GRADS Ambassadors

The Graduate Recruitment and Diversity Services (GRADS) Program is the peer-advising arm of the D.R.E.A.M. Office. The goal of GRADS is to foster diversity within the student population at the School of Public Health by connecting prospective applicants with a team of student volunteers—the GRADS Ambassadors. Our GRADS Ambassadors are available to provide application advice, support and a current student perspective over the course of the admissions cycle.

Profiles of our 2019–2020 GRADS Ambassadors are available below—reach out to us at sphgrads@berkeley.edu if you would like to connect with someone!

Gene Ho

Areas of Interest: health care/health disparities, cancer epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology, immigrant/refugee health, data analytics

Having just finished his B.A. in Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley in Spring 2019, he is now a student in the second cohort of the 4+1 Epidemiology/Biostatistics. His research interests stem from his identity as a first generation Asian American and his family’s experience fleeing Southeast Asia. He is particularly interested in health care/health disparities, cancer and infectious disease epidemiology. As an undergraduate, he worked with the Online MPH program as well as the Alameda County Public Health Department, among other public health organizations across the SF Bay Area. When he’s not running around Berkeley Way West either working or serving as chair of SPH Student Government, he can be found cooking at home or finding good eats in the area.

Tracy Lam-Hine

Areas of Interest: social epidemiology, race and health, mental health, substance use epidemiology and surveillance

Tracy Lam-Hine is a second-year DrPH student. Born and raised in the East Bay, Tracy received his BS from UC Berkeley and his MBA from the University of Washington, and has previously worked in health care consulting, workforce development, and most recently in substance use surveillance research. Tracy’s research interests center on the health status of mixed-race Americans, and health disparities within this large, fast-growing, and diverse group. Within this population, he is interested in investigating life-course disparities in mental health status and substance use, the effect of racial identity formation / belonging on psychosocial outcomes, racial misclassification and how “passing” influences health, and the perception and treatment of mixed-race individuals by clinicians and public health researchers.

Amia Nash

Areas of Interest: adolescent health, mental health, suicide, health disparities, community-based participatory research

Amia Nash is a first year DrPH student. 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 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. Amia’s primary academic interests are with marginalized youth populations and bringing youth voice to the development and implementation of health programs.

Daryl Mangosing

Areas of Interest: health disparities, HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ, community engagement, CBPR, health communication, social determinants of health, intersectionality

Daryl Mangosing is a first-year DrPH student. He joins the UC Berkeley School of Public Health after working over three years at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies and Prevention Research Center at UC San Francisco, where he drove communication efforts and disseminated HIV prevention and public health research. Born and raised on the island of Guam, he graduated with a health sciences degree from Berea College in Kentucky in 2013. Prior to relocating to the Bay Area, he attended Tufts University and graduated in 2015 with an MPH in Health Communication. At Tufts, he served as a Research Coordinator for the former Center for Global Public Health, Teaching Assistant in mobile health design, and Consultant at the Harvard School of Public Health. Daryl’s research interests lies within the intersection of LGBTQ health disparities, identity and intersectionality, community engagement, and public health discourse.

Stephanie Ng

Areas of Interest: environmental justice, health equity, air quality, and policy evaluation

Stephanie Ng is a second-year MPH student in the Environmental Health Sciences program. She graduated from UCLA in 2016 with her B.S. in Environmental Science and a minor in Environmental Engineering. After graduating from UCLA, she worked for the Oregon Sea Grant, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. This summer, she worked for the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment with CalEPA to assess the benefits and impacts of climate policy on disadvantaged communities. In her spare time, she loves hiking and camping, trying new foods, and exploring the Bay Area.

Candice Moses

Areas of Interest: mental health, adolescent health, UC-HBCU Summer Research

Candice is a second-year MPH student in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics concentration. She graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2016 with a degree in Public Health Sciences and a minor in Biology. In the past she worked as a UC-HBCU Summer Research Fellow at UC Berkeley examining the effect of adverse childhood experiences on postpartum weight retention in women of childbearing age. Since graduation, Candice worked at the School of Public Health as a Student Services Advisor supporting undergraduate students. Candice is passionate about addressing mental health concerns within the adolescent and young adult population. In her free time, she enjoys going for walks, relaxing, and spending time with family.

