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2022–2023 Cohort

Larissa Benjamin

Larissa Benjamin is an incoming DrPH student. Larissa was born in Detroit, MI to parents from divergent socioeconomic and racial backgrounds who were brought together by their shared commitment to fighting social inequality. Larissa earned a BS in Evolutionary Anthropology and English at University of Michigan and went on to work in health and science communications for 5 years at American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, DC. She completed her Masters in Public Health at UC Berkeley in Health and Social Behavior with a specialty in multicultural health as a Kaiser Permanente Public Health Scholar. For the last 3 years, she has worked as a staff Project Policy Analyst at UC Berkeley School of Public Health on health equity-centered research projects (PIs Herd and Mujahid) ranging from managing PLACE (a social epidemiology research group under PI Mujahid), COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, police violence, and cardiovascular health disparities in a newly NHLBI-funded rural cohort study in the Southeastern US. Larissa is excited to explore the political economy and structural drivers of cardiovascular health inequities in this region as a first year DrPH student and APHA KP Community Health Scholar at UC Berkeley this Fall.

Ravneet Gill

Ravneet Gill is a first year DrPH student at UC Berkeley focusing on preventive oncology within vulnerable populations, worldwide. Ravneet holds a Bachelors degree in Biology and a Masters in Public Health. Her interest in public health stems from the glaring need for reformation in health equity and to improve the health and wellbeing of low income and geriatric women, worldwide.

A flagrant lack of quality healthcare focusing on prevention and health literacy became clear to Ravneet while visiting India as a child. Within the dilapidated clinics of rural India, Ravneet first gained insight into the lives of those suffering from abject poverty. As a Cancer Cell Researcher during her undergraduate studies and while interning within the Oncology department of hospitals, Ravneet found that preventive oncology most interests her. She became eager to concentrate on the drivers of cancer disparities across all population demographics.

Ravneet has six years of experience post her graduate studies working within managed care organizations within the healthcare industry. Ravneet’s work experience includes monitoring and evaluating the adequacy of services provided to Medicare and Medicaid members. Ravneet developed and implemented multi-component evidence-based cancer prevention programs and interventions for both low income and geriatric women. Ravneet has also implemented health equity programs to improve preventive cancer care for women of racial/ethnic minority who are Medicaid and/or Medicare beneficiaries. As a public health professional, Ravneet is committed to addressing and decreasing persistent cancer health disparities.

Ravneet loves traveling, visiting museums, and trying different cuisines from around the world. She loves to bake, cook, read, hike, and spend time with family and friends.

Caleb Harrison

Caleb Harrison is a first-year DrPH student. Prior to coming to Berkeley, he worked as the lead epidemiologist at a local health department, overseeing disease surveillance and program evaluation efforts. His research interests include evaluating policies that seek to reduce health inequities in rural settings. Caleb’s time outside of work and studies is usually spent cooking or engaging in outdoor recreation with his wife and two kids.

Marisol De Ornelas

Marisol De Ornelas (she/her) joined the UC Berkeley’s DrPH program Fall 2022 and is an American Public Health Association and Kaiser Permanente Community Health Scholar. Marisol attended Boston University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and a Master of Science in Public Health. She brings over five years of experience in public health research and project management and content expertise in Maternal and Child Health and Social Care. Her most recent work focuses on assessing social care interventions that aim to screen for and address health-related social risks among underserved populations. She hopes to continue to explore the mechanisms by which social care interventions work in order to maximize their impact. More broadly, she is interested in the intersection between public health, implementation science and public health policy. Outside of her scholarly work, you’ll likely find her cooking Venezuelan arepas, reading the “Ideas” section of the Atlantic, or outdoors on an adventure!

Rouselinne Gómez Cifuentes

Rouselinne Gómez is a first-year student at UC Berkeley in the Doctor of Public Health program. He is a Medical Doctor who graduated from the Autonomous University of Nuevo León and earned his master’s degree in Public Health from the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Mexico. Prior to entering the DrPH program he worked as a researcher in the Health Economics Unit at the INSP in Mexico. His research focused on influencers for health system navigation for the Mexican Public Healthcare system. During his time as a doctor he worked providing care for rural communities in Chiapas, Mexico. Rouselinne is currently interested in working on sexual and reproductive health issues, especially with adolescents.

