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.
2020-2021 Planetary Health Student Ambassadors
Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning
Alana is an Environmental Policy and Planning Commission member, focusing on a sustainability career fair, webinars about sustainability efforts on campus, and a coalition of environmentally-focused campus groups. She is a Green Workplace Coordinator at the UC Davis Office of Sustainability, providing resources and guidance for labs and workplaces wishing to be certified as sustainable. Alana is also a researcher at the Arnold Lab, exploring fracking policy in the US. She is interested in the intersection between water politics and environmental justice in California.
Charles R. Drew University
Masters of Biomedical Science
Alexandra Blundell is pursuing a Master's in Biomedical Science. She has experienced the importance of global health initiatives through her previous work helping start a non-profit organization focused on increasing education/medical access to communities in the Dominican Republic. Alexandra has served as a veterinary intern on a wildlife reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Alexandra has experience working as a research assistant for a pediatric cardiology hospital in Bogotá, Colombia.
Allison's interests include sustainability, water resources, environmental injustice, community service locally and globally. As a freshman, Allison will soon be volunteering to mentor and teach local middle school students about water resources and sustainability with Water UC Irvine, as well as going on a virtual engineering brigade to Honduras to help the community develop a system to have reliable access to potable water. Previously, as a high schooler, Allison volunteered locally and abroad for the environment and cultural connections.
Charles R. Drew University
Masters of Biomedical Sciences
Austin is currently a Master of Biomedical Sciences student at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. He aspires to become a physician and assist in the fight against health disparities. In his free time he loves playing basketball and doing anything related to music.
UC Santa Barbara
Baljot is currently a senior at UC Santa Barbara studying Environmental Studies. She is interested in working with marginalized communities and making health care more accessible. She wishes to work in public health on a global scale to make sure all members of different communities have access to different resources to ensure they can lead healthy lifestyles.
UC San Francisco
Doctoral Studies in Sociology
Carmen is Vice President of Research & Strategy at National Birth Equity Collaborative, focusing on applications of Black feminist theory in health sciences research for Black families. She is a State Policy Fellow through the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, bringing a sociological perspective to health equity in policy. Carmen helps build capacity for community-based organizations through grant writing and partnerships through her own platform, TheHazelGreen.com.
Claudia Christine Avila
Doctoral Studies in Environmental Sciences
Claudia’s research is focused on recognizing the shifts in carbon dynamics of agricultural soils in the face of a changing climate and limited water resources. She is most interested in creating collaborative exchanges of knowledge between academics and local leaders to ensure that BIPOC communities aren’t burdened with a worsening environment. Claudia is also a part-time instructor at a local community college hoping to inspire students and reconnecting people with their environment.
Society and the Environment; focus on Justice and Sustainability
Cooper is highly interested in sustainable development and the equitable, efficient, and seamless transition into a flourishing green economy and global community. He studies the intersection of political, economic, sociocultural, and environmental factors and how complex and interconnected these spheres of society are. Cooper has worked with a startup company reviewing various products on their sustainability and the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), both of which have given me insight into the real-world field of sustainability and where interventions and improvements can be made.
UC Los Angeles
Masters of Public Health, Community Health Sciences
Delia's academic interests include the relationship of mental and physical health, chronic stress, and minority health issues. She hopes to explore ways of empowering global communities impacted by racism, immigration policies, and colonialism. Her previous experience managing program evaluations and data for mental health programs at a nonprofit further drove her interest in helping disadvantaged communities. Delia is passionate about a career in understanding the systemic barriers to health equity experienced by communities of color.
Doctoral Studies in Public Health, Disease Prevention
Erika’s research interests include mental health among the Khmer community, health disparities and health inequities among underserved populations. Her academic and cross-cultural experiences in research, volunteering abroad, and interning on a federal level solidified her passions in addressing societal health burdens through research, health education, program interventions, policy implementation, and community organization. Erika aspires to design, implement, and improve health programs and policies that leverage abilities of health research and education to improve minority health.
