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Pilar Marin, 26
  • MPH student, Public Health Nutrition
  • Expected graduation: May 2022
  • Hometown: Venice Beach, CA
  • Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers/ella

Where will you be living this fall?

I live in Albany, California, with my partner and our corgi, Theo

What is your focus in school?

My MPH will be focused on public health nutrition. I am currently on track to become a registered dietitian and I know the MPH will complement my career goals nicely, seeing as I hope to fulfill my role as an RD in public health by working to advocate for reform in community nutrition/health education programs.

Why did you choose Berkeley Public Health for your degree?

The endless resources and explicit call for radical changemakers. Also, some of the folks who have radicalized me and informed my work today came from UC Berkeley.

What are you most excited to pursue this semester?

I am excited to see one of my ideas and passions come to fruition this semester: A couple of peers and I are working with faculty to create a symposium that will bring awareness to the imperative need of a paradigm shift in public health. I’m grateful for the support we have gotten this far and looking forward to seeing how this unfolds.

What are you most looking forward to when we head to campus in person?

Having discussions in person with my peers! I have craved it so much, it’s not easy to do so virtually. Exchanging ideas and learning from my peers was a big incentive for me to apply to grad school.

What’s your favorite place to study?

I have yet to experience the amazing libraries and cafés, so for now, my little office nook at home with my corgi has been my favorite place to study.

If you have already been in the workforce, what did you do?

I worked as a dietetic technician in multiple eating disorder recovery centers and a community outreach intern/insurance enrollment counselor at a community health clinic. These experiences fueled my interest in obtaining my MPH because I gained a deep understanding of how rampant colonialism, anti-fatness, and diet culture exists in public health and how this is reinforced and perpetuated in research and community program initiatives, which then creates further health inequities and disparities in marginalized and minoritized communities. This is the lens I bring into the classroom and my work and the lens I hope to make others aware of as well as we attempt to create a healthier tomorrow.

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

To continue my journey to become a registered dietitian and utilize my degree to impact systemic change, particularly within nutrition policies and programs.

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

Berkeley Public Health has set me up for success by providing access to its alumni network. I have been able to speak to so many folks that have granted me the opportunity to pick their brains and learn from their work. The public health nutrition department in particular has supported and advocated for me as I navigate this difficult journey in becoming an RD. Lastly, Berkeley Public Health has opened the space to have difficult conversations and grow comfortable with being uncomfortable. I have felt comfortable enough here to voice my thoughts and opinions; utilizing my voice while still finding it.