Mounika Parimi

Mounika Parimi is an incoming Doctor of Public Health student at UC Berkeley. She was born and raised in Bengaluru, India, and immigrated to the US as a teenager. Mounika received her Bachelor of Arts in Music and Biology from the University of Redlands and a Master of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Mounika has previously worked as a researcher studying the immunology of type 1 diabetes at the City of Hope in Duarte, California, and as a Fulbright scholar at the Center for Regenerative Therapies in Dresden. During her Master’s, Mounika’s work focused on the association between diabetes during pregnancy and congenital abnormalities. In her professional life, Mounika has helped develop advocacy agendas for people living with non-communicable diseases globally as part of the NCD Alliance. Most recently, Mounika has worked as a consultant and project manager within the Real-World Insights department of IQVIA in the United Kingdom. In this role, she has co-designed and managed several retrospective cohort studies in the UK/EU setting for various non-communicable diseases (including cardiovascular disease, asthma and cancer). Her current research interests include in racial/ethnic health inequalities, maternal and child health and non-communicable diseases.

In her personal life, Mounika is an avid cook, singer, and enjoys weekend hikes with her spouse and toddler.

Marlena Robbins

Marlena Robbins is Diné (Navajo) from the Yeii Dine’e Táchii’nii (Giant Red Running into Water People) clan. She holds a master’s in American Indian studies – Indigenous rights and social justice. Her thesis, titled Art as a Spiritual Expression for Indigenous Well-being, focused on advocating for art within the fields of Indigenous mental health and community wellness. She has developed and implemented expressive arts programming for Community Bridges, Inc., a substance abuse and behavioral health nonprofit. She has served as the assistant director and grant writer of Cultural Coalition, Inc., focused on providing community engagement through unique cultural programs dedicated to the education, promotion, and development of Indigenous artists in Arizona. She is a doctoral student at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health – Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on the advancement of sacred plant medicines in tribal nations. She is an Indigenous science student fellow of the Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics. Her qualitative research title, Multi-generational Perspectives of Psilocybin Mushrooms in Tribal and Urban Indigenous Communities of the North and Southwest United States, will inform the protocols of psychedelic-assisted therapy from multi-generational Indigenous perspectives on psilocybin mushrooms.

Cara Schulte

Cara Schulte is a first-year doctoral student. She currently works at Human Rights Watch, where her research focuses on the impacts of climate change on at-risk populations. Cara earned her MHS in Environmental Health Science and BA in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She is a member of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health.

Morgan Vien

Morgan Vien joins the DrPH program at UC Berkeley School of Public Health in fall 2022. She received her MPH in Health and Social Behavior from UC Berkeley and her BS in Public Health Science with minors in Biology and Sociology from Santa Clara University. Morgan works as a Staff Research Associate at Health Research for Action (HRA) center, a health equity practice and research center at Berkeley Public Health. Working with the HRA team, she manages various research projects focused on improving community and population health through access to resources, needs assessment, design thinking, participatory design, and program evaluation. Previously, she worked in health consulting, program coordination, and health education. Morgan is interested in connecting health care with technology and artificial intelligence to equitably increase access, efficiency, and quality of care, as well as to develop precision prevention approaches, particularly for cardiometabolic conditions. Morgan enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing piano, traveling, and creating arts and crafts.

Brian Villa

Brian Villa is an incoming first year DrPH student. He received his B.A. in South and Southeast Asian Studies, MPH in Health and Social Behavior, and MSW in Strengthening Organizations and Communities from UC Berkeley. He is currently the Research Projects Director for Professor Emily Ozer’s research lab and serves as a core member of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and UC Berkeley Research-Practice Partnership. One of the projects he supports explores the impact of youth-led participatory action research (YPAR) on school decision-making processes. Prior to graduate school, he taught Ethnic Studies at a High School in San Francisco through the Pin@y Educational Partnerships. He also worked as the Community Health Program Manager at the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, CA. Brian enters the DrPH program as a APHA/KP Community Health Scholarship recipient and is excited to continue his work on YPAR, adolescent mental health, racial justice, health equity, and healing-centered liberatory approaches. He enjoys cooking, playing sports, and writing music.

Brian Wylie

Brian Wylie completed his undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, professional training in occupational therapy at USC, and his MPH in epidemiology at Harvard. During and since then, he completed a Fulbright in South Korea, developed health and wellness programs for the Los Angeles YMCA, and worked for the California Department of Public Health in infectious disease prevention and the San Francisco Department of Public Health in opioids and chronic pain management. When not working or studying, he’s usually out with his poodle Lucy, being active (running, lifting, cross country skiing), or listening to live music. Also, Go Bears!