Cezanne Bianco

Areas of Interest: infectious diseases, communicable disease control and prevention, Zika

My name is Cezanne Bianco, an MPH student with a concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. I am thrilled to be attending Berkeley where I hope to connect two passions of mine – data analysis and public health. I aspire for these passions to translate into a career as an infectious disease epidemiologist, working both locally and in developing countries to protect the health of vulnerable populations. I graduated from UC Irvine where I studied Public Health Policy. During my gap year, I worked at the Orange County Health Care Agency as a Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) funded contract employee in response to international Zika outbreaks. My time working in public health at the local level has solidified my passion for working with vulnerable populations and learning about communicable disease control and prevention. Aside from public health, I love learning about other cultures and languages. I will be working in Brazil next summer on a Zika project and learning Portuguese.

Maher Yassin

Areas of Interest: disease surveillance, vector-borne infectious diseases, outbreak investigation, GIS

Maher Yassin is a second-year MPH student in Epidemiology & Biostatistics. He is from Orange County, CA, and completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Applied Statistics at UC Riverside. Prior to coming to Berkeley, he worked in an ecology lab studying biological pest control and entomology. His current goal is to become an infectious disease epidemiologist at a public health department. He is interested in the epidemiology of emerging and vector-borne infectious diseases, disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, and the use of mapping software (such as GIS) to better understand and control disease. He is also a member of Cal STAPH and an Epi/Bio Student Government Representative. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, watching movies, baking, and discussing politics.

Estefany Rodriguez

Areas of Interest: Immigrant Health, Global health, Data Analysis, Human Rights, Intragenerational Health

Estefany is a first-year MPH candidate, and grew up in South Los Angeles, CA (South Central & Huntington Park). Although this past year that hasn’t been the case, she worked at the Human Rights Campaign in Washington D.C. and then became a Gilman Scholar studying in Brazil. She is interested in Public Health due to the health disparities she witnessed growing up, particularly interested in the health disparities immigrant populations face both domestically and internationally. She served on the Dolores Huerta Committee in Berkeley City Hall as an undergraduate to address the immediate needs of community members, but hopes to work at a larger preventive scale in the future. Passionate about learning how to address global health issues using data analysis and has a special interest in learning how to study industrial polluters and policy effects for underrepresented communities. If you want to talk about any of these places or you’d like to practice Portuguese and/or Spanish, she’s your gal! She is excited to be back in the Bay Area and meet you all! Cheers!

Miranda Hurtado

Areas of Interest: Latinx health, community health, chronic diseases, reproductive health

My name is Miranda Hurtado and I am originally from Los Angeles, CA. I completed my undergraduate degree in public health at UC Berkeley last spring and am excited to be back in the Bay Area to complete my MPH in epidemiology and biostatistics. I dedicated my undergraduate career to helping and learning from my community. I had the opportunity to volunteer as a health interpreter for Spanish-speaking patients and as a health advocate at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. I also participated in research with Dr. Winston Tseng from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health that focused on evaluating diabetes education programs for Latinos and African-Americans living in Alameda County. While I complete her MPH, I aim to continue to serve her community through volunteering and research. I hope to use the skills I learn through my classes, research, and volunteer opportunities to become an epidemiologist that focuses on chronic diseases/reproductive health in the Latinx community.

Tiffany O’Dwyer

Areas of Interest: chronic disease, consumer goods, environmental exposures, minority health, social determinants of health

Tiffany is a Southern California native, but was a Bay Area transplant for 7 years. She received a double major in Public Health and Society & Environment from UC Berkeley. Since then, she has worked as a healthcare consultant at a firm in San Francisco for some of the country’s largest hospital systems and RCM departments. Most recently she was a Program Manager in QI at a health plan in Los Angeles managing and designing incentive programs for LA County’s Medi-Cal providers and populations. During her masters she intends to study the incidence of chronic disease in minority populations-likely as they relate to consumer product access, exposure, and availability as a social determinant of health. She hopes to apply knowledge from this program to an epidemiologist position at a county department, health plan or other health organization that would allow her to combat minority health in a way that aligns with her aforementioned interests.