UC Los Angeles
Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology
Evelina is an international, pre-med, transfer student at UCLA. Her interests include sciences, health and social justice. She hopes to develop leadership and advocacy skills through undergrad to pursue a career in medicine with interest in reducing health disparities. In the past two years Evelina has had experience in community college student governance and hopes to expand the skills she learned there throughout her time at UCLA.
History, Middle East/South Asia Studies, Public Health Sciences
Jesse is a fourth-year History major at UC Davis. They want to pursue a career in science journalism, particularly in the interactions between humanity and developing technology. Jesse is also the Director for KDVS News, where he produces stories about everything from civil unrest in France to data privacy in the United States. Outside of that, Jesse enjoys photography, historical non-fiction, whittling, and putting himself in the middle of dangerous situations.
Doctoral Studies in Public Health, Disease Prevention
Kameko’s interests center on environmental justice and health equity considerations of environmental contexts, socioeconomic status, and rural communities. Specifically, she is interested in communities’ connections to natural resources and the impacts of structural factors on the creation and maintenance of (un)healthy systems. Kameko is currently assisting on several projects and working with groups including the OC Health Equity COVID-19 Community-Academic Partnership, the UCI Fresh Basic Needs Hub, and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Karah Nicole Pedregosa
Psychology and Social Behavior & Criminology, Law, and Society
Karah currently works for UCI’s Sustainability Resource Center teaching students about the intersection between social and environmental issues, and intend to bring these issues to light on a larger scale through UCGHI. She also is the Co-Community Development Director for SCPASA, the Southern California Pilipinx-American Student Alliance. Through this role, Karah aims to empower and uplift marginalized groups, including Asian American communities. She looks forward to combining my passions for community advocacy and environmental justice.
UC Los Angeles
Kelly's 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.
Molecular Environmental Biology
Kiran is actively practicing intersectionality within health by supporting people who have disproportionately affected by environmental racism. She is leading diversity and inclusion committee within student-run non-profit, The Suitcase Clinic. Kiran is interested in advocating for educational reform, decolonization of Western spaces, and the healing power of food and cooking.
UC Santa Cruz
Margot is a research assistant for the Primate Ecology & Molecular Anthropology Lab, coding videos from camera traps to study chimpanzees in the wild. She is also a research assistant for a professor writing a biography about a kickboxing champion. Her interests include promoting a love for nature in children, environmental justice, and public health. Margot has worked in Child Support Services for the City of Denver, Kids In Nature (a “nature club” for children), and as a camp counselor for multiple years.
Community and Regional Development and Public Health
Mariah is a First-Gen Filipinx student passionate about dismantling systems of oppression within the environmental movement and fostering an intersectional approach to environmentalism. She is Commissioner for ASUCD Student Sustainability Career Fair Committee where we work towards providing equitable access to sustainable career information; undergraduate researcher in the department of human ecology studying environmental justice communities; intern for UCD Arboretum GATEways Outreach Program. Mariah is the creator of @colorsofclimate on Instagram, a platform dedicated to intersectional environmentalism and climate and social justice.
Mariella is a third year UC Merced undergraduate pursuing a degree in Public Health and a minor in Psychology. She is currently an active member of Delta Epsilon Mu’s Theta Chapter, a pre-health professional co-ed fraternity on campus. She has previously interned with Penumbra Inc., a global healthcare company based in the Bay Area. Her interests include racial health equity and environmental racism. She hopes to pursue a career in public health policy, specifically advocating for the improvement of access to health for underrepresented communities.
UC Los Angeles
Masters of Public Health - Community Health Sciences
Before my MPH, Meredith spent 12 years as a nurse in the operating room. She is interested in global safe surgery and incorporating essential surgical services as part of primary care and universal health coverage. Through her field studies, Meredith has been able to research obstetric fistula recurrence in sub-Saharan Africa, work to expand implementation of an evaluation tool for CA sex ed standards and collaborate with colleagues in Kenya on a project concerning campus sexual assault.
