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BPH student Hannah DuVivier: Committed to helping kids find resilience to trauma

First-year UC Berkeley School of Public Health MPH student Hannah DuVivier was inspired to enter the field of public health by the kids she taught in the Bay Area community of San Pablo.

After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in biopsychology and a minor in Black studies in 2016, DuVivier spent two years teaching preschool in San Pablo with Teach for America. After her term at TFA expired, she stayed for two more years teaching at the same school.

“I’ve always been interested in education and health, and at this school, a lot of the kids were dealing with trauma so that led me into thinking, ‘How can I combine my experience with children and education with public health,’” DuVivier says.

“My main interest is how we can help children become more resilient and their families, too,” she says.

Although DuVivier is originally from the Los Angeles area, she was attracted to Berkeley because she’d become attached to the community that she was working with in San Pablo. The fact that her sister received her MSW at UC Berkeley made the school even more attractive. But what sealed the deal was Dr. Amani Allen’s research and the school’s focus on how social determinants affect health outcomes.

“When I found the health and social behavior program, it just related so closely to what I was interested in,” DuVivier says. “How you could have scientific background and look at epidemiology in a social way; how social factors can contribute to health. In my mind, it so connected with the students I was working with.”

Though she’s a bit disappointed that she’ll begin her first year at Berkeley Public Health via remote learning, she’s excited about joining school groups to find a community here at UC Berkeley.

“I’m biracial—my dad’s Black and my mom’s Jewish—I really would be interested in joining the Black student union or Hillel or any clubs or groups that are all about public health,” DuVivier says.

And when she graduates in 2022?

“I’m really open, I already have experience with education and I really enjoyed it but it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she says. “I know there are a lot of places public health can lead you, but I haven’t zeroed in yet on what I want to do.”