Juan Carlos Bordes

Juan Carlos Bordes (he/him) is a second year DrPH student. His background as a clinician in the field of occupational therapy has led him to work in a variety of healthcare settings including nursing homes, acute rehabilitation hospitals, and inpatient hospitals. Being an occupational therapist gave Juan Carlos the opportunity to get to know hundreds of clients, their support systems, the multiple team members involved in patient care, and collaborate with hospitals and healthcare professional organizations on DEI efforts. These experiences provided a foundation which led Juan Carlos to seek to make an impact through public health. Some of Juan Carlos’ goals during the DrPH program are to promote health equity and anti-racism within healthcare, with a particular interest on the impact of optimally addressing the mental health of healthcare workers. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his niece and nephews, going on long walks, mindfulness activities, and watching Drag Race, Star Wars, among others.

Brittany Campbell

Brittany Campbell is a second-year DrPH student bringing more than 5 years of experience working alongside resilience communities, patients, and scholars at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Division of General Internal Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. She has co-led and served on several projects centered around social justice, cancer health equity, and community engagement. Prior to attending UC Berkeley, she was awarded a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Diversity Supplement to better understand patients’ experience navigating care in the safety-net setting following a positive genetic test result. Her work with resilient patients, community members, and leaders has led to her current research interest that seeks to leverage the gifts, wisdom, and resilient values of communities to enhance public health scholarship and practice. She received her Master of Public Health from Saint Louis University and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Missouri. She is a proud St. Louis, Missouri native who enjoys sunsets, hikes near water, music, and co-creating spaces rooted in values of love, empathy, and authenticity.

Purba Chatterjee

Purba Chatterjee will be a second year DrPH student starting Fall 2022. Purba grew up in India; her formative years were spent in Chennai and Kolkata. Purba came to the US to pursue her undergraduate studies at UCLA. She has a Bachelor’s in Economics from University of California Los Angeles and a Master’s in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Purba has over 15 years of public health program management experience. She has worked on HIV/AIDS and other non-communicable diseases projects in Uganda, India, and now Kenya. With the Dr.PH program, Purba plans to pivot to global mental health research with a focus on developing interventions to address the needs of those bereaved by suicide in low and middle-income countries. She is passionate about partnering with the community to build capacity, address stigma, and increase access to support services and treatment for common mental health disorders and those bereaved by suicide. In her current role as the Associate Director for Global Health Research Partnerships at UCSF Bixby Center, she oversees operations and administration for Bixby’s global health programs and affiliated research studies. Aside from work, Purba enjoys going on long hikes with her husband, daughter, and son. She is also an avid traveler, loves to cook, and enjoys practicing yoga!

Renee Clarke

Renee Clarke is a second-year DrPH student with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Renee completed her Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health at University of South Florida and holds two bachelor’s degrees in nursing and public health completed at University of Miami and University of Maryland, College Park respectively. Prior to University of California, Berkeley she served in a capacity of different clinical settings including Emergency Management, Neonatal Intensive Care, Global Health and Maternal and Child Health as a Registered Nurse at Texas Children’s Hospital and Children National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Her passion has always been service leadership and eliminating health disparity gaps among minority women, infants, and children.

Renee’s interest to improve health outcomes extends nationally and internationally. She has served in places such as Niger (Africa), Milot, Haiti and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Her values and experiences lead her to many roles within her career. Quality improvement, evaluation, implementation, strategy, innovation and decreasing health disparities has always been a cornerstone of her experiences.
Renee is was an active member of NAHSE, National Association of Health Service Executives Houston, where she was involved in several service leadership activities. Through NAHSE she volunteered at homeless shelters and moderated healthcare webinars and events. She was a mentee in NAHSE Houston’s Executive Mentorship Program where she and her cohort planned and executed several events. Renee was born in the twin island of Trinidad and Tobago and came to the United States as a teenager. As a child, she represented her birth country on numerous occasions in national track and field events and was a full scholar collegiate athlete. She learned teamwork, dedication, time management and discipline at an early age balancing both academics and athletics. Just as she represented her country athletically, Renee hopes to help improve the healthcare of the Caribbean Diaspora. Most recently, Renee found her purpose in serving other women to become their best selves through strategic coaching. Her mantra is “Give yourself permission to become the best version of you! You already have everything inside of you!” She enjoys traveling, learning new cultures, outdoor activities and spending time with family and friends.

Yao Doe

Yao Doe joins the DrPH program from fall 2021 at UC Berkeley. He was born and raised in Ghana. He Attended Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana where he completed his BSc. Chemistry. Upon completion, he worked as a laboratory chemist for a year and then moved to medical school in Ukraine. After graduating from medical school, he did his residency in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Kyiv, Ukraine. Following the completion of his residency, he returned home where he worked as head of the OB/GYN department of a hospital in Ghana and a medical director of a hospital in Togo.