Doctoral Studies in Global Health
Natasha is interested in public health responses to infectious disease outbreaks in low-resource settings, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. She hopes to research how local and international institutional responses to infectious disease outbreaks interact and influence health behavior, and whether such responses are sustainable and appropriate in the social context of the outbreak. Natasha's interests build off her masters in African Development from the London School of Economics where she researched the international response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.
UC Santa Cruz
Pearl Ibeanusi is an upperclassman at UC Santa Cruz majoring in Community Studies. She is the mother of six girls. She enjoys cooking, self-care, and living a health-conscious lifestyle. Her academic interests include health justice initiatives, social and economic justice, and women's health. Pearl was previously the President of the Skyline Community College Associated Student's whereby she strongly advocated for equity, inclusiveness and collaboration among my associated students. She also helped introduce measures to end students hunger and homelessness at Skyline College Community.
Interdisciplinary Studies and Global Public Health
Priyanka Athalye is a UC Berkeley senior majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies and concurrently completing a Global Public Health minor. At this time, she is working on an undergraduate research thesis focused on the relationship between sustainable development, population health, and global resilience capacity towards natural shocks. In the future, Priyanka hopes to have a career that uses human-centered design strategies to develop and implement sustainable public health interventions as well as inform health policy solutions.
Doctoral Studies, Environmental Science
Samiksha is a Fulbright scholar and is acquiring her PhD in Environmental Science at the University of California, Riverside. Her dissertation focuses on the fate and transport of microplastics in freshwater systems. Samiksha aims to inform policy change by developing innovative techniques for quantifying and identifying microplastics. Samiksha worked as a scientist at the Institute of Natural Resources, a non-profit company in South Africa, where she led environmental related projects before pursuing her PhD.
Sofia's dream is to share her knowledge and experiences with others and design programs that bring health equity and improve quality of life. She is interested in working with others to improve nutrition in low-income communities especially amongst immigrant pregnant women. In the future, Sofia is also interested in leading health workshops such as women's health, prenatal health, mental health and more.
UC Santa Cruz
Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics
Sruthi is interested in the intersection between medicine and engineering, which she is currently exploring as a URST Research Fellow at the Haussler-Salama Laboratory as part of the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute, working on the development of 3D printed biomaterial scaffolds to support the introduction of vasculature in cerebral cortex organoid models, in collaboration with UCSF Neurosurgery. She is passionate about serving and interacting with the community, particularly addressing areas of food security and housing, as a volunteer at the Cowell Coffee Shop for the Peoples and the Basic Needs Food Pantry. Sruthi serves as the Committee Head for Media and Graphics at Colleges Against Cancer at UCSC.
UC Santa Cruz
Vandana is working with Volunteers Around the World to provide individuals with access to medical treatment by running mobile clinics in under served-communities. She also is one of the UC campus representatives for, At Heart of Gold Campus Leadership, she assists in helping host screenings at different campuses. Vandana hopes to provide all social classes with proper medical treatment, especially women in under-served communities. She's seeking to get into a research laboratory regarding women's health.
Global Disease Biology
Vanshika is a Global Disease Biology major at UC Davis with an emphasis on public health, physiology, and economics. She serves as the One Health Committee Board Officer at Knights Landing One Health Center, a student-run clinic that provides free medical care to the migrant farming community of Knights Landing, CA. Vanshika is currently completing her research thesis on the social and political barriers to providing rural communities with essential mental healthcare access.
Master of Public Health - Epidemiology
Though she had formative experiences in Bayanihan Clinic and tobacco usage research, her passion for public health flourished in her opportunity with the UC Davis Health Promotion and Education department. Currently, she is working to create and facilitate the new Aggie Public Health Ambassador program in efforts to lessen the spread of COVID-19 in Davis. Zoe hopes to advocate for underserved populations and continue to learn about local communities and global health needs.