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Why FSPH & Student Perspectives

Founded in 1961, the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health aims to build health and equity, and to drive positive change for all people. We act on this mission through initiatives in three core areas: education, discovery and service. In each of these realms, we affirm our commitment to developing leaders and evidence-based solutions, and to working in partnership with communities to promote health and well-being in ways that are innovative, respectful and inclusive.

EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS


The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health — ranked a top ten school of public health by U.S. News & World Report — is home to one of the brightest and most diverse public health student bodies in the United States, with students hailing from 26 countries. The Fielding School of Public Health has five academic departments - BiostatisticsCommunity Health SciencesEnvironmental Health SciencesEpidemiology and Health Policy and Management - and offers four degree types: MPH, MHA, MS and PhD. Additionally, concurrent and articulated degrees and certificates enable students to gain specialized knowledge in areas such as global health, population and reproductive health, environmental health, and health care management and leadership. Our students also have access to a wide range of local and global hands-on training opportunities that provide the skills needed to move public health evidence to action.

WORLD-RENOWNED FACULTY


Fielding School faculty are leading efforts that improve people’s lives in Los Angeles and around the world. From addressing COVID-19 and tackling longstanding health inequities, to climate change, cancer care, and protecting people from food and occupational hazards, FSPH faculty work on the front lines of change. Our research centers lead innovative efforts in infectious diseases, environmental genomics, health policy, climate change, human nutrition, global and immigrant health, health equity, social policy, population and reproductive health, and more. The school also has 19 Memoranda of Understanding with institutions in countries that include Cambodia, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Germany, Mexico and the Philippines. And multidisciplinary collaboration is encouraged and enhanced by FSPH’s presence on UCLA’s unified campus — the schools of medicine, law, nursing, management, public policy, dentistry, engineering and more are all located on the Westwood campus of UCLA, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the number 1 public university in the country.

WHY LOS ANGELES


Los Angeles (L.A.) is a unique setting to address public health challenges confronting our global community. L.A. County has the largest population of any county in the United States and is one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. Its nearly 10 million residents represent more than 140 cultures and speak an estimated 224 languages. With an average of 292 sunny days per year and UCLA’s location five miles from world-famous Santa Monica beach, which includes access to a 22-mile-long path for bicycling, skating, jogging and walking, L.A. has much to offer in the way of a healthy and happy lifestyle. Home to the largest city park in the country, countless hiking trails and some of the nation’s best museums, music and farmers markets, Los Angeles is internationally recognized as one of the most livable cities in the world.

Dr. Ron Brookmeyer serves as dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health which is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. To obtain copies of the Fielding School's most recent self-study and/or accreditation report, please email Yifang Zhu, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, at yifang@ucla.edu.

For a PDF of information about the Fielding School, please see our Fielding School Fact Sheet.

 


STUDENT AMBASSADORS: WHY I CHOSE FSPH

Working with several FSPH departments and units including the Central Office of Student Services, Career and Professional Development and Development and Alumni Affairs, FSPH Ambassadors have a thorough understanding of the qualities of our school. Read more about the ambassadors’ specialty areas, and why they chose FSPH below.

The FSPH Office of Student Services (OSS) is recruiting passionate and dedicated UCLA students to join the FSPH Ambassador Program for the 2022-23 academic year. Through their broad and diverse experiences, FSPH Ambassadors play a major role in creating a strong sense of community at FSPH. OSS is hiring for two 10-month, paid positions at 25% time (10 hrs/week):

  • FSPH Ambassador (undergraduate and graduate positions available)
  • Ambassador Program Coordinator (graduate positions available only)

Applications close June 3rd at 9:00AM PST.   

APPLY

Please contact Kaelyn Duke, Student Affairs Officer, at kcduke@ph.ucla.edu with any questions regarding the application process.

Catherine Brandon (she, her, hers) | MPH Candidate, Epidemiology

 

Catherine is a first-year M.P.H. student in the Epidemiology Department. Cat received her B.S. at the University of California, Davis in Global Disease Biology in 2020. During her time at UC Davis, she volunteered with a student-run clinic for folks 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, to recognize the greater causes of individuals' ailments and the ways in which they may overlap. Cat also has 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. It is her goal to have a career that allows her to work with health education programs within the field of preventative medicine. As an Ambassador, Cat works with the admissions office, corresponding with prospective students about life here at Fielding, UCLA, and Los Angeles. Contact Catherine with questions about the application process or student life!

 

Monica Alferez Merino (she, her, hers) | MPH Candidate, Community Health Sciences

 

Monica Alferez Merino is a first-year MPH student in the Department of Community Health Sciences 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, him, his) | 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 and 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 vice-chair of the FSPH Student Ambassadors Program Communications Board and the chair of its Operations Committee. 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.