Besides working as a medical doctor, he took active roles in community outreach programs such as screening for breast and cervical cancer, HIV prevention, vaccination programs, chronic-care home visits in underserved communities, and vesicovaginal and rectovaginal fistula repair in sub-regions of Ghana.He also introduced an innovative program that employed the use of prophylactic misoprostol (an inexpensive and easy to use medication that needs no refrigeration) for postpartum hemorrhage and he provided training for midwives and nursing assistants in various regions in rural Togo and this led to drastic reductions in postpartum hemorrhage and subsequent reductions in the evidence of maternal mortality and hospital referral rate in rural areas of Togo. Being thirsty for more knowledge, he moved to the United States to further his studies in Public Health at the University of New Haven, where he obtained his degree in Master of Public Health.

Yao’s primary interest is in maternal and child health, especially the prevention of maternal morbidity and mortality in developing countries. He likes playing soccer, going on road trips, and listening to classic country music.

Blake Erhardt-Ohren

Blake Erhardt-Ohren is a second year DrPH student. She is passionate about improved access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, particularly abortion services, for forcibly displaced and immigrant populations. Prior to joining the program, she spent three years at Pathfinder International, where she provided monitoring and evaluation support to SRH projects around the world. During her master’s program, she worked at CARE USA, assisting with the Supporting Access to Family Planning and Post-Abortion Care (SAFPAC) project in emergency settings. She holds a BA in History from UC San Diego and an MPH in Global Health from Emory University. In her free time, Blake enjoys traveling, hiking, and birdwatching.

Olufunke Fasawe

Olufunke Fasawe is a second year DrPH student from Nigeria. She has over 10 years’ experience in global health having worked as a Senior Director, Primary Health Care (Global), Director of Programs (Nigeria) and Technical Lead for the Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Program (Nigeria) with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). Her expertise is in program design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation cutting across HIV/AIDS, Routine Immunization, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Maternal and newborn health, Cervical Cancer, and health systems strengthening in low and middle income countries. Prior to starting her career with CHAI, she worked with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in Geneva as a health economics consultant conducting economic modeling for HIV programs and she also interned at the World Health Organization Headquarters in Geneva during her Masters program. Olufunke holds a Master’s degree in International Health Management, Economics and Policy from SDA Bocconi, Milan, Italy; she earned her Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She loves to play tennis and enjoys running outdoors. She is passionate about gender equity and promotion of universal health care in developing countries.

Bhavya Joshi

Bhavya Joshi, is a second year DrPH student from India. As a Global Public Health Fellow, Bixby Summer 2022 Fellow, and a Fellow at the Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley School of Law, Bhavya’s research focuses on understanding the reproductive needs of marginalized populations in low and middle income countries in times of crisis. As a women human rights advocate and educator, Bhavya supports women rights defenders from across the globe to build their capacity to use international human rights mechanisms for advocacy and activism at national, regional, and international levels. Her research organization WomenSARRA, aims to work towards the full realization of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) as a Human Right. Before starting her organization, she managed, implemented, and evaluated public health projects in South Asia for more than 5 years. Within India, she has worked in 18 out of 28 states. Bhavya received her MA in International Law and Human Rights from the United Nations mandated University for Peace, Costa Rica and is finishing her second MA in Peace, Security, Development and International Conflict Transformation from University of Innsbruck, Austria. Her bachelor is in Political Science from Delhi University, India. She is a travel enthusiast and is fond of outdoor sports, drinking coffee and experimenting with cuisines.

Silvana Larrea

Silvana Larrea is a second-year DrPH student at UC Berkeley. She is a Medical Doctor from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and received her MPH in Epidemiology from the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Mexico. Prior to starting her graduate program in UC Berkeley, she was a Program Officer for the Poverty, Gender, and Youth department in the Population Council Mexico office. In the Population Council, she provided technical support for the Council’s research portfolio: design, implementation and evaluation of interventions and developing new proposals, IRB protocols, briefs, donor reports, and manuscripts. She is also co-investigator in diverse research projects related to migration and health, with a focus in sexual and reproductive health. Her research interests include sexual and reproductive health, migration and health, and inequalities in health. She enjoys biking and walking around the Bay Area, hiking, and trying new food.

