and Concerns About a Community Based Health Information Exchange

Presentation: Stakeholder's Anticipated Benefits and Concerns About a Community Based Health Information Exchange



2013 Southern Oregon Arts & Research (SOAR)

Poster: How Your Health Information is Shared and Protected: The Jefferson Health Information Exchange