Meet the Diversity and Inclusion Team
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 SPH.
Chief Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Officer
Abby has been in the health care /public health workforce for over 40 years. She has worked in a variety of settings addressing a variety of public health issues with diverse communities, domestically and internationally. Some examples of her work include developing and implementing a migrant farmworker health education program in a rural community in Northern California to working as a nurse in many hospitals and clinics. She served as the Director of Community Health Promotion at the University Health Services, overseeing academic and community programming for 15 years.
Abby has been teaching core Community Health Worker courses at City College of San Francisco since 2002 and also has developed teaching videos for instructors on Cultural Humility. She was part of the design of the first CHW textbook, Foundations in Community Health Work and also contributed as an author on “Cultural Humility”.
Most recently, she has been a leader, working to diversify the public health workforce at the School of Public Health and graduate school population as Assistant Dean at UC Berkeley. She earned her masters in Public Health at UC Berkeley.
DREAM Office Director
Durrain is a Muslim; an immigrant; a woman of color; and a mom, daughter and partner—she lets these identities guide her in her work. Her passion lies at the intersection of education and public health and she strives to find ways to make higher education more accessible and more welcoming to people who do not see themselves represented in institutions of higher learning. Durrain has an undergraduate degree in psychology from UCLA and a master’s degree in epidemiology and biostatistics from UC Berkeley. While she loves data and talking about research—Durrain finds that her heart is more full when working with students. She is so excited to partner with our students during their time at UC Berkeley!
Diversity Outreach Coordinator
Michelle holds a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from UCLA and a master’s in public health nutrition from UC Berkeley. Post-college, her internships with the Orange County Food Access Coalition and the Riverside County Public Health Department HEAL Zone Initiative helped her realize her passion for improving food security and reducing diet-related health disparities. Once at Berkeley, she volunteered with the Berkeley vs. Big Soda campaign to pass the nation’s first soda tax, and spent her summer internship working on projects related to food access, local food and urban agriculture policy, and community engagement for Long Beach Fresh and the Berkeley Food Institute. Michelle also loves to help students navigate the field of public health and graduate school, which she has been able to do in her current role and as a former GRADS Coordinator for the DREAM Office.
Vanessa is a second-year MPH student in the Public Health Nutrition concentration. She is a Los Angeles native and received her B.S. in Biology from UCLA in 2015. Before starting graduate school at UC Berkeley, she worked as a NEOP (Nutrition Education & Obesity Prevention) research assistant at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and at several health non-profit organizations including Planned Parenthood, the Garden School Foundation, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Vane is passionate about promoting health equity and is interested in addressing social determinants of health to ameliorate health disparities affecting systematically oppressed populations through program evaluation and community-based research. In her spare time, Vane enjoys watching food-related documentaries and shows on Netflix, listening to podcasts, and running.
Gathenji is a second-year MPH student in the Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology concentration. He graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a minor in Hispanic Studies. While volunteering in medically-underserved regions of Kenya and Argentina, Gathenji developed an interest in public health and health equity. Gathenji is passionate about using data analytics and data-driven solutions to promote patient and community-level health, particularly in medically-underserved communities. In his free time, Gathenji enjoys reading, gardening and watching rugby.
Ben is a third-year MPH/MSW Concurrent Student in Health & Social Behavior/Strengthening Organizations and Communities. He holds a B.A. in Psychology & Sociology from UC Santa Barbara. Previously, Ben worked as a case manager and administrator at a long-term care facility for adults with developmental disabilities. Since starting his program, Ben has completed internships at Sutter Health and the United States Department of Health and Human Services. He is currently completing a MSW internship at Alameda County Care Connect. His research interests include health systems transformation, and responses to the opioid epidemic. In his spare time he enjoys weightlifting, hiking, lizards, and travel.
Epidemiology and Biostatistics Tutor
Beverly is a doctoral candidate in Environmental Health Sciences. She is fascinated by electronic waste and how to reduce/eliminate it. As such, her research interests focus on safer alternatives, sustainable manufacturing, and the circular economy. When Beverly is not dissertating, she enjoys food (both eating it and talking about it), the outdoors, and horror movies.
Student Group Specialist
Enrique Ramirez is an MPH candidate attending University of California, Berkeley. 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 California Department of Public Health Black Infant Health program as a Community Outreach Liaison, working to enhance community support, empower Black women, and coordinate care in the county of Kern. He is currently working towards becoming a Graduate Scholar Activist- applying public health academic studies, teaching, and community relationships to social justice efforts. His research interests include health equity concerning people of color and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), community activation and environmental justice. Personal interests include gardening, hiking, listening to podcasts and karaoke.
Graduate Student Instructor for HMAP (health and medical apprenticeship program) for undergraduates
Tatyana Roberts is a second year MPH student in the Health and Social Behavior concentration. She is an East Coast native originally from Westchester, NY. Tatyana graduated from Cornell University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and a minor in Global Health. Following graduation, she became a Global and Public Health Fellow for Cornell’s Global Health Program. In this position, she supported undergraduate education in global and public health and provided programmatic support to their international summer programs in Dominican Republic, India, Tanzania, and Zambia. Tatyana’s interests include maternal and child health, global health, advocacy, and medicine. In her free time, you can catch Tatyana exploring all the attractions in and near the Bay Area and binge watching Netflix.
Fiona is a current third-year undergrad majoring in Psychology with a minor is Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies. Outside of the DREAM Office, Fiona is also currently a Graphic Design Specialist for Educational Tech Services where she helps teach other students the Adobe Creative Cloud programs, a fellow at AYPAL where she works with API youth in Oakland, and an intern at APASD (Asian Pacific American Student Development) Office where she works on outreach and other projects. Her passion lies in bringing together design and social justice. Outside of her work, some things Fiona enjoys include hand lettering, reading articles on Medium, and watching shows on Netflix.