Where are you originally from and where will you be living this fall?
I’m a Bay Area native—born, raised, and educated. My family is based about half an hour south of Berkeley, but I’ll be living closer to campus for the school year with two great roommates from my cohort.
What is your focus in school?
My focus is Environmental Health Sciences. I chose this concentration because as much as civilization has manipulated the Earth’s environment, we have very little understanding as to how it affects our health. As forces such as climate change grow more severe, I wanted to equip myself with the knowledge and skills to address climate-related emergencies and disasters that our communities will inevitably need to be prepared for.
Why did you choose Berkeley Public Health for your degree?
My family’s health has been shaped by poverty, war, and poor healthcare, and I can see people throughout the world suffering from the same issues. Like many of my peers, I pursued public health to help others who are also failed by the systems that were supposed to protect them. I chose Berkeley because I knew my background and personal experiences could contribute to the interdisciplinary collaboration that occurs in this program.
What do you want to change about the world of public health?
The events of the last couple of years have shown the world that conversations about the importance of public health were long overdue. In addition to promoting and implementing effective programs and policies, I want to change how people discuss public and environmental health behind closed doors, in personal settings with loved ones, and within their communities.
What would you like to do with your degree after graduation?
Climate-related disasters such as wildfires, flooding, storms, heat waves, and droughts are all but inevitable. After graduation, I want to be part of the effort to prepare and respond to these emergencies and disasters. It is incredibly important that we build resilience and protect communities that are most vulnerable and at risk.
How do you think Berkeley Public Health has set you up for success in your future career?
Because public health is the nexus of health equity and evidence-based science, I wanted to study at an institution that prioritized both of these principles. The School of Public Health at UC Berkeley has not only taught me foundational skills to practice public and environmental health science, but also reinforced my passion for public health as a field. Being a part of this community has exposed me to networks and resources that I could’ve never been able to access on my own.