COE Student Ambassadors

The Planetary Health Student Ambassador Program is an opportunity for students who are dedicated to becoming leaders in planetary health and sustainable development. Ambassadors develop, organize and promote planetary health activities on their campuses and across UC to expand knowledge of planetary health issues, mobilize student, faculty and staff involvement in COE initiatives and catalyze critical change.

2021-2022 Planetary Health Student Ambassadors

Alex Maldonado

Alex Maldonado UC Santa Barbara

Alex is primarily interested in how immigration and identity interplay with individuals' and communities' health. Her research has explored environmental justice and intersectionality among immigrant Asian and Latinx communities in the U.S. using quantitative methods. She has also worked on community-based participatory research (CBPR) with the Santa Maria, CA chapter of the NAACP. Currently, Alex is working on a CBPR project that centers migrant and Indigenous women's pregnancy health in San Maria.

Alma Rincongallardo

Alma Rincongallardo UC Los Angeles
Human Biology and Society and Global Health

Alma is a UCLA undergraduate studying Human Biology and Society and minoring in Global Health. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, she is passionate about addressing health inequites among vulnerable populations, such as immigrants and those affected by social, environmental, and economic factors. She is currently involved with UCLA’s Mobile Clinic Project and Refugee Health Alliance. In the future she hopes to help develop informed health policies and provide equitable healthcare access for underserved communities.

Alyssa Mandujano

Alyssa Mandujano UC Santa Barbara
Global Studies

Alyssa is a third-year UC Santa Barbara student currently studying abroad in Barbados. And pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Global Studies, with a minor in Poverty, Inequality, and Social Justice. She intends to receive a master’s degree in Public Health and eventually work within the non-profit global health field.

Amanda Caswell

Amanda Caswell UC Los Angeles
Urban and Regional Planning

Amanda is pursuing a Master of Urban and Regional Planning at UCLA with a concentration in Regional and International Development. Her studies focus on fostering communities with symbiotic natural and built systems that protect public health and build resilience. As a Student Board Member for the UCLA Luskin Institute of Inequality and Democracy, Amanda is exploring the intersection of equitable climate adaptation strategies, environmental and climate justice, and public health in frontline communities.

Andrew Tseng

Andrew Tseng UC Riverside
Biology and Environmental Science

Andrew is a third year at UC Riverside pursuing a degree in Biology and a minor in Environmental Science. His interests lie in the intersection between the environment and health and how a changing a environment can affect health disparities. In pursuit of his interests, Andrew is currently a research assistant working on an ecological remediation project to identify and study potential species with remeditative properties.

Ashley Lopez

Ashley Lopez UC Los Angeles
Public Health and Community Health Sciences

Ashley has worked in education and previously taught English to Myanmar refugees during a study abroad trip to Thailand. Her academic interests are sexual and reproductive health and justice, violence prevention programs in relation to SRHR, abortion access and plans to earn a trauma informed yoga certification and incorporate yoga into her public health work.

Ashley Willis

Ashley Willis UC Santa Barbara
Biological Anthropology and Sociology

Ashley is a research assistant in the Paleo-Biogeochemistry Research Group, exploring the unintended consequences of under researched at-home remedies for illness popularized by the COVID-19 pandemic. She is interested in syndemic theory application to crises involving the interaction of chronic and communicable disease epidemiology and public health policy. She is passionate about supporting accessibility initiatives in both real-world applications and emerging technological developments.

Bethlehem Fekadu Messele

Bethlehem Fekadu Messele UC Santa Cruz

Bethlehem is currently a freshman at UCSC where she is interested in investigating how politics and policies affect the health of citizens. She is drawn to the study of planetary health because of its holistic nature. She intends to advocate for a more just world through a future career in research and medicine that will help underserved communities in the U.S. and developing countries like Ethiopia, where she was born.

Collette Kirkpatrick

Collette Kirkpatrick UC San Diego
Global Health and Communication

Collette is passionate about the intersection of environmental health and women's health equity. She recently worked on a systematic review that analyzes the intersection between WaSH and gender equality. Her area of focus within the systematic review included walking time and access to clean drinking water. She has also gathered ethnographic data at the Madre Asunta shelter related to the experiences of asylum-seeking women and children.

Elleora Svoboda

Elleora SvobodaUC Berkeley
Molecular Environmental Biology, Environmental Economics and Policy and Chicanx Studies

Elleora Svoboda is a senior at UC Berkeley with passion for environmental justice and law. She is President of the Latinx Pre-Law Society and Academic Lead of Latinx & the Environment. She currently holds a $2,000 research grant position with the National Institute for Research on Labor and employment investigating the occupational hazards and pesticide exposure Latinx farm workers face in the agricultural industry.

Emily Godina

Emily Godina UC Riverside
Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology

Emily is interested in public health and epidemiology, specifically how infectious diseases and environmental contaminants impacts health within different communities. She is currently an intern for Beach Cities Health District, the vice-president of operations for Delta Epsilon Mu’s Alpha Theta Chapter (pre-health co-ed fraternity), and a peer health educator for Golden ARCHES at UCR. Emily hopes her future research will assist in improving people’s quality of life.

Emily Nguyen

Emily Nguyen UC Irvine
Public Health Sciences

Emily is involved in ASUCI as the Food Security Commissioner and part of the SAGE scholars program. She is passionate about addressing and improving access to student basic needs on campus as well as serving the community.

