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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.


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.


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.


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

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



Working with several FSPH departments and units including the Central Student Affairs Office, 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:

Elizabeth Agredano (she, her, hers) | MS Candidate, Epidemiology

Elizabeth is a second-year graduate student pursuing an MS in Epidemiology. She received bachelor’s degrees in Geography and Geological Sciences from California State University, Fullerton. As a CSUF Urban Agriculture Community-based Research Experience Fellow, she designed focus groups to understand the perspectives of families experiencing homelessness regarding urban gardening to augment food security. At UCLA, she is pursuing training in environmental epidemiology, maternal-child health, and systems theory applications in public health. As a Child and Family Health Leadership Training Fellow, she interned at Olive View Medical Center, where she asset mapped sexual and reproductive health services available to foster youth during the coronavirus pandemic and performed a geospatial analysis of sexual and reproductive health “deserts.” Having served on the UCLA Public Health Student Association Survey Committee, she hopes to incorporate themes gleaned from student responses towards career and professional services that meet student needs and an FSPH that encourages belonging, upholds strengths in differences, and promotes equity.


Amy Bui (she, her, hers) | MPH Candidate, Community Health Sciences

Amy is a second year graduate student pursuing an MPH in the Community Health Sciences Department. Prior to coming to UCLA, she received her bachelor’s degree in Public Health, focusing on health care administration. She also worked on process improvement and research projects with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She also has had a unique experience working closely with faculty and coordinating faculty searches while she worked in a large academic health care organization. For her MPH fieldwork, Amy interned at the UCLA Semel Institute, Prevention Center of Excellence as a Program Evaluation Consultant. She identified areas for quality improvement across the Center’s Online Learning Management System and analyzed course data to inform future curriculum development/training. As an FSPH ambassador, Amy hopes to foster a greater sense of community and inclusivity within FSPH by helping promote interdepartmental collaborations.



Lorena Espinoza (she, her, hers) | MPH Candidate, Health Policy and Management

Lorena is a first year MPH student in the Health Policy and Management department. She received her BS in Nutrition from San Diego State University in 2019. Prior to starting at UCLA, she worked doing community outreach for a local FQHC's Mobile Dental department, actively reducing the incidence of oral health disease in children and pregnant women. She has also worked as a research assistant on various related projects,  and completed an internship with Feeding America. Upon graduation, she hopes to work in the policy and advocacy space, with a particular interest in assuring equitable access to healthcare for Latin-American migrants and the elderly. While at UCLA, she has actively worked to represent FSPH students, serving as the Treasurer for the Public Health Student Association. As an FSPH Ambassador, she works to improve FSPH student-alumni relations, as well as actively playing a role in undergraduate recruiting, assuring that FSPH upholds its standards of diversity in future cohorts



Lucia Garcia (she, her, hers) | MPH Candidate, Health Policy and Management

Lucy was born and raised in Chandler, Arizona, and received her B.S. in Public Health from Arizona State University. Her previous work experience includes interning at WIC and Phoenix Children's Hospital as a Corporate Wellness Intern. This past year at UCLA, Lucy worked as Financial Wellness Consultant with the Financial Wellness Program and the Graduate Student Resource Center to support financial literacy education for students on campus. She is excited to continue to empower students to become more confident in their finances through having open and honest conversations around navigating the intricacies of money and social class identity. For her summer internship, she worked at the Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center focusing her efforts on initiatives and projects relating to population care management and disease prevention within primary care. She is overjoyed to be an Ambassador and excited to share her experiences with fellow students to help cultivate an inclusive community within the school!



Cynthia Hou (she, her, hers) |PhD Student, Health Policy and Management
FSPH Ambassador Co-Coordinator

Cynthia is a second-year graduate student in the Health Policy and Management department. Prior to coming to UCLA, she completed her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Psychology at Wellesley College. After graduating, she spent time working in a hospital pathology department and a cancer diagnostics company. This past summer, she worked as a facilitator for the COVID-19 Virtual Training Academy to train contact tracers for the state of California. Her research interests include investigating the role of diet on chronic disease and how food policies affect consumers, particularly those from low-income communities. As an FSPH Ambassador co-coordinator, Cynthia hopes to promote a supportive environment for students and encourage more cross-departmental collaboration between both students and faculty. She believes that bringing together people from diverse backgrounds can lead to some of the most effective ways of resolving issues in public health.



