The DREAM Office has a close knit team of staff and students who work together to support all students from underrepresented backgrounds during their time at BPH.
Chief Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
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Abram has 20 years of experience in higher education with a commitment to community engagement. She considers herself a culture shifter by moving race and equity initiatives forward, a transformational leader by centering the needs of her partners in decision-making, and a changemaker as a longtime advocate for K-12 BIPOC students in the Oakland Unified School District. She brings the lens of intersectional identities and restorative practices to her work, engaging people at all levels of the university in race and equity initiatives.
Abram’s career began in higher education admission and recruitment. Most recently, she held the role of Associate Director of Diversity at Samuel Merritt University (SMU). In that role, she focused on implementing systemwide diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies, providing impactful programming to address the social and structural determinants of health, and retaining and promoting BIPOC identities.
Abram received the SMU Dr. Cornelius Hopper Diversity Excellence Award in 2015 for her diversity leadership and strong advocacy for students. In 2020, she was named Staff of the Year by the Samuel Merritt Student Body Association for her commitment to inclusive excellence for all members of the SMU community.
In her personal life, Abram can be found organizing around the educational needs of students within the K-12 sector, hosting a podcast series and creating programming for the nonprofit organization BlackFemaleProject, and motivating youth to pursue their dreams by exposing them to various creative and career opportunities. She received her BS in business management and MBA in management and leadership from Holy Names University. Abram is a mother, thrives on stand-up comedy, and her most sacred self-care practice is spending time near water.
Diversity Outreach Coordinator
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Enrique Ramirez is a recent graduate of the UC Berkeley Public Health program. He is originally from Bakersfield, CA and received his B.A. Psychology from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona in 2013.
He previously worked with the CDPH Black Infant Health program as a Community Outreach Liaison for Kern County; his primary objectives were to enhance community support, empower Black women, and coordinate care for pregnant women. He later turned to communicable disease work, specifically working as an HIV counselor as well as connecting syphilitic patients into care.
He is interested in translating and applying public health academic studies, teaching, and community relationship building into social justice efforts. His career interests include health equity concerning Black and people of color as well as the LGBT community through activation within higher education. His personal interests include gaming, hiking, listening to podcasts, and karaoke.
For current students: if you would like to meet with Enrique for an advising appointment, please sign up here.
She/Her/Hers | firstname.lastname@example.org
Abena is a second-year MPH student in the 2-year Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health program from Berlin, NJ, a small town right outside of Philadelphia. She graduated from Wellesley College in 2018, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Health & Society. Shortly following graduation, Abena moved to Oakland, California to work as a Program Assistant at Prevention Institute where she helped coordinate prevention initiatives focused on collaborative and community-based approaches to addressing intimate partner violence & mental health and wellbeing across the country. Most recently she worked with Contra Costa Health Service’s Office of the Director assisting with the county’s COVID-19 response and health equity plan. She is passionate about addressing the historical injustices and determinants of health that impact the maternal and child health population, particularly how racism affects Black birthing people and babies in the United States. In her spare time, Abena enjoys going for walks and runs outdoors, organizing gatherings with friends, and spending time with family.
Jessie M. Garcia Gutiérrez
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Jessie is a proud transgender Chicanx woman from Salinas, CA, and is a third-year student in the 3-year MPH/MSW concurrent degree program. She is in the Health and Social Behavior program and Advancing Well-being across the Adult Lifespan program in the MPH and MSW programs, respectively. 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. Additionally, she completed her public health internship doing a UCSF Youth and Participatory Action Research project with the youth of color from Richmond, California. Her research interests include how institutions, systems, and organizations affect the mental health of transgender people of color. She is also interested in Latinx holistic health. In her free time, she enjoys watching professional wrestling, running, dancing, cooking, and hanging out with her dog!
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Rachel Myers is a second-year MPH student in the Epidemiology & Biostatistics program. She received her BS in Global Disease Biology from UC Davis in 2017 and worked at the California Department of Public Health’s Infant Botulism Treatment and Prevention Program as an epidemiological assistant before starting her MPH at Cal. Rachel was an undergraduate tutor for upper-division courses in genetics and microbiology at UC Davis, and most recently worked with Dr. Eva Harris’s lab in Nicaragua researching the burden of disease in a long-term pediatric cohort study. Rachel is passionate about infectious disease epidemiology, advancing rare disease research, and learning how to effectively and equitably communicate science with the public. She hopes to be an infectious disease epidemiologist in the future. In her free time, Rachel enjoys going to concerts, playing video/board games, and trying all the good eats the Bay Area has to offer!
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Lauren Dinsmore is a second-year MPH student in the Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health program. She is originally from Oklahoma. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Colorado College in 2014. Lauren previously worked with undergraduate students advising on study abroad programs. She was also an academic coach for Walmart employees who were pursuing undergraduate degrees. She most recently worked for the Kentucky Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs on a program evaluation of telehealth services for rural families and kids. Her primary objectives were to speak with rural providers and families about their experience with telehealth medicine and closing the digital health divide. Lauren’s career interests are working for government agencies or nonprofits to improve measures of population health equity and social determinants of health for rural families. In her free time, Lauren enjoys cooking, listening to podcasts, and watching reality television.