Solange Madriz

Solange Madriz, MA, MS is a second year DrPH student. Solange comes to the DrPH program with over 10 years of global health experience. As an Academic Coordinator at the Institute of Global Health Sciences at UCSF she has developed, designed, implemented and monitored global health programs in diverse settings including Mexico, Guatemala, Paraguay, India and the United States. Her research focuses on public health and medical education in low-resource settings. In addition to her research activities, Ms. Madriz also teaches graduate level courses on global health for public health practitioners and medical providers. From 2015 to 2018, Ms. Madriz led the implementation of a maternal and newborn health quality improvement project in all the secondary health facilities of the states of Huehuetenango and Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. This program continues as a capacity strengthening strategy for birth attendants. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Madriz led the educational program to train over 100 English and Spanish-speaking community-based organization members as case investigators and contact tracers working for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Ms. Madriz obtained her undergraduate degree from the Central University of Venezuela, a MA in International Studies from the University of San Francisco followed by a MS in Global Health from the University of California, San Francisco.

Wan Nurul Naszeerah

Lt. Wan Nurul Naszeerah (she/her) is a second year DrPH student whose main interest lies in studying and strategizing public health interventions using the lens of human-centered design, behavioral psychology, and social epidemiology. Working towards her DrPH dissertation, Wan is currently building her competencies in communications and data science to manage infodemic — the overabundance of information, including misinformation and disinformation, during a pandemic.

Born and raised in a Southeast Asian country called Brunei, Wan is also a military officer from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, where she primarily managed training, research, and multilateral events in military medicine. Prior to undergoing the infantry officer training, she had graduated from the Yale School of Public Health, where she was trained in infectious diseases epidemiology and global health as Yale’s Global Health Research Fellow. Wan Nurul is also an ASEAN Youth Fellow who has co-founded a platform that enables continuous learning in Brunei. In her limited down time, she enjoys exploring new places in the US whilst creating digital content to capture her experiences as a student, an educator, and a mother to a sweet boy.

Nadia Rojas

Nadia Rojas is a second-year DrPH student at Berkeley and proud Bay Area native. She received her MPH from UC Davis and her BA from UC Berkeley with a double major in Ethnic Studies and Integrative Biology. Before attending the DrPH program, Nadia worked at ChangeLab Solutions, a national nonprofit in Oakland, CA, where she developed tools and resources for community-based organizations, policymakers, and public officials across subject matters on upstream policy interventions. Nadia also worked at the School of Public Health at Berkeley, where she led the data collection and management of various projects evaluating Berkeley’s soda tax. Nadia is a DACA recipient and a strong advocate of the undocumented community. She co-founded Graduates Reaching a Dream Deferred Northern California (GRADD NorCal), where she was instrumental in organizing conferences throughout California for undocumented youth interested in attending graduate school. Nadia plans to advance research that will reduce health disparities and promote equity among communities that have been marginalized, including the undocumented population. Nadia enjoys whole foods, plant-based cooking in her spare time and loves salsa and bachata dancing.

Ida Wilson

Ida Wilson is an Oakland native and second- year DrPH student. She received a Master of Arts in Applied Anthropology from San José State University and a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from UC Riverside. Prior to joining the program, Ida served as a Project Manager for the Center for Critical Public Health at the Institute for Scientific Analysis for several NIH- and Tobacco Related Disease Research Program-funded projects that investigated substance use among young adults in the Bay Area and in rural counties in Northern California. In addition to her duties as Project Manager, she also served as the Coordinator for the Center’s Internship program. Ida’s research interests include framing police violence as a public health issue, health inequities, as well as the use of critical perspectives in examining public health issues by exploring the ways in which socio-structural systems contribute to health inequities for marginalized populations.

Emily Winer

Emily Winer is a second year DrPH student. Before coming to UC Berkeley, Emily spent five years working at the International WELL Building Institute as one of the developers for WELL, a global certification for advancing health and well-being in buildings and communities. Drawing on her knowledge of the intersection of the built environment and public health, Emily’s work has focused on the promotion of policies, programs, and design strategies that benefit mental health, health behavior, and sustainability at the building, organizational, and urban scale.

Emily’s prior experience also includes work in digital health communications, as well as pediatric and adult psychosocial oncology research. Emily holds a BA in Psychology from Carleton College and an MPH from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Outside of work, Emily loves baking, cooking, running, practicing yoga, and soaking up nature in the East Bay’s incredible parks.

Amanda Marr Chung

Amanda Marr Chung is a 3rd year DrPH candidate. She is also the UCSF Project Director and PI for an HIV grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care in transforming its Voluntary Male Medical Circumcision program into an integrated, sustainable program that is government led and owned. She received her Master’s degree in Community Oriented Public Health Practice from the University of Washington and her AB in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University. She has over 15 years of experience in global health and has worked in the areas of program management and monitoring and evaluation for HIV, eye health, and malaria. She is passionate about frontline delivery channels, community interventions, and capacity strengthening and has a keen interest in women’s health. Aside from work, she loves to cook, bake, travel, and pursue many outdoor activities, including running, cycling, backpacking, and alpine skiing. She also dabbled in ice climbing with her husband and is looking forward to the day when they can go with their two sons.