Lauren O’Neal

Areas of Interest: AmeriCorps, zoonotic/vector-borne infectious disease

Lauren O’Neal is a second-year MPH student in Global Health & Environment. Originally from Austin, TX, she attended the University of Texas at Dallas where she completed a B.S. in Biology, minoring in Public Health and Political Science. After graduating, she completed an AmeriCorps service term providing medical case management to people experiencing homelessness. Lauren is interested in the intersection of human and animal environments, infectious diseases, and the political and social drivers of health. This summer, she worked for the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment in CalEPA researching the benefits and impacts of California’s climate policy. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside, accumulating indoor plants, and traveling.

Athena Nguyen

Areas of Interest: Fulbright, ergonomics, social entrepreneurship

Athena Nguyen is a first-year MPH student in Global Health & Environment. Originally from Sacramento, CA, she graduated from Santa Clara University with a Public Health Science and Political Science double major and Biology minor. After graduating in 2018, she served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Vietnam. As an ETA, she leveraged her Vietnamese-American identity and passion for social justice to enable and impact her students, colleagues, and cohort fellows. Athena is interested in the social determinants of health, underrepresented communities, and ergonomics in developing countries. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, listening to music, and hiking.

Justin Yoo

Areas of Interest: health insurance, value-based care, policy implementation, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid

Justin Yoo is a second-year MPH/MPP student in Health Policy and Management. His interests include value-based care generally as well as the variation in private and local implementation of public programs i.e. Medicare Advantage and Medicaid. Prior to graduate school, he has worked to coordinate a new immigrant program at the local health department, provide direct care at a surgery center, and help folks sign up for health insurance. He hails from southern California and graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s in Integrative Biology. In his off time likes to ride his bike, go to the Berkeley Marina, and do some yoga.

Michelle Carrera

Areas of Interest: community-based participatory research, Latinx communities, AmeriCorps, Medicaid policy

Michelle Carrera is a second-year MPH student in Health Policy & Management. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Boston University, where she studied International Relations, with minors in Public Health and Women’s & Gender studies. Michelle has experience working with community-based participatory research projects focused on health disparities in low-income and Latinx populations. Prior to graduate school, Michelle served two years as an AmeriCorps member with the International Rescue Committee, helping recently resettled refugees with acute and chronic health needs in the Intensive Case Management program navigate healthcare systems in the US. Michelle’s interests include coordination of care, Medicaid policy, and improving access to care for low-income populations. Originally from Miami, FL, in her free time she enjoys road trips, visiting National Parks, and spending time with family.

Clarisse Vidal

Areas of Interest: safety net, social services, Medicaid, MediCal, SNAP, food stamps, vulnerable populations, low-income, government, policy, faith

Clarisse is a proud Bay Area native. She is a first year MPH student in the Health Policy and Management concentration. She graduated with a BA in Sociology from UCLA. She considers herself as a non-traditional student in that she did not finish her bachelor’s degree within the traditional time frame of 4 to 5 years. Nevertheless, Clarisse brings several years of front-line experience in healthcare and social service settings, including UCLA Health, government agencies, mental health and affordable housing non-profits. She has served vulnerable populations that include the low-income, unemployed, disabled, elderly, homeless, and immigrants. In one of her previous roles as a case worker at Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services, she helped hundreds of clients with securing access to health insurance coverage (i.e., MediCal and Covered California plans) and food. Another highlight of that role was taking part in processing the surge of Medicaid applications during the Affordable Care Act rollout. She is blessed to have overcome medical, financial, and familial challenges to complete her bachelor’s degree and achieve her dream of attending graduate school at UC Berkeley. Clarisse hopes to motivate individuals to continue pursuing their dreams in spite of setbacks, as well as to improve public healthcare systems. On her downtime, she likes to go shopping, try new food, go on adventures with friends, and watch business reality shows.

