2022 Tillman Scholar
Rio’s desire to serve his community was emboldened by his time in the Air Force as an AC-130W crew chief. He earned his bachelor’s degree while on active duty at Cannon Air Force Base; After his military career, he examined cognitive aging as well as minority aging. Specifically he tries to serve his community through making research more inclusive. He pursued his degree plan because he believes science can make a positive difference in the lives of many people. He wants to be involved in that positive change.
Through research and collaboration with the community he attempts to do so by recruiting minority participants into the Preventing Alzheimer’s with Cognitive Training (PACT) study and as a Black Men’s Brain Health scholar. Long-term he hopes to examine factors such as behaviors to reduce the prevalence of dementia in either a government or academic capacity. He hopes the impact he makes on his community is in showing others that they can impact change, and that the circumstances they find themselves in today will not necessarily be the circumstances they find themselves in tomorrow.