Amanda Mazur

Amanda Mazur joined the DrPH program in Fall 2020. She received her MS in Global Health Sciences from UCSF and a BS in Biological Science and BA in International Relations from the University of Calgary. Before attending UC Berkeley, Amanda worked at UCSF on projects in adolescent sexual and reproductive health and NIH-funded international behavioral health research projects focusing on HIV adherence and stigma reduction, detection and treatment of common mental disorders in community rural health clinics, and understanding intersectional stigma related to HIV and cancer. Prior to starting graduate studies, she worked with the United Nations Development Programme in Zimbabwe to accelerate achievement on the UN Millennium Development Goals. Her research interests include rural health inequities, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, implementation science and understanding how systems level approaches can address health outcomes in low-resource settings. Outside of work, you can find Amanda exploring the many flavors of the Bay Area with her spouse and son, playing video games, and teaching movement and empowerment through aerial arts.

Betsy Pleasants

Betsy Pleasants is a first year DrPH student. She received her Master’s in Public Health in the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health program at UC Berkeley in Spring of 2019. During her MPH program she worked as a graduate student researcher at the Wallace Center for MCAH Research and as a Research Associate at ETR’s YTH Initiative. Previously she worked with the Women’s Global Health Imperative at RTI International in San Francisco, before which she graduated with highest honors from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where she received her BA in Anthropology with a focus on Medical Anthropology. She has an interest in innovative approaches to researching and intervening upon public health issues, particularly in health access and health equity in the US, with a focus on the connections between intersectional vulnerabilities, health, and technology. She is excited to return to Berkeley for her DrPH and continue her work with a community of inspiring researchers and advocates.

Chris Rubeo

Chris Rubeo is a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Doctor of Public Health program. Chris brings experience with mixed-methods research and human-centered design from his work as a program specialist at the Center for Care Innovations. His research focuses on cross-sector partnerships between healthcare and community-based organizations to address patients’ social needs. Chris has an MPH in Health and Social Behavior from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in Music from Bard College.


Ifunanya Dibiaezue

Ifunanya Dibiaezue is a second year DrPH student. She is a Public Health Professional with over 7 years of experience in maternal and child health, communicable and non-communicable disease prevention, nutritional awareness and training programs, and public health policy development. She holds a Bsc degree in Biomedicine from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, and a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of York, York, UK. While working as an Assistant Program Officer in Africare under the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Project, Ifunanya helped increase the earning capacity of over 1000 women cooks, reduce indoor air pollution and reduce the incidence of respiratory diseases by 65% in Lagos State, Nigeria. In addition, she has helped improve the health of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Southern Nigeria. She has coordinated over 25 HIV testing and counseling programs, and training campaigns with over 70 clinical staff to improve the overall quality of care for PLWHA. She is also very passionate about promoting healthy lifestyles among women. She is the founder of ActivEaters, an organization that focuses on improving the quality of health of women through diet, exercise, and behavior change.

Julia Ryan

Julia Ryan joins the DrPH program with a passion for improving sexual and reproductive health in vulnerable communities globally. Over the past seven years, she has worked on a broad range of quantitative and qualitative research projects at academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies. Most recently, she spent three years as a qualitative research coordinator focused on HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa with the Women’s Global Health Imperative at RTI International. Prior to that, she worked on reproductive health research with UNC Project in Malawi, vertical HIV transmission with USAID, Ebola response with the WHO, and Zika response with the CDC. Julia received her BA in Health and Societies with a concentration in Public Health at the University of Pennsylvania, and her MSc in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). She grew up in Boston and Philadelphia and loves running, reading, and snowboarding.

Mikail Aliyu

Mikail Aliyu is a third-year DrPH student at UC Berkeley. He graduated from the University of Lagos, Nigeria with a degree in pharmacology. He started his career in the pharma industry working with Sanofi, where he focused on increasing access to essential medicines at primary health care level in anglophone West and East African countries. Mikail later received his MPH from the University of Leeds, in the UK, and moved into management consulting as a Program Officer at The Palladium Group. Before UC, Mikail managed a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded investment called the Technical Support Unit (TSU) project. Through this grant, he provided technical support to the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria to create an enabling environment for women and girls to access better reproductive health and family planning (RH/FP) services. He worked closely with government officials and decision-makers to facilitate the creation of enabling structures and processes for accountability, priority setting, and coordination of RH/FP services—this involved strategy design, policy development, and implementation. Notably, he supported the development and execution of the Nigerian Family Planning Blueprint. Mikail is passionate about reducing barriers and addressing sociocultural norms that hinder access to reproductive, maternal, child, and adolescent health, and nutrition using system thinking and context-based approaches. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, sports, and trying new food.