Emily Graf

Areas of Interest: value-based payment systems, health care model implementation and evaluation, Medicare and Medicaid policy, underserved populations

Emily is a first-year MPH student in Health Policy and Management. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and psychology from Cornell University. Prior to graduate school, Emily was living in Boston and working at a non-profit research institute to evaluate large-scale health care models funded by the government. She’s interested in the design and implementation of value-based payment models, including how to best incentivize providers and implement quality measurement, and improving access to and quality of care for underserved populations. Emily is originally from New Jersey, and during her free time she enjoys learning new instruments, hiking, and trying new restaurants in the Bay area.

Diana Lazo

Areas of Interest: AmeriCorps, Health Career Connection, program design and evaluation, social determinants of health, immigrant communities

Diana is a first-year MPH student in Health and Social Behavior. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UCLA in Spanish and Community and Culture with minors in Geography and Public Affairs. After graduating, Diana interned at a FQHC through the Health Career Connection Program where her duties included grant support, as well as researching trends in patient health needs and barriers to access, helping to guide the clinic’s expansion efforts. From there, she was proud to complete a term of AmeriCorps VISTA service in her own community of City Heights in San Diego, where she was able to gain experience in program design and evaluation. Her research interests include the social determinants of health, particularly in children and immigrant communities. In her spare time, Diana enjoys hanging out with her family and re-watching episodes of Parks and Recreation.

Kimberly Ababseh

Areas of Interest: minority health disparities, multiculturalism, community based advocacy

Kimberly Ababseh is a second-year MPH candidate in the Health and Social Behavior concentration. Before attending UC Berkeley, Kimberly received her BS in Biology with an emphasis in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and her BA in Communication at UC Davis. After graduating in 2014, she began working at Stanford University School of Medicine under the Stanford Prevention Research Center on a tobacco control team. There Kimberly was able to gain more exposure to major Public Health concerns and develop a budding interest. To further her awareness, she participated in the Youth Advocacy Fellowship with Truth Initiative and also worked as a mentor for the following cohort of YAF fellows. Her research interests focus on minority health disparities, multiculturalism, social determinants and community based advocacy work. Outside of student life Kimberly is an avid hiker, tries to enjoy running, loves to experiment with cooking and takes time to continue exploring her hometown of the Bay Area.

Melissa Galinato

Areas of Interest: evaluations, neuroscience, community health, behavioral and mental health, sexual health, maternal and child health

Melissa Galinato is a 2nd year MPH student in the Health and Social Behavior (HSB) concentration. Before coming to Berkeley, Melissa earned a PhD in Neuroscience from UC San Diego with a focus on the neurobiology of drug addiction. Melissa chose Berkeley SPH and HSB to explore her interests in community health, program evaluation, and maternal & child health. During the summer, Melissa was the MPH Evaluations Intern at the Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco, and she enjoyed eating burritos in the mission.

Tatyana Roberts

Areas of Interest: global diplomacy, implementation science, advocacy

Tatyana Roberts is a 2nd year MPH student in the Health and Social Behavior program. She graduated from Cornell University in 2016, where she earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences with a minor in Global Health. After graduation, she worked for Cornell as a Global and Public Health Fellow for their Global Health Program. Her current interests are in health system strengthening initiatives, global diplomacy, implementation science, and advocacy. When Tatyana isn’t in class, she likes to spend time outdoors, take Spin classes, and explore the Bay Area.

Jessie Melina Garcia Gutiérrez

Areas of Interest: transgender health, mental health, people of color

Jessie Melina Garcia Gutiérrez is a proud transgender woman from Salinas, CA and is a first year MPH student in the Health and Social Behavior program. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2018, where she earned a B.S. in Anthropology with minors in French, Food Studies, and Global Health. She then worked as the Trans* Empower Workforce Development Program Manager at a Transgender Health Program at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center in South Central Los Angeles. In that role she assisted transgender patients with job readiness skills, job placement, legal gender and name change paperwork, and trained employers in Los Angeles on transgender competency to best support transgender workers. Her research interests include how institutions and organizations affect the mental health of transgender people of color. In her free time, she enjoys watching professional wrestling, biking, dancing, and cooking!

