Connect With Students
Get to know what other people are doing and learn from one another. Public health is such a small community that is continuing to grow and you just might miss an opportunity of connecting with a new life long friend or colleague.
Working with several FSPH departments and units, including the Office of Student Services; Career and Professional Development; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; and Development and Alumni Affairs, FSPH student ambassadors have a thorough understanding of the qualities of the school. Read more about the Ambassador Program, the current team, and how to apply below.
About the Program
The FSPH Ambassador Program was founded in 2017 with the goal of having a group of passionate, involved, and dedicated FSPH students represent the diversity and uniqueness of the school through collaboration with central administrative offices. These students bridge the gap between FSPH’s student body and staff/faculty. Ambassadors play a variety of important roles to assist the central administrative offices, but also have the responsibility of representing FSPH on student panels, at FSPH Open House and Admitted Students Day, and at miscellaneous receptions, workshops, and conferences. The ambassadors frequently plan and execute activities to support the FSPH community, such as social events, networking events, professional development opportunities, and community engagement opportunities. They also assist with the recruitment, retention, and continued mentorship of all FSPH students. Through their broad and diverse experiences, FSPH ambassadors play a vital role in creating a strong sense of community at FSPH.
Apply to be an Ambassador
The FSPH Office of Student Services recruits new ambassadors during Spring Quarter every academic year. The ambassador role is currently a nine-month paid position at 20% time (8 hours/week). Please contact Kaelyn Duke, student services advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the application process.
Meet the Student Ambassador Team
To get in touch with the student ambassador team, or to set up a peer-advising meeting, please email email@example.com.
Catherine Brandon (she/her/hers) | MPH Candidate, Epidemiology
Catherine “Cat” Brandon is a second-year MPH student in the Department of Epidemiology who received her BS in Global Disease Biology from UC Davis in 2020. During her time there, she volunteered with a student-run clinic for people experiencing homelessness in Sacramento, working closely with this population to provide medical care and social services. This experience solidified her interest in viewing clinical care from a more broad and holistic picture, recognizing the underlying causes of individuals’ ailments and the ways in which they can overlap. Brandon also gained experience with clinical research in the emergency department at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, and academic research at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego. Her goal is a career that allows her to work within the field of infectious diseases and preventive healthcare. Brandon joined the team as an ambassador as a first-year student, specializing in working with the admissions office and corresponding with prospective students about life at Fielding, UCLA, and Los Angeles. She continues to serve the FSPH community as the ambassador program coordinator.
Monica Alferez Merino (she/her/hers) | MPH Candidate, Health Policy and Management
Monica Alferez Merino is a first-year MPH student in the Department of Health Policy and Management who received her BS in Public Health with a minor in Science, Technology and Medicine Studies in 2020 from Cal State Los Angeles. During her time there, she volunteered with the Student Health Advisory Committee and was a certified peer health educator where she promoted and educated students on sexual health. This experience led her to recognize the great impact health education has on a community of people. It also sparked her interest in learning more about the implementation of health promotion in communities of color. Alferez Merino was part of the 2021 UCLA Public Health Scholars program cohort, solidifying her skills in research as she dedicated her time to promoting the importance of dismantling psychiatric incarceration and the effects these institutions have on communities of color. She had the opportunity to deliver a poster presentation at a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention virtual showcase. Alferez Merino aims to have a career in which she collaborates with community-based organizations; implements and evaluates culturally congruent healthcare programs; and establishes equitable community health resources in low-income immigrant communities of color. She joined the team as an FSPH Ambassador as a first-year MPH student, focusing on equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Andy Lau (he/his/him) | MPH Candidate, Environmental Health Sciences
Andy Lau is a first-year MPH student in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences who received his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from UC Irvine, where he applied his education toward his interest in a career in public health by identifying health concerns and advocating for better safety conditions. At UC Irvine, Lau was involved with a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving underprivileged communities in Southern California and abroad through mission trips, health fairs, sponsorship events, and medical grants. Post-graduation and prior to UCLA, he worked in an agency subcontracted with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to be a champion of youth in local communities affected by the e-cigarette epidemic by pushing for policies banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in the City of Los Angeles and Culver City. Lau’s work included leading coalitions to meet with community stakeholders and city councilmembers to educate and advocate for solutions to prevent the harms of those products. As an ambassador, he hopes to continue advocating for his peers and supporting an inclusive and empowering environment in the FSPH community.
Samira Singleton (she/her/hers) | MPH Candidate, Health Policy & Management
Samira Singleton is a second-year MPH student in the Department of Health Policy and Management. She is a former UC-LEND trainee whose graduate-level training focused on establishing and improving the health of infants, children, and adolescents who have, are diagnosed with, or are at risk of developing autism spectrum disorder or other neurodevelopment disabilities. Singleton and her UC-LEND team members completed a capstone that culminated in a panel discussion on the importance of increasing the priority of neurodiversity coursework at FSPH and focusing on additional available courses. Aside from relevant school research and being an FSPH ambassador, Singleton is currently Serving as FSPH Student Ambassador and chair of ASUCLA Board of Communications and Co-VP of Professional Development for UCLA FSPH Health Policy and Management Student Association. She strives to be a leader and representative for undergraduate and graduate students at UCLA. Singleton enjoys working alongside her fellow board members and constructing a powerful media production at UCLA.
Virginia Suarez (she/her/hers) | MPH Candidate, Community Health Sciences
Virginia Suarez is a first-year MPH student in the Department of Community Health Sciences who received her BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley in 2018. During her time there, she served as a bilingual patient advocate at a low-income community health center, assessing families for unmet social needs and referring them to community-based resources. In this role, she gained valuable experience that drove her to seek a more upstream approach to tackling inequities. After graduation, Suarez worked at the San Diego American Indian Health Center, conducting community-based participatory research around community needs and suicide prevention for Native youth. Most recently, she served as a research analyst at West Health, an applied medical research institute focused on improving care and lowering healthcare costs for older adults. There, she worked on two portfolios of projects related to improving the treatment of chronic conditions and implementing tele-health to increase access and equity for older adults. Suarez looks forward to furthering her education at FSPH and working toward her goal of implementing and evaluating public health programming at the community level.