Sai Ramya Maddali

Sai Ramya Maddali is a third-year DrPH candidate. She has received her MPH in Epidemiology from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and BS in Biology from UC Riverside. Her research interests include the multi-level determinants of racial/ethnic health inequities over the lifecourse, neighborhood health effects, theories in Social Epidemiology, and mixed methods research. Sai is a part of the Policies and Life-course approaches to Achieve Community Equity (PLACE) research group at UC Berkeley.

Prior to joining the DrPH program, Sai was the Senior Research Associate at Upstream USA and supported the development and evaluation of Upstream’s contraceptive care initiatives in Delaware, Massachusetts, Washington, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. Additionally, Sai also supported UCSF’s Sustainable East Africa Research in Community Health (SEARCH) universal test and treat program in Kenya and Uganda as a Research Analyst.

In Sai Ramya’s personal life, she is an avid backpacker, rock climber, and baker and can be found wandering the Californian coast with her spouse and dog.

Samanta Anríquez

Samanta Anríquez (she/her/hers) is a second-year DrPH student, who came sponsored by the Fulbright commission in Chile (2020–2021). She served in Chilean public health services for 6 years, focusing in Primary Care and Family Practice in extreme zones, where she has been the director of a family health center in the Chilean Patagonia. She has a medical specialization in Public Health and a MSc of Epidemiology, both from the Universidad Católica of Chile, where she focused her research on Chronic Multimorbidity and Primary Care Models. She has advocated for Health and Human Rights as a volunteer in Amnesty International while being a medical student at the Universidad of Chile and later worked with Medical Residents Union in Chile. She is currently a fellow at the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center, where her work with Amnesty International Chile focuses on the reparation of Human Rights violations in the Chilean social outbreak in October 2019. She is the mother of two beautiful girls who joined her, and her husband in this adventure.

Auwal A.A. Abubakar

Auwal Abubakar joined the DrPH program in fall 2019. Prior to joining UC Berkeley, he worked for the Bauchi State Government in Nigeria as the Incident Manager of the Polio Emergency Operations Center (EOC). At this coordinating center, he provided oversight and managed the Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization (RI) programs in Bauchi state. He also participated in the coordination of the Primary Health Care Systems Strengthening program.

He received his undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria, and his postgraduate degree in M.Sc. Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the SRM Institute of Science and Technology in India. He began his career as a physician providing clinical care and management of HIV/AIDs clients in a tertiary health hospital in Bauchi State, Nigeria. During the one year period of this program, he experienced first-hand the limitations and inadequacy of the Nigerian health sector, which oftentimes left him feeling helpless. Most painful to him were the needless cases of children and women who lost their lives due to poor access to life-saving medical interventions and preventive medical services in their communities. He realized quickly that if impact was to be made at scale, he would need to venture into public health and contribute to advocacy, resource mobilization, program management, and health system strengthening.

Auwal’s primary interest is in the areas of HIV/AIDs, Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health (MNCH). He loves music, traveling, reading, networking, playing ping-pong and watching movies.

Andrea Jacobo

Andrea Jacobo is a DrPH candidate t at UC Berkeley. She received her Masters of Public Health from The University of Memphis and Bachelors of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Miami. Prior to her attending UC Berkeley, Andrea implemented various evidence-based nutrition and physical activity programs in community settings and serving youth to older adults. Along with program implementation, Andrea co-facilitated a community of practice focused on addressing the root causes of health disparities in Memphis through policy, systems, and environment. Andrea’s areas of interest are addressing health inequities through community-centered, people-centered approaches including human-centered design thinking as a tool for community organization and capacity building. She has a passion for community health, culture & arts, and food. In her spare time, Andrea loves to work out and teach group fitness classes to help promote wellness and write poetry to catalyze social change! She is currently a visiting instructor at Rhodes College and public health director for Health in All Spaces, a vaccine equity program in Memphis, TN.

Alma Juarez-Armenta

Alma Juarez-Armenta is a third-year DrPH student at UC Berkeley. She received her Masters of Public Policy from The University of Chicago and her Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Political Science from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM). Before attending UC Berkeley, Alma was awarded a Metcalf Fellowship at the Center for Global Health at UChicago, where she performed cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis for different solutions to alleviate the arsenic poisoning problem in Bangladesh. For the last year, she worked as an advisor to the Health Minister in Mexico, studying the negative effects of conditional cash transfers on the population’s health. Her research interests include quantitative methods and evaluation of public health policies. During her DrPH, Alma hopes to further analyze and develop public policies regarding gender-based violence towards the reduction of femicides in Mexico.

