Officers

Andrew Blank

What are the 3 core values in your life that you cannot live without?

Justice. Integrity. Passion.

As MaPHSA President, I’m honored to fight for you and lead this board. I’m studying Global Health, which has been far more rewarding than my painful Biochemistry undergrad. I’m a submariner by trade; this picture features my torpedo and missile chiefs off the Alaskan coast last summer. Reach out if you want to study in a coffee shop, play soccer or tennis, borrow one of my three identical pairs of Chaco sandals, watch Arabic episodes of Dora the Explorer, or leave this program better than we found it.

My views do not reflect those of the USN or DoD.

Describe public health with one word that means the most to you?

Justice. Health is a fundamental human right, and is a prerequisite to the full enjoyment of all other rights. Discrimination creates inequitable access to health. Inequity is unjust. Public health pursues justice by reducing individual and structural barriers to health.

Who or What inspired you to pursue the world of public health?

In my last job, I was responsible for 100+ Tomahawk missiles. The US Navy has most recently launched Tomahawks into Yemen, Libya, and Syria. Not coincidentally, from 2012 to 2017, those nations’ Human Development Index ranks fell 20, 26, and 27 places, respectively—the largest declines worldwide. I’m transitioning from nuclear submarines to global public health to build community capacity, rather than launch bombs, in pursuit of health and human rights for our world’s most vulnerable populations.

Malory Henry

What are the 3 core values in your life that you cannot live without?

Advocacy, empathy, and harmony.

Hi! My name is Malory Henry and I’m so excited to introduce myself as MaPHSA’s Vice President! In one of my favorite anime, there’s a character who uses the weirdest ingredients in her medicinal cooking and I thought to myself, ‘Okay, now how do I turn THAT into my whole life’. The show is somehow self-serious but also a little bit silly (like me!), yet it also reinforces my belief that your passions don’t have to be removed from your purpose. That’s what I hope to be: as cultured as I am compassionate, creative as I am caring, and hopefully turn this amazing MPH into a lifetime of healing my environment, with my environment. 

P.S. I also want to be as culinary as possible too!”

Describe public health with one word that means the most to you?

Compassion! In the pursuit of equity, compassion sustains our work and desire to do good.

Who or What inspired you to pursue the world of public health?

I’ve been passionate about health and medicine since I was young, and I’ve always felt an inborn sense of idealism and a desire to help people! I chose to pursue the field of public health to do the most good for the greatest amount of people. As Hippocrates said, “Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity.

Katherine Stringer

What are the 3 core values in your life that you cannot live without?

The three core values that are most important to me and the most influential in shaping me as an individual are family and the love of those around me, lifelong learning and education, and the goal of always striving to be the best version of myself that I can be. 

Hello All, I’m Katherine Stringer, your new Director of Finance, and I was born and raised in Long Beach, California, making me a southern cali girl who is cold at 65 degrees. If you don’t believe me, the excitement on my face the first time I experienced snow should prove it. Having lived close to Los Angeles my whole life, attending the University of Southern California and calling myself a Trojan has always been a dream of mine!   While USC was always on my radar,  public health was not. I  thought I would become part of the “biology world”, as I always liked how the human body worked and interacted with the environment. While in college, I found myself taking other classes that interested me like anthropology, statistics, and policy, and was saddened that these would be just a passing interest instead of part of my daily profession. I experienced a true epiphany! My eyes were opened to the possibility of studying Public Health as a connection between all the areas of study I was interested in. What better way is there to combine biology with just about everything else?  Soon I found myself especially focused on the health promotion side of public health, and this is why I have chosen to pursue the Health Services and Promotion track.

Describe public health with one word that means the most to you?

The one word I would use to describe the discipline of public health is noble. There are  powerful tools available in the study of public health that we can use to change both individual and societal behavior for the better, but it is really the commitment of the public health scholar that can advance the health agenda that will inevitably lead to a better world.  In this sense, the public health provider is no different than the committed warrior whose battle is defined by the challenges of providing good care and a healthy life to the masses. Each of us in the program have made the decision to bring this fight to the table and give even the least of us a voice. It is in this that the study of public health can be seen as a noble aspiration, since it is the personal qualities and high moral principles and ideals that are shared by its leaders that drive its success. 

Who or What inspired you to pursue the world of public health?

In the next ten years, I hope to be engaging professionally in the area of health policy, trying to shape the environment in which we live into a model that allows everyone a fair chance in life to be happy and healthy. Change is not always easy, but building a world where the right thing to do is also the easiest thing to do will move us towards a sustainable and equitable society where health issues are addressed positively and effectively for everyone.

Jennifer Zhang 

What are the 3 core values in your life that you cannot live without?

Adaptability, open-mindedness, teamwork

Say hello to your new MaPHSA Secretary, Jennifer Zhang! When she’s not burrowed in the library studying, she loves going on outdoorsy adventures, working out (SPARTAN RUN ANYONE?), painting, watching Planet Earth (yes nature is v cool) and bothering her cat lol (cats are v cool too). She is currently concentrating in community health, and is also working on how to live a (meme)-ingful life.  

Describe public health with one word that means the most to you?

Upstream. It emphasizes that an individual’s health exists within layers of societal influences that all shape’s one being. I find it fascinating how aside from treating patients who are already in the hospital, implementing interventions “upstream” from hospitals could prevent people from even developing the disease in the first place.

Who or What inspired you to pursue the world of public health?