Guadalupe Gonzalez

Guadalupe GonzalezUC Los Angeles
Labor Studies

Guadalupe grew up in an underserved community affected by warehouse pollution and related health issues. She aspires to serve her community by becoming a physician assistant and is passionate about creating a more equitable healthcare system. She is the founder of Lifestyle Medicine Club at UCLA, a research associate with CTSI-RAP, a medical volunteer at Lestonnac Free Clinic and a student worker with the UCLA Institute of Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE).

Hannah El-Sabrout

Hannah El-Sabrout  UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco
Medicine & Health and Medical Science

Hannah strives to amplify the voices and experiences of vulnerable communities to help ensure that they receive the attention and care they need. As an undergraduate, she taught CPR and first aid, served on the American Heart Association advocacy subcommittee, tutored and mentored at-risk youth, and helped connect patients with free and low-cost social resources. She is currently working with the UCSF Human Rights Collaborative to assist asylum seekers with the asylum process.

Isabella Perez

Isabella Perez UC Santa Barbara

Isabella aims to work as a doctor in low-income countries and advocate for women's rights as well as animal protection. She enjoys microbiology and chemistry, with a special interest in immunology.

Kelly Song

Kelly SongUC Los Angeles

Kelly is one of two Student Assistants in the UCGHI Ambassador Program. Her interests include disparities in healthcare, environmental justice, and sustainability. She is planning to pursue a MPH in the future. Kelly hopes to go into a career in public/global health where she can address the relationship between health disparities, environmental degradation, and social and economic factors.

Kimberly Uehisa

Kimberly Uehisa Charles Drew University
Biomedical Science

Kimberly Uehisa is from Honolulu, Hawaii. She is pursuing a master’s degree in Biomedical Science at CDU. At UCLA she co-founded the Early Cardiovascular Health SMS program, a platform to deliver heart health education. Kimberly’s passion for health education and community service guides her aspirations to not only pursue medicine, but also to help develop innovative and accessible tools for improving cardiovascular health in underserved minority populations.

Lyzette Perez

Lyzette Perez UC Davis
Psychology and Global Disease Biology

Lyzette was a board member of various organizations including The Associated Student Organization, Alpha Gamma Sigma, Psi Delta Epsilon, and Rotaract South Bay. She is currently a student manager for Aggie Compass: A Basic Needs Center where she helps mitigate the effects of food and housing insecurity on students while changing policy, systems, and the environment. Her dream is to pursue a career in public health, specifically advocating for the improvement of healthcare for underrepresented communities.

Maia Tarnas

Maia Tarnas UC Irvine
Public Health and Global Health

Maia’s interests center on the effects of conflict on health. Her work focuses on conflicts in the Middle East and explores infectious diseases, weaponization of health, and epidemiological trends. She previously coordinated a statewide tuberculosis medication access program and conducted research with the Tufts Initiative for the Forecasting and Modeling of Infectious Diseases and with the International Society for Infectious Diseases. She earned her BA from Tufts University in Community Health and Middle Eastern Studies.

Martina Sexton

Martina Sexton UC Berkeley
Conservation and Resource Studies

Marina is a third-year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, majoring in Conservation and Resource Studies. She is committed to learning about how humans can make the least impact on the natural world, and what it means to live in harmony with plants and animals. She is an activist for social justice and environmental sustainability.

Michelle Bakin

Michelle Bakin UC Santa Cruz
Human Biology

Michelle is passionate about health and environmental justice globally and understanding the geopolitics that affects it. At UCSC, she assists an organization that aims to shelter houseless students, researches toxic metals in fresh water, and leads a Model UN team. She is interested in dedicating her career to eliminating health disparities and creating a more equitable world.

Natalie Aguilar

Natalie Aguilar UC Davis
Environmental Policy and Spanish

Is a First-Gen student and UC Davis Climate Reality Campus Corps co-Chair, Aggie Jumpstart student representative with experience as a SD 350 Young Adult volunteer, Universidad Popular Vaccine Site translator, preschool teacher, and ECOLIFE Conservation Aquaponics Technician volunteer. One day she hopes to strategically support sustainable agriculture small businesses while shaping environmental policy and developing strategies for binational climate adaptation strategies. She is excited to explore research and community outreach with the UCGHI Student Ambassadorship program!

Natasha Glendening

Natasha GlendeningUC Irvine
Global Health

Natasha is interested in infectious disease epidemiology as well as the dynamics of, and social responses to, disease outbreaks. Natasha researches the application of epidemiology under a One Health perspective in resource limited settings, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, and utilizes spatial analysis and GIS mapping software in her research. She is currently researching the impact of pioneer migration to a new mining site in Ethiopia, on epidemiology, demography and the environment.

Vandana Teki

Vandana Teki  UC Santa Cruz
Human Biology

Vandana is working towards bringing sustainability to aquaculture. She intends to improve aquaculture health a huge role in global health. As a research intern for the Kapuscinski-Sarker Lab, she works towards generating an eco-friendly fish feed offering higher nutritional value for the fish without making high impacts on the environment. In addition, she has helped set up a medical camps in rural South America providing free medical care to those in need.

Zuama Zaidi

Zuama Zaidi UC San Diego
Human Developmental Sciences (Specialization in Equity & Diversity) and Global Health

Zuama is a second-year student pursuing a career as a physician. She is passionate about encouraging better communication on global health related topics, such as health equity or the climate crisis. She volunteers as a Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line, which aims to assist individuals facing mental health crises, and volunteers at the Triton Food Pantry, which serves to fight food insecurity at UCSD. As a student ambassador, Zuama hopes to utlize anti-racist methods of addressing global health issues and encourage stronger communication surrounding these challenges.