Brittany Quy

Areas of Interest: social determinants of health; community health; policy, systems, and environmental change

Brittany Quy is a first-year MPH student in the Health & Social Behavior program. Originally from Orange County, she graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2017 where she received her B.A. degrees in Public Health Policy and Psychology & Social Behavior. After graduating, Brittany entered the CDC Public Health Associate Program where she worked on infectious disease prevention, surveillance, and outbreak response with the Navajo Epidemiology Center.. There, she learned the importance of respecting culture, understanding historical impact, and working with an asset-based approach in public health. Her passion for public health comes from her interest in promoting community care & wellness and improving the structural and environmental conditions that allow people to live balanced and meaningful lives. In her free time, she enjoys listening to live music, exploring museums, watching sunsets, trying new foods, and binge watching tv shows.

Mariah De Zuzuarregui

Areas of Interest: immigrant health, social determinants, adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), health equity, working with marginalized communities, socio-physiological embodiment, HPA axis and stress response

Mariah De Zuzuarregui obtained her Bachelors from UC Berkeley with a degree in Integrative Biology in Summer 2019. As a 1st year MPH student with a concentration in Health and Social Behavior, she is passionate about studying the social determinants of health and how health inequities are perpetuated beyond the variables that a stethoscope can detect. She is eager to learn from both her professors and her peers in order to equip herself with cultural and structural competency to eliminate disparities in the US healthcare system for the most vulnerable populations. She is specifically interested in addressing disparities in immigrant health, Latinx and Pilipinx health, trauma in adolescents, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). On her free time, you can find her eating fries, thrift shopping, and taking a bike ride around Berkeley.

Shalini Chatterjee

Areas of Interest: social welfare, community mental health, housing and homelessness, clinical social work, juvenile justice reform, AmeriCorps, substance use

Shalini is a first-year MPH/MSW concurrent degree student. After she graduated from UC Berkeley in 2015, she completed a year of service with AmeriCorps increasing access to mental health and wellness centers in schools and communities. She has spent the past few years working with adults with mental health diagnoses and histories of chronic homelessness in supportive housing in San Francisco. As a dual degree student, is interested in exploring the intersections of community mental health, homelessness, and criminal justice reform. She is particularly interested in community driven and client-centered mental health and substance use treatment. She is currently working on a research team doing community based participatory research with youth experiencing homelessness in Berkeley. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, reading, music, and spending time with animals.

Diana Holden

Areas of Interest: healthcare associated infections, antimicrobial resistance

Diana Holden is a second-year MPH student in the Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology program. She is from Honolulu, HI and graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. Her research interests include studying healthcare associated infections and antimicrobial resistance. After graduation, she hopes to work with health departments or hospitals to help control the spread of infectious diseases. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, and exploring the Bay Area.

Phoebe Lu

Areas of Interest: One Health, zoonotic and foodborne disease, data science

Phoebe Lu is a second-year MPH student in the Infectious Disease and Vaccinology concentration. She grew up in the Bay Area and earned her bachelor’s degree at UC Davis with a major in Animal Science. During her senior year at Davis, she worked for the California Department of Food and Agriculture as an intern in the Antimicrobial Use and Stewardship program. Phoebe’s primary public health interests include One Health, zoonotic and foodborne disease. In her free time, she enjoys going to the gym, trying out new food, and cooking.

Joseph Lau

Areas of Interest: bacterial pathogenesis, drug-resistant microbes

Joseph Lau is a first-year MPH student in the Infectious Disease and Vaccinology concentration. He is from San Francisco, CA and graduated from SF State with a B.S. in Microbiology. After graduating, he went on to work at a non-profit blood research center, called Vitalant Research Institute, specifically in the Viral Reference Lab and Repository Core, which maintains a large bio-repository of samples for translational and clinical studies. His current public health research interest is on infectious disease prevention methods using molecular diagnostic techniques to apply to epidemiological studies. In his free time, he enjoys going out for boba, eating and hanging out with friends, playing badminton, and watching shows on Hulu and Netflix.

