Athletics have played a formative part in Jerica's life. She grew up fencing, traveling around the country to compete in North American Cups. Fencing became her early stress laboratory of sorts as she found that when her mind and nerves were calm, She was able to outperform expectations. On the other hand, when fear and stress took over her body, she felt blinded and immobile. For her undergraduate thesis she was on a quest to quantify the phenomenon that she observed within her own body to see if there were similar patterns with others. She conducted research collecting salivary samples from Nationally ranked fencers during a tournament in New York City. This gave her insight into the fluctuations of cortisol levels that these fencers experiences throughout a competition and their subsequent performance. She is currently expanding on this research through her masters.
She currently works doing outreach for the Phoenix Suns and is a former participant of the United States Olympic Committee Community Development Program teaching fencing to New York City youth. She believes that knowledge gained through the life sciences can be a powerful advocacy tool. She hopes to affect public policy in the future by advocating on behalf of people, the planet, and for social justice.
2013 – 2017 Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biological Sciences (Biology & Society)
-Minor in Spanish Linguistics
Arizona State University
How stress management during training affects athletic performance during fencing competitions of professional athletes.
Stress measured through salivary cortisol