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Berkeley Public Health student profile: Erica Resendiz

Erica Martinez Resendiz, 24
  • MPH student, Public Health Nutrition
  • Expected graduation: 2022
  • Hometown: Richmond, California
  • Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers

Where are you originally from?

I am from Richmond, California, and my roots are from a beautiful place within the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve in Guanajuato, Mexico.

What is your focus in school?

My focus is Public Health Nutrition (PHN). The food insecurity in my community interested me into this focus to learn more about why low-income communities are built the way they are and how our nutrition and overall health is affected.

Why did you choose to go into public health and why did you choose Berkeley Public Health for your degree?

I chose to go into public health after learning about the social determinants of health and because of its interconnectedness to all things. After transferring to UC Berkeley, I studied public health for two years as an undergraduate student. Those two years went by so quickly and I was left wanting to take more classes. I decided to go into Berkeley Public Health’s MPH program to continue to grow my public health knowledge and focus in nutrition. I also appreciate Berkeley School of Public Health for always looking for ways to better support their students. Go double bears!

What element of public health would you most like to change?

What I would want to change about the world of public health is the lack of food and clean water around the world. Access, availability, and affordability to nutritious food and clean water should be a human right as we all need energy to live. Although public health is ever-evolving, we also need to do better with cultural competence in nutrition, education, research, care, and practices.

What are you most excited to pursue this coming semester?

I am excited to start my role as a graduate lead with the Basic Needs Center this coming semester. I look forward to sharing student resources and working on projects alongside graduate ambassadors to better support our graduate student population.

What are you most looking forward to as we are finally on campus in person?

I look forward to finally meeting my PHN peers/faculty in person as well as walking around campus! I really miss having in-person classes and seeing the campanile, trees, and squirrels.

What’s your favorite place to study? Why?

I’ve really liked Berkeley Way West (BWW) because it’s such a nice building with study spaces and a close proximity to BART!

What’s your favorite class or professor so far?

My favorite class so far has been PH 206B: Food and Nutrition Policies and Programs with Professor Barbara Laraia.

What would you like to do with your degree after graduation?

After graduation, my goal is to become a bilingual nutrition/health educator to support, empower, and be an advocate for my Richmond community and similar communities. As an educator, I would like to get to know individuals holistically, learn from one another, and share local community resources to meet basic human needs.

How do you think UC Berkeley School of Public Health has set you up for success in your future career?

UC Berkeley School of Public Health has set me up for success in my future career by educating me on the many ways health is impacted through nutrition, community, environmental, or socioeconomic factors.

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