A Future in Science

Mariana Bragato arrived at UACCM with a career plan: to work in a medical laboratory and combat diseases.

Mariana Bragato
Science is the search for truth. It’s about unlocking the mysteries of humanity and nature and engineering solutions to improve the quality of life. Mariana Bragato, a UACCM graduate, has a plan to do just that, with a goal to work in a medical lab in a hospital and discover breakthroughs that will change the world. 

“Discovering and trying to figure out diseases that people have is important,” she said. “It’s about helping people.”

As a student starting in 2017, she originally planned to be a biology teacher, until the prospect of being behind the scenes in a laboratory and studying samples captured her focus. She was interested in genetics and how the body works.

Mariana’s passion to cure diseases is a deeply personal story, when her father contracted cancer. She has witnessed the toll it has on families and wants to play a role in figuring out the intricacies of the disease. 

She started her education back at home in Brazil, living in a small city and later moving to Brasilia. After finishing high school, she decided to work for a while and then attended the Federal University of Rio Grande, where she studied Portuguese and early childhood education. She soon found herself preparing to move to the United States when her husband applied to attend the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville to gain a master’s degree in computer engineering.   

She spent her first years in the United States in Fayetteville and hit the ground running to accomplish her goals. She learned English, thanks to a supporting community, and continued her education for a while at Northwest Arkansas Community College. When her husband got a job offer in Conway after graduation, they started looking for houses, and she researched colleges. 

“Before we moved, we came to Conway and looked for a house. We stopped in Morrilton, and I saw the school,” she said. 

Morrilton’s close proximity to Conway was a draw. Morrilton also reminded her of her small city in Brazil, located in a largely rural region. But the college’s position in the University of Arkansas System helped her decide to enroll. 

As an international student, she found the faculty supportive. She particularly thanks Speech Instructor Mathew Herrman for helping her realize that she can be a public speaker. He constantly motivated her. 

“He always told me to ‘Practice and just go out there and just do it. Try and don’t be afraid, because I know that you are capable.’ He pushed me,” she said. 

UACCM became the place where she grew. The library became her happy place. She spent more hours reading and studying there than she could count. She joined the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, where she called the induction ceremony one of her proudest moments.

And she’s not finished with her education yet. In 2019, she transferred to the University of Central Arkansas and majors in Health Sciences, continuing her aspirations for a career in a medical lab.


  1. Congratulations! Your story is exciting! Admirable womanπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘


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