Daryl Mangosing

Daryl Mangosing (They/He/She) is a fourth-year DrPH Candidate at UC Berkeley whose interests lie at the intersection of LGBTQ+ health disparities, community-engaged research, mixed-methods, public health discourse, and Critical Theory. For their doctoral studies, Daryl is interested in sexualized drug use (i.e., recreational or illicit drug use to facilitate and enhance sexual activity) and health outcomes among the sexual and gender diverse community in the context of HIV prevention. They are currently a Berkeley Public Health Graduate Fellow with the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley. Prior to Cal, they have worked at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies and Prevention Research Center in the Division of Prevention Science at UCSF, where they drove communication efforts and disseminated HIV prevention and public health research. As a queer Filipinx from Guam, Daryl received their MPH (Health Communication) from Tufts University and their BA (Health Sciences) from Berea College. Otherwise, Daryl also enjoys going out for nature/urban walks and food and drinks; plays video games on PlayStation; and serves as the human parent for an enigmatic Burmese cat, Sienna.

Amia Nash

Amia Nash is excited to start her third year of Berkeley’s DrPH program. She attended Santa Clara University for her undergraduate education where she was a public health major and triple minor in biology, sociology, and religious studies. Her diverse coursework challenged her to think critically about the intersections between public health and social justice. Amia earned her Master of Science in Community Health and Prevention Research from Stanford University School of Medicine. Her thesis focused on the ethical considerations for community-based research with homeless populations. Her past research was at the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Well-being where she conducted qualitative research focused on the mental health needs and concerns of Asian-American adolescents and parents in Palo Alto. In 2019, Amia was nominated by the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Department for a Community Hero Award for her policy and advocacy work focused on adolescent mental health. Amia is currently a graduate student researcher with Berkeley’s YPAR lab focusing on youth-led participatory action research in school settings and bringing youth voice to the development and implementation of health programming and policy.

Jasmine Santoyo-Olsson

Jasmine Santoyo-Olsson is a DrPH candidate. Jasmine’s primary interests include conducting health disparities research among underserved U.S. ethnic minority groups, specializing in Latinos, cancer, older adults, psychosocial distress, and developing interventions that provide self-management, social support, and build community engagement. She has experience on testing community interventions to improve cancer outcomes among Latinos (urban and rural dwelling), testing online interventions to improve the quality of life of rural dementia caregivers, cultural and language factors related to health outcomes of ethnically diverse patients, translating evidence-based interventions into mobile applications (mHealth), developing conceptual and psychometric adequacy of health measures for use with ethnically diverse patients, and evolving effective recruitment and retention methods in ethnically diverse groups. She is skilled in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Jasmine graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Applied Mathematics and MSc in Epidemiology from Brown University. Jasmine is a mom to twin girls, a teenager, and two dogs. She is very grateful for her supportive husband.

Jennifer Jarin

Jennifer Jarin received her BSN and MS in Community/Public Health Nursing (Environmental Health Specialty) from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She also received an MA in Geography from the University of California, Davis. She specializes in issues of “place and health,” particularly regarding environmental justice and health equity.

She began her career as a pediatric intensive care unit nurse, and she worked for Baltimore City’s Reducing Asthma Disparities program. She later became a nursing instructor for UMSON and UCD BIMSON where she has facilitated university partnerships with Head Start programs. She has conducted place-based research at the UCD Center for Regional Change and the UC Berkeley Institute of Urban and Regional Development. She utilizes social justice-oriented critical theory and socio-spatial methods to examine how systemic racism impacts health. She is looking forward to concluding her Doctor of Public Health degree at UC Berkeley.

Julie Miller

Julie Miller is a third-year in the DrPH program. Julie’s interest in public health began as a high school student when she became inspired by the potential for nutrition to reduce, reverse, and prevent diseases. She studied the relationship between diet and disease as an undergraduate student and graduated with her BA in Public Health from UC Berkeley. After graduation, she moved to New York City to continue to pursue her interest in nutrition at the population level and received her MPH in Public Health Nutrition from NYU. She returned to California after graduation and completed her training and credentialing as a registered dietitian at UCSF. Her work experience as a pediatric dietitian at UCSF introduced her to the field of neonatal nutrition and ignited a passion within her for neonatal nutrition and health. Prior to starting the DrPH program, Julie worked as a neonatal and pediatric dietitian at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. She is interested in neonatal nutrition research and hopes to investigate and develop nutrition strategies focused on disease prevention and health promotion among infants.

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