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Why UCLA FSPH

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 Fielding School is home to one of the brightest and most diverse public health student bodies in the United States, with students hailing from 27 countries. FSPH has five academic departments  — BiostatisticsCommunity Health SciencesEnvironmental Health SciencesEpidemiology, and Health Policy and Management — and offers three degree types: MPH, 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 preventing millions of HIV infections, improving response to Ebola and boosting HPV vaccine uptake to establishing healthy lifestyle choices, addressing cancer care and protecting people from food and occupational hazards, FSPH faculty work on the front lines of change. FSPH’s research centers lead innovative efforts in environmental genomics, health policy, global infectious diseases, human nutrition, global and immigrant health, health equity, global 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, business, dentistry, engineering and more are all located on the Westwood campus of UCLA, recently named the No. 1 public university in the United States. Additionally, UCLA ranked ninth in the world in research and teaching according to the most recent Times Higher Education World (University) Reputation Rankings.

LOS ANGELES


Los Angeles 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 Interim 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 FSPH Fact Sheet.

 


STUDENT AMBASSADORS: WHY I CHOSE FSPH

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:

Chad Pickering, MS Candidate | Biostatistics

Chad is a second-year Master’s student in the Biostatistics program at FSPH. He received his B.S. in Statistics with a minor in Computer Science at UC Davis in 2017. During his undergraduate program, he was a research assistant in the Carvajal-Carmona Lab at the Genome and Biomedical Sciences Facility primarily working with genome-wide thyroid cancer data. He is currently a graduate student researcher at the California Center for Population Research, where he analyzes survey data quantifying health disparities among LGBT individuals in the military in a study funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, among other projects. On the side, Chad enjoys hiking in the Sierra Nevadas with friends and family, immersing himself in political science and election-related data, and working on writing his first book.

 


Why FSPH?
 "FSPH is located in one of the most vibrant and diverse communities in the country, presenting the perfect opportunity to learn from other public health scholars with different backgrounds and perspectives. The curriculum of the Biostatistics M.S. program is balanced and comprehensive, allowing students to develop long-standing interests while discovering and cultivating new ones all under the care of well-renowned faculty."

Kyra Huete, MPH/MSW Candidate | Community Health Sciences

Kyra Huete

Kyra is a second-year in the dual-degree program in Social Work and Public Health in Community Health Sciences. She received her B.A. in Psychology and English from UCLA. Prior to starting the UCLA graduate program, Kyra provided social services support to the Los Angeles reentry and diversion population as a Case Manager for Project 180; in the same year, Kyra was selected as a Real Change Fellow for RESULTS, an organization committed to ending poverty. As a current Population Health Advocacy Fellow, Kyra is working with the Urban Peace Institute to strategize and implement violence prevention and intervention programs. As a side passion, Kyra enjoys creative writing and performance, as a poet and playwright whose work has been featured at UCLA’s Night of Cultura and the Playwright’s Nest Fest at the Los Angeles Theater Center.

 


Why FSPH? “My choice to come to UCLA for graduate school is rooted in many factors, the most prominent of which are 1) the proximity and involvement this program allows me to have with my Los Angeles community, and 2) my desire to acquire a knowledge base and skill set within the joint MSW/MPH degree program.”

Cristina Valadez, MPH Candidate | Environmental Health Sciences

Cristina is a 2nd year graduate student pursuing an MPH in Environmental Health Sciences as well as the following two Certificates: Leaders in Sustainability and Food Studies. As a UCLA Health Advocacy Fellow, she was placed with Los Angeles Walks to help train and mobilize those in the city who are most impacted by road traffic violence and dangerous built environments. This past school year, as a member of Students of Color for Public Health she helped organize a panel for National Public Health Week, and as a member of the Built Environment for Public Health Council, she assisted with their annual alumni panel and networking event. This year as Co-President, of Built Environment for Public Health Council and as a FSPH ambassador, she is focused helping to foster a more interconnected campus community that would build interdisciplinary relationships among students studying in different schools and departments.

Why FSPH? "I wanted the opportunity to pursue classes outside of Fielding and the program gives you that freedom. Having access to top thought leaders outside of the field of health allows me to create a interdisciplinary lens to my education that strengthens my knowledge of the different interrelated systems that impact health outcomes."

Henar Abdelmonem, MPH Student | Community Health Sciences

Henar is a first-year graduate student in the Community Health Sciences department. She received her bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and Society from UCLA in 2017. While at UCLA, she interned at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, working on the Healthy Aging Partnerships in Prevention Initiative (HAPPI) Project, where she helped evaluate programs aimed to improve healthcare access among African- and Latin-American communities throughout South East Los Angeles. She then interned at Kaiser Permanente, where she helped develop the “Project Pocketalker” campaign, dedicated to promoting awareness of a hearing assistance device in improving physician-patient relationships among hearing-impaired populations.

 

 

Why FSPH? "UCLA FSPH places emphasis on social justice, diversity and leadership in healthcare management, and offers a unique program that aligns with my interest in examining social determinants of health and working with low-income minority communities."

