Where are you originally from and where will you be living this fall?
I am originally from Kingston, Washington, a small town on the Olympic Peninsula, but I currently live in San Francisco with my fiancée, Arianna Nuri.
What is your focus in school?
Broadly, my focus is environmental health, but more specifically, I am interested in the intersection between climate change, infectious disease, and environmental justice. This focus interests me because of the multi-scalar approach—changes at the global level have reverberations on the ecology of diseases, and those changes tend to disproportionately impact underserved communities.
Why did you choose Berkeley Public Health for your degree?
I fell in love with Berkeley when I was an undergraduate student here. After spending a few years in the workforce (as a veterinary Assistant in Portland, Oregon, and as a researcher at the Yale School of Medicine), I developed an even deeper appreciation for Berkeley’s innovative approach and commitment to tackling the most pressing issues facing our society.
What are you most excited to pursue this coming semester?
I am very excited about continuing my summer research this fall and being able to collaborate in-person with my classmates on our independent and group projects. I am also very excited about expanding my statistical toolkit through the BPH biostatistics curriculum.
I am also really looking forward to building a community at BPH. I love being surrounded by people who are passionate about actualizing change in the world—the collective energy at BPH inspires me to be a better student, researcher, and overall person.
What’s the first community involvement activity you want to be part of this fall?
Along with the other EHS representatives, I have been helping organize a picnic for the EHS students during the first week of classes. I am looking forward to reconnecting with my fellow second-years after the summer as well as meeting the incoming students.
Can you tell us about any research you’ll be conducting this year?
I have been conducting research with Dr. Justin Remais focusing on the environmental determinants of Valley fever in California. This year, I will be working on understanding the possible impacts of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and resulting land use change on the incidence of Valley fever in the San Joaquin Valley.
What has been your favorite class or professor so far?
So far, my favorite professor has been Corinne Riddell. I took both the introductory biostatistics course and Categorical Data Analysis with her and she made concepts in both classes very approachable and digestible. She adds levity to otherwise dense topics and is a wonderful professor overall.
What would you like to do with your degree after graduation?
I would like to continue my education and pursue a PhD after graduating. I really enjoy the research process and working collaboratively with others to answer unknowns. I also love teaching, and find engaging with other curious, growth-oriented students very rewarding.
How do you think UC Berkeley School of Public Health has set you up for success in your future career
I think the UC Berkeley BPH program has set me up for success very well. The program has a strong focus on building skills, whether that be through data analysis, study design, or literature review. I think I will come out of the program confident in my skill set and thoroughly prepared to excel in my future career. The program has also provided me with great opportunities to network with public health professionals in California, many of whom I can reach out to about questions, collaborations, or job opportunities.