I do plan on pursuing an MD after my MPH, which would provide me with a more expansive view of medicine. I think in addition to working in the hospitals and with patients, I would want to be involved with implementing evidence-based approaches to improve health, health education, and maybe collaborating with others on creating clinical treatment models. Honestly I haven’t thought much about the next 10 years of my life, just tryna get through the next few years LOL. 

Carmen Chavez

What are the 3 core values in your life that you cannot live without?

  1. My familia and empowering circle of friends.
  2. Good food. When I am not plugged in to Moodle working on my current MPH assignment, I am either cooking, tending to my baby vegetable garden, or watching cooking shows (just finished Nadiya’s Time to Eat on Netflix).
  3. Zumba! I love to dance. It brings such great joy to my life and has the added plus of great health benefits.
  4. My service to others. As a Research Coordinator and student of Environmental Health I hope to fulfill my responsibility to my community and improve our healthcare system.

Meet Carmen (La Catrina), your new MaPHSA Director of Community Outreach.

Describe public health with one word that means the most to you?

I view public health as a human right. As a society, we should feel obligated to ensure all people have equitable access to basic quality health care

Who or What inspired you to pursue the world of public health?

Being from Wilmington, California, known as the Diesel Death Zone, my passion for environmental justice and health equity began at an early age.

Yvette
Estrada

What are the 3 core values in your life that you cannot live without?

Grit, Vision,
Self-Improvement.

Hi everyone! My name is Yvette, and I am originally a Texan now living in Los Angeles. When I am not working or being a student, I love staying active, especially weightlifting. These days I have to get creative, which means I am doing a lot of YouTube workouts and those body weight exercises we all know and love (not lol). I am still in my first year of the MPH program, and my concentration is in Health Services and Policy. Though I still have a long way to go, after this semester (Biostats!!!) I will be done with my core classes. I am a GSG Senator in the MaPHSA Board, and I am so excited to serve you.

Describe public health with one word that means the most to you?

Accessibility. I want to make it my mission to bring health care programs and initiatives to life
and to make these more accessible to my community.

Who or What inspired you to pursue the world of public health?

I will be living somewhere with a beach, either Los Angeles, San Diego, or Miami (or maybe
even another country). I will be fulfilled by a career in healthcare, maybe either at a Hospital or
a Non-Profit, again strategizing ways to make healthcare better. Most importantly I will be
happy and healthy and continuing to learn and better myself daily.

Tayler
Behr

What are the 3 core values in your life that you cannot live without?

Honesty, Respect, and Diligence 

Hello Everyone! My name is Tayler Behr, and I am currently serving as your GSG representative.
Originally, I am from Sacramento but have lived in SoCal since I completed my B.S. in Biology at
UCR. During the time that I have fully become a SoCal girl, I have been working as an Emergency
Room Scribe at Loma Linda, developing a strong passion for all things Disney, and working to
complete my Master of Public Health. I have a strong passion to become a public health
advocate and serve my community and others on a global scale. I am determined to finish this
year off strong and dive further into my practicum with the Community Response System of
South Los Angeles and research under the amazing Dr. Baezconde-Garbanati! Fight On Trojans!

Describe public health with one word that means the most to you?

Service.

Who or What inspired you to pursue the world of public health?

Working in an Emergency room for the past four years opened my eyes to the fact that health services go beyond medicine and are directly related to public services. I wanted to take a more in-depth look at health disparities on a global and community scale to one day make myself a better health care provider

Theresa
Rubi

What are the 3 core values in your life that you cannot live without?

Excitement, care, and action.

Hello my name is Theresa. It’s nice to meet you! I‘m currently your Director of Social Events and I love travelling and this picture of me in the Philippines. We were on a traditional Filipino boat (bangka) sailing from one island to the next in Palawan. I love the freedom of the seas and the wind in my hair, there’s really nothing like it! As we go on with our lives, it is a passion of mine to share that freedom in living. 💝 From environmental health to aging, public health is a human right and let’s fight on!

Describe public health with one word that means the most to you?

I don’t know about one word but a phrase comes to mind: Health is Wealth.  As we debate healthcare and how we can improve access and availability, there really is no price to your health or mine. Being healthy in mind and body guarantees a fulfilled life and that is priceless. I got into public health because our health is something we all deserve to live out in our best capabilities without additional harm due to the government or lack of resources.”

Who or What inspired you to pursue the world of public health?

I’ve always been interested in health and knew that medicine was not ever going to be enough. Through work, I saw many different systems at work and knew I needed to understand them before even beginning to attempt change for a better life and future. I saw how public health can really improve a population’s health, impacting millions more people, faster than a doctor’s reach. Public health also expands the care past the physician, including environmental, dietary, and mental health.

Vijaya
Seegulam

What are the 3 core values in your life that you cannot live without?

Honesty, Faith, and Service.

Hi everyone! My name is Vijaya Seegulam and I’m from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida! I’m an @uscmphonline student, concentrating in Biostats/Epi and I’m currently in my second year, serving as your new Director of Online Student Relations. I love celebrating my Indian cultural heritage so in my spare time, you can find me binge-watching Bollywood movies or choreographing dance routines! As we transition online for the fall semester, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns! Stay Strong, Stay Safe, and Fight On!

Describe public health with one word that means the most to you?

Humanitarian.

Who or What inspired you to pursue the world of public health?

When I was younger, my grandfather needed a lot of medical care and attention. My eyes were opened to how integral public health was to the medical field and also to the unfortunate, ongoing disparities in healthcare. Working in the medical field myself has also broadened my perspective on how we can make these much-needed changes in healthcare and ignited my passion to help underserved, minority populations. “Health care is vital to all of us some of the time, but public health is vital to all of us all of the time” -Everett Koop