three Latina scientists are leading the way in coronavirus research

The Three Musketeers

Connie Maza, Monica Mann and Elizabeth Zelaya have been working tirelessly on the frontline fighting COVID.

Connie Maza, Monica Mann and Elizabeth Zelaya, also known as The Three Musketeers, have been working tirelessly on the frontline fighting COVID. They have been working in the Department of Forensic Sciences’ Public Health Laboratory Division for years. They were the first to test and report the first cases of COVID in the DC area. Since then, they have been working tirelessly to not only identify but to analyze the different mutations of coronavirus and are now working to see how the variants spread.

While working in a field (STEM - science, tech, engineering and math) that isn’t ‘typical’ for women, let alone Latinas, they have faced adversity when it comes to their work. In comments to NBC News they mentioned the following. Mann said, “You know what used to be the medical field, the science field, laboratory field being run by white males? Now, it has turned into this beautiful rainbow of colors,” while her colleague Zelaya noted, “Every day I reflect and I’m like, ‘Wow, this is probably going to be in a history book. Probably no book, but a history module.”

The three of them have each other to rely on and look up to. Mann mentioned “We’re all the same. We have that same kind of work ethic and I think that’s very inspiring.” Zelaya said, “We are Latinas that’s what we do. We grew up the hard way and we keep applying that everyday.”

You inspire us! Thank you for all that you do and congratulations on becoming Latina Powerhouses!

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Culinary Excellence

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