Briana Rigau


What drew you to CPERL? How does CPERL align with your professional vision?
I began my journey at the University of Illinois Chicago in August 2016. Prior to starting my classes here, I was looking for a research assistantship with a focus on pediatric rehabilitation because my professional vision is to build and sustain an innovative, interdisciplinary, non-profit pediatric and young-adult healthcare practice that is research active. Being a member of CPERL is shaping this career trajectory by enabling me to develop knowledge and appreciation of the research process and the relevant skills and resources needed within organizations to foster meaningful research engagement.

What do you work on in CPERL?
For the past two years, I helped to coordinate a multi-site NIH funded project that is focused on piloting electronic approaches to assessment in early intervention to foster family engaged and function-focused care. My experiences during these first two years laid a foundation for what I am doing in my 3rd and final year of my MS/OTD program of study. In this year, I will be leveraging lab resources to complete my OTD capstone project wherein I will develop materials that organizations can utilize to build provider capacity for research engagement.

What has been your most memorable moment in CPERL to date?
My most memorable moment in CPERL was when the first caregiver enrolled in our project! At that time, enrollment in the project was slow going and I was anxiously waiting for a caregiver to participate, as we were expecting caregivers to begin participating in January of that year. I was on a break from an elective course when I logged in to discover it, and was so very excited to see that a caregiver had completed the YC-PEM!

What are your favorite ways to occupy yourself, and what does it mean for you to participate in these activities?
I love to practice yoga; ski; and spend time with my boyfriend, family, and friends. Practicing yoga helps me relax, enabling me to experience gratitude for the many positive aspects of my life and teaching me patience for when things are less than perfect. Skiing is incredibly fun; I love the adrenaline rush I get while skiing down a difficult slope. I also love being surrounded by nature when I’m in the mountains. Spending time with my boyfriend, family, and friends fills me with happiness as I value sharing my life with my loved ones.