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UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Graduate Student Alyssa Arbolante Named Lester Breslow Award Fellow

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Graduate Alyssa Arbolante (MPH, '22) Named a Lester Breslow Impact Award Fellow

Thursday, June 9, 2022

A new graduate of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health has been recognized for her work in communications related to the health sciences at the school, ranked as among the Top 10 public health graduate schools in the United States.

Alyssa Arbolante, who graduated with an MPH in the Fielding School’s Department of Community Health Sciences this month, was named a Lester Breslow Impact Award Fellow at the school’s 2022 Student Academic Honors and Awards Ceremony. The award, which includes a stipend, stems from her achievements in the MPH program, including her work studying the question of racism as a public health issue.

“To this day we live in a time where the color of your skin is intrinsically linked to the challenges you face just to live a good, healthy life,” Arbolante said. “These are social determinants of health that have serious consequences on both physical and mental health. As public health leaders, we have a job to fill.”

Arbolante, whose hometown is Sylmar, graduated from UCLA (BA in Linguistics) in 2020. At UCLA, she has served as a teaching and research assistant and been active in Students of Color for Public Health, the Mobile Clinic Project, and other activities, including her award-winning animated short “Racism is a Public Health Crisis.” She has worked at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

“Alyssa becomes a double Bruin this week, adding an MPH in Community Health Sciences to her UCLA undergraduate degree in linguistics and Spanish with a minor in global health,” said Dr. Julienne Jose-Chen, the Fielding School’s assistant dean for student services. “It’s this commitment to academic excellence, while communicating why and how public health is a field which has an impact on seemingly intractable problems facing society, which led the evaluators to name her a public health impact fellow.”

The Breslow Award Fellow is among several student honors presented by the Fielding School to honor Dr. Lester Breslow, a former dean of the Fielding School and among the first public health experts to quantify the health benefits, risks, and associations with life expectancy of exercise, diet, sleep, and smoking. Breslow’s achievement are honored by the Distinguished Lecture series and the Lester Breslow Student Fellowship Fund; his widow, Devra Breslow, attended this year’s event.