Ana Carolina Sauer Liberato, a master’s nursing student from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil, is the first Visiting Research Scholar at the Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN). She arrived in Central Illinois December 31 and plans to stay through April 1.

In Brazil, Liberato has been working with Professor Roberta Rodrigues at UNICAMP, where their research is focused on patient satisfaction with medication related to medication adherence in patients with the chronic diseases hypertension and coronary heart disease.

During her visit, Liberato is working with Professor Caroline Mallory and Assistant Professor MyoungJin Kim on her research analysis and manuscript. Liberato will also attend MCN and Illinois State colloquia and seminars on relevant research and statistics topics, use Milner Library’s resources for her manuscript development, begin preparations for data analysis, and prepare to submit her manuscript for publication.

This is Liberato’s first visit to the United States. Since her arrival, she has noticed differences and similarities between Brazil and Illinois with the number one difference being, you guessed it, the weather! “In Brazil it is currently summer and the temperatures are always near 100 degrees,” Liberato said. “The other difference is the metric system. Math is always on my mind here.”

Although there are clearly differences in weather and culture for Liberato, she can also find similarities. “UNICAMP and Illinois State both have great researchers, big campuses, great libraries, and convenient public transportation,” she said.

So far Liberato has explored the Twin Cities and visited Springfield to see the capitol and multiple Lincoln sites. “Visiting the sites in Springfield was fantastic,” she said. “I really enjoyed visiting Abraham Lincoln’s house and just walking around the streets of Springfield.”

Transcultural Coordinator Melissa Moody took Liberato to some local eateries including Lucca Grill and Two Blokes and a Bus. They attended the campus guest lecture by Deborah Tannen, went rock climbing at Upper Limits in Bloomington, and have toured around Bloomington-Normal . “Carol and I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time together in the last month,” Moody said. “Her interests are diverse, so we have had fun planning different activities for her visit.” A few of her upcoming activities include leisurely trips to Chicago and Boston and attending the Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) conference in St. Louis.

Liberato had a hard time deciding what to study in college. At first, she enrolled in economic classes, but realized that is not what she wanted to do as a career. Her mother is a social worker at a primary care clinic in Brazil, and Liberato realized she really wanted to work with health and education. After returning to Brazil and earning her master’s degree, Liberato hopes to work toward a Ph.D., continue with a career in health research, and become a college professor.

“We are thrilled to host Ms. Liberato,” MCN Dean Janet Krejci said. “This exchange serves as a catalyst for scholarly collaboration between faculty at MCN and UNICAMP. We look forward to hosing future scholars.”