Ingrid Otto (she, her, hers) | MPH Candidate, Environmental Health Sciences

Ingrid will begin her second-year as an MPH student in the Environmental Health Sciences department with an emphasis in Industrial Hygiene. She received her bachelor’s degree in public health from UC Merced in 2019. Prior to beginning her program at FSPH, she interned at the Merced County Health Department which accelerated her interest in the preventative aspect of health. Ingrid is currently completing her fieldwork as an Industrial Hygiene intern at the Marathon Petroleum Refinery in Los Angeles. She is on the Occupational and Environmental Hygiene team which focuses on protecting the health and wellbeing of employees and the surrounding public from workplace hazards. She is primarily interested in environmental occupational health and environmental sustainability in industrial settings. As an ambassador, Ingrid looks forward to facilitating meaningful interactions within FSPH 1st years, 2nd years, and staff, while contributing to the development of a more inclusive community.



Paulina Sepulveda (she, her, hers) | MPH Candidate, Health Policy and Management
FSPH Ambassador Co-Coordinator

Paulina is a second-year MPH candidate in the Health Policy and Management department. She received her B.A. in International Development Studies and Spanish from UCLA in 2016. Prior to entering Fielding, Paulina worked as a Mental Health Outreach Specialist for a non-profit in the Greater Los Angeles area. In her role she promoted mental health awareness by providing presentations and workshops in communities within the San Gabriel Valley. For her summer field placement Paulina interned at Optum where she worked on operation improvement projects. In her role as FSPH Ambassador Paulina hopes to work with Career Services to improve exposure to various sectors within healthcare for students, help students accomplish their post-graduation career goals, and build a strong sense of community within the Fielding School of Public Health.  



Janice Seto (she, her, hers) | MPH Candidate, Community Health Sciences

Janice is a second-year graduate student in the Community Health Sciences department. She received her bachelor's degree in Public Health Policy from UCI. In her MPH summer fieldwork, Janice worked at Los Angeles Walks and helped create a promotora program training residents of Wilmington and San Pedro to become advocates for their community and learn about the interactions between the environment and their health. Janice used her public health training to create an intersectional program focused on community organizing, civic government, and improving health. She is also assisting Dr. Scarlett Lin Gomez at UCSF on a study identifying risk factors and reasons for increasing incidence rates of lung cancer among female Asian American never smokers. As an FSPH Ambassador, she hopes to help foster community and communication between students, faculty, and staff at FSPH, as well as within the greater UCLA community. In addition, she would like to support opportunities for inclusive spaces that allow the many different backgrounds of the FSPH to come together and work collectively towards improving the field of public health.


Becca Woofter (she, her, hers) | PhD Student, Community Health Sciences

Becca is a second-year doctoral student in the Community Health Sciences department. She studied history and political science at Emory University before obtaining an MPH in epidemiology and biostatistics from Washington University in St. Louis. She is the chair of the Public Health Student Association Survey Committee, the Research Co-Coordinator for the Maternal and Child Health Interest Group, and a Child and Family Health Leadership Fellow. In summer 2020, she began working as a Facilitator with the COVID-19 Virtual Training Academy for Contact Tracers and Case Investigators in California. Her research interests include reproductive health, gender-based violence, health equity, and immigrant health. Originally from North Carolina, Becca spends her free time with her dog exploring Los Angeles coffee shops and hiking spots. As an FSPH Ambassador, she hopes to cultivate a more collaborative environment for doctoral students and to assist with implementation of student feedback throughout FSPH to create a more inclusive and equitable learning community.


Joseph Zoller (he, him, his) |PhD Candidate, Biostatistics

Joseph is a second-year graduate student pursuing a PhD in Biostatistics. Prior to attending UCLA, he received a bachelor's and a master's degree in Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University and decided to use his background to pursue an applied field at the crossroads of public health and math. This past school year, Joseph was a TA for Biostats 100A, 100B, and PH 495. As a TA, he took initiative by using his experience as an EXCEL leader at CMU to facilitate collaborative learning amongst his students. During his time as a TA for PH 495, Joseph worked with Dr. Liz Yzquierdo to make sure collaborative learning was a part of the curriculum, so that future TAs would have the tools to promote active learning in their students. In his second year, Joseph is assisting Dr. Steve Horvath in his research on building epigenetic clocks to predict age in various mammalian species. As an FSPH ambassador, he hopes to bridge the gap between Biostatistics and the other departments, both inside and outside the classroom.