Sarah Gomez-Aladino

Areas of Interest: parasites, tropical diseases, Zika

Sarah Gomez-Aladino is a first-year MPH student in the Infectious Disease and Vaccinology concentration. She is from South Florida and graduated from Florida Atlantic University. During her senior year of undergrad, she worked in a research lab working with the Zika virus, and she worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant. Her current public health research interests involve tropical diseases and parasitology. In her free time, she enjoys painting, rollerskating, and watching movies.

Ariel Munoz

Areas of Interest: One Health, pathogenesis, drug resistance

Ariel Munoz is a first year MPH student in the Infectious Disease and Vaccinology concentration. Ariel graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Global Disease Biology and a minor in Statistics. Her current interests include studying mechanisms of drug-resistance in stealthy bacterial pathogens. She is interested in creating an impact on a global scale and aspires to work under the conceptual framework that public health is the same as global health. In her free time, Ariel participates on the Cal Boxing team and hangs out with her amazing IDV cohort.

Michelle Meas

Areas of Interest: host-microbe interaction, tropical diseases

Michelle Meas is a first-year MPH student in the Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology concentration. Michelle is an Illinois native and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology. During her last two years of undergrad, she did research on protein-protein interaction and detection. Her current public health interests are host-microbe interaction and immunology, especially in tropical diseases. In her free time, Michelle enjoys art, food, bouldering, and hanging out with friends.

Emily Parker

Areas of Interest: infectious disease, bacterial pathogenesis, antimicrobial resistance

Emily is a first year MPH student in the Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology division. She is a native California, with roots in northern and southern California. She received her BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from UC Santa Cruz. During undergrad, she participated in research ranging from predator-prey behavior tactics, climate change effects on fish, and animal behavior and health pertaining to household dogs. She worked as a veterinary technician before starting at UC Berkeley. Her current research interests include antimicrobial and antibiotic resistance and evolution. Emily enjoys live music, art, food, and reading.

Tolulope Ayoade

Areas of Interest: disease outbreak, infection control, drug resistance

Tolulope is a first-year MPH student in the Infectious Disease and Vaccinology concentration. She was born and raised in Nigeria and moved to the United States in 2010. She received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from University of Colorado. Her current public health research interests are emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, disease outbreak and infection control, hospital health practice. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, watching movies and exploring new places.

Marycon Nicole Verlind Chin Jiro

Areas of Interest: first generation, immigrant, Filipinx, Filipinx-American, healthcare, medicine, community, resilience, eye health, ophthalmology, mentorship

Marycon was born in Iloilo, Philippines and raised in Union City, California. In 2018, she received her Integrative Biology bachelor’s degree and Global Poverty and Practice minor at UC Berkeley. Here, she designed a research study looking at the potential of gamified virtual technology in addressing physical education budget cuts within low- income Bay Area school districts as a Fung Fellowship for Wellness and Technology Fellow and advocated for health and educational equity within the Filipinx community. Marycon also worked at Kaiser Permanente (KP) for five years, mentoring disadvantaged youth interested in healthcare at the KPLAUNCH program, analyzing patient satisfaction data for providers, and, most recently, handling research projects concerning ethical issues within the 21 KP Northern California hospitals alongside ethicists. Her immigration experience, family and culture drive her to continue “lifting as she climbs” and prioritize serving her first generation, minority and underserved communities in the JMP and PRIME-US. She is currently a first year medical student in the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program.

Anika Lovgren

Areas of Interest: perinatal environmental exposures, health disparities, infant health outcomes, pre-PhD

Anika Lovgren is a second-year MPH student in the Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health program. She graduated from Idaho State University with an Honors degree in Psychology and minor in Biology. During her undergraduate career at ISU, she conducted perinatal environmental exposure and maternal substance use research in the Perinatal Psychobiology Laboratory. Her primary research interests include examining perinatal environmental exposures in relation to health disparities and infant health outcomes. Upon the completion of her MPH, she plans to pursue a PhD in Epidemiology. In her spare time, she is an avid traveler and photographer.