Jay Donoghue, MPH Candidate | Epidemiology

Jay is a second-year graduate student seeking an MPH in Epidemiology. Prior to the start of this academic year, Jay spent the summer as an intern in the Health Policy office for the Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions. As an intern, he aided in preparation and creation of various pieces of legislation addressing public health concerns, such as: the Action for Dental Health Act of 2018 (S.3016); the Sickle Cell Disease Research, Surveillance, Prevention, and Treatment Act of 2018 (S.2465); the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (S.2076); and the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 (S.2680). Additionally, he drafted research documents concerning health care cost reduction; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services payment controversy; NIH research and peer review practices; health care cybersecurity; advances and upcoming changes to health care landscape via telehealth; FDA third party review for medical devices; and continuous pulse oximetry as it relates to opioid use and overdose. Currently, Jay is working in his second quarter as a continuing Teaching Assistant for an upper level undergraduate life sciences laboratory course while pursuing his studies. As a new FSPH Ambassador, Jay represents the Epidemiology department with hopes of improving opportunity for supplemental educational resources to first-year EPI students and attempting to streamline the internship process for first-year FSPH students.

Why FSPH? "I chose FSPH to take hold of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from world leaders in public health thought, research, and intervention so I can affect change in any way possible, be it the biggest of big or smallest of small."

Nathaly J. Aquino, MS Candidate | Environmental Health Sciences

Nathaly is a second-year graduate pursuing a degree of MS in Industrial Hygiene at UCLA. She is currently working on her thesis in the Nursing Department where Nathaly is studying impacts of eating behavior, occupation, and the male reproductive system. Apart from working on her thesis she also works as a QA/QC Manager for a beverage manufacturing company. As a QA/QC Manager, she is in charge of the food safety and compliance program to help protect the consumer from any food borne illness. She is currently serving as the FSPH Ambassador, hoping to create, maintain, and plan programs with the Alumni and Career Service centers. Nathaly is also a part of the Environmental Health Science Student Association, serving as the Alumni Chair. Nathaly is a firm believer of networking, because you may never know who may be your next connection to your next opportunity.

 

Why FSPH? "I decided to join the FSPH program because I wanted to utilize my love of physiology in the community. My choice of Industrial Hygiene was a perfect program, where I gets to learn about physiological impacts workers endure in their workplace. The program has taught me how different agents can and will affect workers."

Victoria Lloyd, MPH/MSW Candidate | Community Health Sciences

Victoria is a second-year graduate student pursuing dual degrees of MPH in Community Health Sciences and MSW in Maternal and Child Wellbeing at UCLA. For her MPH fieldwork project, Victoria was a Population Health Advocacy fellow, in which she worked with The L.A. Trust for Children's Health to implement the Champions for Change Health Education, supported the implementation of LAUSD’s Blueprint for Wellness, and organized legislative visits with L.A. County congress members. This past school year she served on the FSPH Diversity Committee and the Students of Color for Public Health, in addition to serving as a graduate student researcher for the 2018 UCLA Public Health Training Program. Currently, in her MSW program, she works as a School Social Worker at SBWIB YouthBuild Charter School. In her spare time, she volunteers for Reading Partners, where she provides reading comprehension support at Carthy Center Elementary School. As an FSPH Ambassador, she will focus on student health and wellbeing and First Generation initiatives, and she looks forward to fostering a culture of inclusion, support, and meaningful engagement among the FSPH community.

Why FSPH? "Here at FSPH, I have been encouraged and challenged to be the best version of myself as a health professional. I have gravitated towards the support of faculty, the opportunities to develop and apply practical skills, and the emphasis on collaboration and multidisciplinary problem-solving."

Kyra Huete, MPH/MSW Candidate | Community Health Sciences

Kyra is a 3rd year graduate student pursuing dual-degrees of MPH in Community Health Sciences and MSW in Maternal and Child Wellbeing at UCLA. For her MPH fieldwork project, Kyra was a Population Health Advocacy Fellow, in which she worked with Urban Peace Institute to input a public health lens and adapt it to their violence reduction efforts alongside various stakeholders. This past school year, she was an FSPH Ambassador, collaborating with the Central Student Affairs Office, Career Services and the Development Office to represent FSPH in various capacities to facilitate the building of stronger community ties within the school. Concurrently in her MSW program, she worked as a School Social Worker as part of a partnership between Family Service of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. In her final year of graduate school, she is interning as a Children’s Social Worker for the Department of Child and Family Services. She also currently serves as the FSPH Ambassador Coordinator, as a support for Student Ambassadors to create an empathic and inclusive community that meets the personal and professional growth needs of diverse public health practitioners.

Why FSPH? "The Fielding School of Public Health has instilled in me the value of using critical theories and praxis to promote health equity and a health-in-all policies approach. I aspire to pursue my career with an interdisciplinary focus as I move forward as a social worker and public health practitioner."

Selene Mak, PhD Candidate | Health Policy and Management

Selene Mak_FSPH

Selene is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Selene holds  BA in political science from UCLA and a MPH from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Her research explores vulnerable populations' access to, use of, and experiences with digital technologies for health-related activities. She  currently works with the Evidence-based Synthesis Program (ESP) at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and has also collaborated on research examining the impact of the Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) initiative on clinician and staff experiences at VA primary care and women's health clinics. As a FSPH Ambassador she helped launch the PhD Super Club which are monthly gatherings where current PhD candidates across departments come together for support and advice. She is a member of Academy Health's Education Council and one of the inaugural FSPH's Student Ambassadors.

 

Why FSPH? "FSPH is an ideal place for people who enjoy asking "why" and figuring out "how".  It is very likely someone else at FSPH, or within the wider UCLA community, is interested in a similar question and would be willing to find out together.  There are numerous opportunities to conduct inter, intra, cross, multi, and trans - disciplinary research"