Diversity and Inclusion: Dream Office

The Dream Office focuses on the recruitment and retention of historically excluded populations. The mission of our office is to prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in creating a public health workforce that mirrors the demographics of our communities. The Dream Office is dedicated to encouraging prospective students and supporting admitted students from all communities and especially those who have experienced historical inequities to pursue graduate degrees in public health at UC Berkeley.

Services for Prospective Students

  • Graduate Recruitment and Diversity Services

    The Graduate Recruitment and Diversity Services is the prospective student-focused peer-advising arm of the Dream Office. In alignment with the mission of the Dream Office, the goal of the Graduate Recruitment and Diversity Services are to foster diversity within the student population at Berkeley Public Health by connecting prospective applicants with current graduate students (Prospective Student Ambassadors) who may have faced barriers in applying to graduate school, may have been the first in their family to attend graduate school, and/or understand what it is like to overcome barriers in accessing higher education. We strongly encourage prospective students who are from social or cultural backgrounds underrepresented in public health graduate education, or those who have faced challenges due to cultural or family background, economic resources, age or other circumstances, to connect with our services.

    Our office employs one current graduate student, our Graduate Outreach Assistant, each academic year to assist in coordinating services for our prospective students. The Graduate Outreach Assistant coordinates our Prospective Student Ambassadors, presents at and organizes outreach events, and can provide 1:1 advising for prospective students.

  • Prospective Student Ambassadors (PSAs)

    Prospective Student Ambassadors: Our Prospective Student Ambassador team is led by our stellar Graduate Outreach Assistant, who manages our team of 30+ Prospective Student Ambassadors, who are currently students in the Graduate school of public health. The Coordinators will be a great point of contact and help direct you to the appropriate ambassador, event, or resource! They’re available during their monthly office hours and in peer-to-peer meetings to provide application advice, support, and a current student perspective over the course of the admissions cycle.

    Monthly Prospective Student Office Hours: Our graduate student coordinators and Prospective Student Ambassadors host virtual monthly sessions for prospective students October–May. This is a great opportunity to connect with current students, hear about their experiences, and ask questions. These sessions are designed specifically for prospective students to learn about the experiences of current students related to finding community, choosing a concentration, benefits and challenges of the program, and more.

    Peer-to-peer meeting with Prospective Student Ambassadors: If you’d like to connect one-on-one with a current student to ask specific questions about their student experience, the Prospective Student Ambassadors are a great resource. You can contact our graduate student coordinators via email to be connected with a Prospective Student Ambassador.

  • Advising and Mentoring

    The Dream Office provides a variety of services to support prospective students who have faced historical, economic, and educational barriers. The Dream Office has two professional staff, who are available for advising and mentoring for students who have already connected with our other services for prospective students and are seeking additional support.

    Yuri Hernández Osorio is the Director of the Dream Office and can be reached at sphdiversity@berkeley.edu. Yuri is also the first point of contact for prospective undocumented students seeking advising and mentoring.

    Mar Markham is the Dream Office’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Specialist and is a great point of contact for questions about the admissions process, as well as the Dream Office’s services for current and prospective students. Mar can be reached at sphdiversity@berkeley.edu.

Services for Current Students

  • Summer Seminar

    Summer Seminar Is a 4 day-long program prior to the start of the semester. To prepare URM, FGEN, and historically excluded students for their most challenging coursework (e.g. quantitative research methods, coding software, biostatistics, epidemiology, and writing for graduate school), participate in a cohort experience, build a sense of community, and familiarize yourself with campus and resources available. Summer Seminar is open to all incoming 2-year and concurrent Master’s students (except Blue Shield Scholars; you will get separate instructions to sign up for the program). We have a limited capacity of only 45 spots. Registration is on a first come first serve basis through an application process. Registration and participation is free. For any question or ADA accommodations please contact sphdiversity@berkeley.edu.

  • Dream Office’s Monthly Food Pantry & Community Closet

    Each month during the academic year the Dream Office hosts a monthly pantry and community closet where residential school of public health graduate students can “shop” for groceries, perishable and nonperishable items, hygiene products, menstrual products, lightly used/new clothing, household items and more! This is a free service.

    Our office employs one current graduate student, our Graduate Retention Assistant, each academic year to assist in coordinating services for our current students. The Graduate Outreach Assistant coordinates our Monthly Food Pantry and Community Closet, organizes community-building events, and connects current students with relevant resources such as wrap-around services.

  • Suite 2220 Hospitality Snacks/Coffee & Tea Wednesdays

    Weekly tea/coffee is served on the second floor of Berkeley Way West inside the Student Service and Dream Offices. Come grab some hot beverages and socialize with our staff and your peers. Time and date to for the fall 2023 school year to be announced.

  • Tutoring Services

    The Dream Office provides epidemiology and biostatistics tutoring for current residential students. Tutoring services are offered weekly and are on Zoom.

    For any questions regarding tutoring services please contact us:

    Current residential graduate students will receive email communication regarding dates and times of services.

    Tutoring for Online MPH students is based on the following subjects:

Want to connect about the services listed or have any questions? Contact us at sphdiversity@berkeley.edu.

Student Body Snapshot

We have a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as pathways to excellence at all levels of the school—via recruiting, mentoring, and inclusively engaging with diverse populations of students, faculty, staff, and community partners.

The information below is a snapshot of the Berkeley Public Health graduate student community for Fall 2020. Percentages are based on a total school enrollment of 740 graduate students. Please note: numbers may not add up to 100 because of rounding.

Students of Color*

6.2%

African American / Black

24.5%

Asian and Pacific Islander

15.9%

Chicano / Latino

Gender

61.5%

Female

24.5%

Male

.3%

Non-Binary

* International (not included in count) – 10.7%; declined to state – 4.1%
† Declined to state – 11.6%
Source: CalAnswers student census counts

History

In 2005, the Office of Diversity Services started as a result of student activism. Our office demanded that the school do more to increase student diversity. For the next ten (10) years, dedicated efforts were developed to increase the student diversity and in 2012, the office expanded in hiring an Outreach Coordinator. The office was and is composed of two staff members and also a cadre of student staff (GRADS Coordinators) and volunteers (GRADS Ambassadors) to ensure that DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging) efforts are fully maintained. Outreach over the years has been targeted to a variety of institutions, such as California State Schools, other UCs, private colleges, community colleges, HBCUs, HSIs and high schools.

In 2005, the underrepresented minority population at BPH was 5%. In 2015, that number increased to 17%. Our goal is to have a student population that mirrors the demographics of the State of California, who will become shovel ready to tackle the pressing public health issues facing our most vulnerable community members.

Although what started with a focus in increasing the numbers of diverse students, the position expanded to assist the institution in creating more equitable admissions policies as well as addressing the priority of hiring faculty of color. The office was also instrumental in the development of the first ever school wide committee called D.I.C.E, diversity, inclusion, community, and equity that has addressed school wide “dice” issues. Additionally, a Summer Preparatory Program was designed to help students gain access to academic, campus, and school resources before classes begin. Eventually, the Office of Diversity Services became the DREAM office and now serves as a model for the UC Berkeley campus on how to recruit, retain, and graduate a top class of diverse public health graduate students.