Erin Hubbard

Areas of Interest: racial health disparities, health equity, maternal mortality

Erin is a first-year MPH student in the Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health concentration She is originally from Los Angeles, California and attended UC Berkeley for her undergraduate degree, where she graduated in 2019 with a B.A. in Public Health. During her undergrad, she worked with a student organization to bring free and low-cost vision resources to low income and homeless individuals at clinics and public housing units in Berkeley and Oakland. Her interests include finding ways to eliminate racial health disparities, especially in Black maternal and infant populations (low birth weight, preterm birth, maternal mortality). In her free time, she enjoys making playlists for her friends and finding new restaurants in the Bay Area.

Elleni Hailu

Areas of Interest: structural racism, multi-level stress, social Epidemiology, racial disparities

Elleni is a first year PhD student in Epidemiology and an alum of the UC Berkeley Epidemiology/Biostatistics MPH program. She earned her B.S. in Public Health Sciences from Santa Clara University. Her research interests are in understanding the ways in which structural racism is biologically embedded across the lifecourse to influence the disproportionate distribution of cardiovascular disease outcomes among racially/ethnically minoritized populations. She is interested in conducting research to inform policies and interventions that dismantle the cycle of health inequities. She has experience working in various roles across a diverse set of health programs and research projects, both in local and global contexts. She is currently involved in studies that examine structural forces and psychosocial risk/resilience factors that shape racial health disparities in multi-center and multi-generational cohorts.

Samantha Derrick

Areas of Interest: plant based nutrition, food justice, immigrant health, equitable food systems

Samantha is a first year MPH student in the Nutrition Program. She is from Florida and graduated from UC Berkeley in 2014 where she earned a B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy and a B.S. in Society and Environment. Since then she has worked for several environmental organizations in the government, NGO, and clean tech sectors both abroad and in the U.S.

Her concerns for public health, the environment, and the welfare of animals have motivated her to pursue a path in environmental and health activism. She hopes to work to reform the food system, making it more sustainable and inclusive space. Her hobbies include strength training, yoga, traveling, photography, and vegan cooking.

Sonali Singh

Areas of Interest: sustainable food systems, health disparities, health equity, low-Income, communities of color, agriculture

Sonali is a first year Public Health Nutrition MPH candidate. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science & Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park, Sonali moved to California to conduct research on plant diseases, specifically fruit and vegetable pathogens. While working with farmers and botanists, Sonali’s interest in bridging the gap between agriculture and nutrition grew. Her goal is to make nutritious foods more accessible to underserved communities and strongly believes in the power of policy to improve food environments and promote health equity. Her main hobbies include rock climbing, cooking and gardening.

Dalila Alvarado

Areas of Interest: immigrant health, chronic disease prevention, food equity, food sustainability, community empowerment

Dalila is a first year Public Health Nutrition MPH student. She graduated from UCLA in 2016 with a B.A. in Spanish, Community, & Culture and a minor in Global Health. Dalila’s experience in a student-led health justice group at UCLA motivated her to impact her community at a broader level. Some of her goals include creating wholesome food access to minority communities, community empowerment through food and exercise, and help transform the food system to be sustainable for future generations. Her hobbies include strength training, Latin music dancing, personal improvement reading/research, and game boards with family.

Caroline Long

Areas of Interest: trauma informed care, food security, health disparities, community-participatory research, mental health

Caroline is a first year MPH student with a concentration in Public Health Nutrition. Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Caroline graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in Psychology and an interdisciplinary certificate in Sustainability in 2019. Her passion for public health stemmed from her years volunteering with Small Fry, a non-profit in Philadelphia that teaches low income families to prepare healthy meals. Spending time talking to the families about their experiences made her think deeper about the relationship between a person’s income and their access to healthy food and the subsequent health impacts associated. Throughout her time in Philadelphia, Caroline worked as a research assistant for the Siminoff Research Group where she studied unpaid caregivers of terminal cancer patients and the relationship between their depression scores and healthcare utilization. After completing her degree, she aims to use research and advocacy to bring light to the connection between the food we have access to and its impact on our mental health, specifically in underrepresented populations such as low-income families and the LGBTQ+ community. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, knitting, and propagating all of her succulents.

Contact sphgrads@berkeley.edu to connect with a GRADS ambassador!