Dr. Bertha Hidalgo and David Odenwelder

You can help Bertha and David win the Torch People's Choice Award for inspiring the most support for First Light by clicking below to purchase tickets, make a gift, or sponsor this event.

Dr. Bertha Hidalgo has a BA in Human Biology from Stanford, a master’s in public health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Southern California (USC), and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Hidalgo is an associate professor with tenure in the department of Epidemiology in the Ryals School of Public Health at UAB. She is a genetic epidemiologist responsible for conducting research on the influence of exposures on genomic outcomes of cardiometabolic diseases like metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Every summer, she teaches Quantitative Methods in Epidemiology to master’s level students, physicians, and graduate level-students generally.  Dr. Hidalgo is locally known for her popular social media enterprise, Chic in Academia, which has been pivoted to focus on sharing evidence-based information about COVID-19 and other health topics, in easily digestible descriptions on Instagram (@chic_in_academia), Facebook (Chic in Academia), and her blog, chicinacademia.com.  She and her husband, Michael Frymark, are transplants to Alabama from Los Angeles, California, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, respectively.  They have two sons, Alex and Grayson, who play baseball and study piano, Spanish, and are avid gamers.

David Odenwelder is originally from Massachusetts. He is a ballet dancer with the Alabama Ballet and an adjunct teacher at Samford University.  David created an outreach program with the Alabama Ballet called Dance Discovery which seeks to captivate the minds of children to grow a love for and better understanding of the art of ballet.  David is excited to return for the third time to Dancing with the Stars of the Magic City to help support First Light.  He says, "This wonderful organization gives support to women and children who have become homeless, helping them in a safe environment reach their potential and we need to promote their endeavors for continued success of the organization."

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