Current Student Support & Interns

Marylou Mercado

Marylou Mercado is a second year graduate student in the Master in Public Health (MPH) program. Marylou aspires to pursue a doctorate in public health and become a professor in the future. Her public health interests have been focused in sexual/reproductive health and education. She enjoys doing yoga and traveling in her free time.


Jania Rhodes
Jania Rhodes is a second year graduate student in the Master in Public Health (MPH) program with a concentration in community health education. Her interests include community outreach, operations, health and wellness services, and global health outreach initiatives. Her hobbies include roller skating and dancing.
Kendyll Alecock
Kendyll Alecock is a fourth-year student at California State University, Long Beach pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Health Science with an emphasis in Community Health Education. She is passionate about advancing the quality of healthcare for marginalized communities, especially women and children. Upon graduation, Kendyll plans to attend nursing school or take some time to explore other health related fields. Outside of school and work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, exercising, and traveling.


Gabriel Velazquez

Gabriel Velazquez is a first-year graduate student and LINK Scholar in the Master in Public Health (MPH) program at CSULB. Gabriel aspires to become a health promotion program manager, assisting marginalized communities through involvement in the creation of culturally tailored health programs for the Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities. In his free time, Gabriel enjoys playing video games, strength training and traveling.

Irene Tri
Irene Tri is a second-year Master of Public Health candidate at CSULB in the Health Science Department. Her goal is to pursue a career in research and data analysis to investigate gaps in research regarding health disparities among marginalized and minority populations. Irene is a graduate research assistant and student assistant on projects dedicated to understanding how to provide a more equitable higher education experience for students determined to pursue their passion. Her research interests include exploring adverse childhood experiences and its impact on mental and physical health. When she is not working or studying, she enjoys playing arcade games and traveling.
Kiara Lacambra
Kiara C. Lacambra is a second-year student in the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program at CSULB. Coming from a large family specializing in nursing, Kiara took a slightly different path. Her career goals include becoming a health educator or patient educator revolving around disease management and prevention. Kiara found an interest in serving and advancing communities that experienced a lack of access to quality healthcare, especially mental health. Outside of school, Kiara enjoys spending time with her family and friends watching movies and finding new food spots to visit.
Rebecca Rinck
Rebecca Rinck is a second-year student in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at CSULB, on the Community Health Education track. Rebecca has a short-term goal of becoming a Health Educator that focuses on increasing access to health education in nutrition, sexual health, and disease prevention. She also has a long-term goal of working in research and influencing public policy to address gaps in the literature for underserved populations. In addition, Rebecca works on the CSULB campus for Student Health Services as a Peer Health Educator and volunteers for The LGBTQ+ Center of Long Beach. Rebecca enjoys crocheting, baking, and spending time with family and friends outside of academics and work.
Stephen Kang
Stephen Kang is a second year graduate student in the Master in Public Health (MPH) program at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). For his long-term career goals, he aspires to be a respectable professor sharing his immense experiences from public health organizations and guiding future students with confidence. Stephen is interested in working with health interventions geared toward the wellbeing of the youth. He plans to obtain his doctorate degree after a few years of working with public health organizations. Some of his hobbies include cooking for family and friends, and playing tennis.


John Poli
John Poli is a 2nd year student in the MPH program at CSULB, with a BS in Biology. He is also a Graduate Mentor in the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) program, which aims to promote diversity in the realm of science. His research interests include investigating the effects of racism in health and increasing the quality of health for marginalized populations through improving health education and healthcare. He aspires to become a primary care doctor with hope of fostering strong partnerships in public health and health education to promote and improve access of healthcare to marginalized populations. John is the oldest child among a Filipino family of seven and enjoys basketball and playing music.
Myriah Kunipo-Aguirre
Myriah Kunipo-Aguirre is a second-year Master of Public Health student at CSULB. Her interests include the health of indigenous communities, the ACE's Aware initiative, and the biopsychosocial model. Myriah aspires to attend medical school and be a physician with a comprehensive care focus. She believes in the importance of intersectoral collaboration and hopes to work with underserved populations through community medicine. Outside of academics, she enjoys playing volleyball and spending time outdoors in sunny SoCal.
Richelle Chow
Richelle Chow is a fourth year undergraduate student studying Biology. Upon graduating, she plans on obtaining an MPH, with the possibility of going to medical school to become an emergency medicine physician. Richelle is passionate about advancing the quality and access of care in marginalized communities, particularly in women's health, reproductive and sexual health. In her free time, Richelle likes to sing, stay active at the gym, and travel as a local tourist.
Sofia Geiger
Sofia Geiger is a fourth-year student at CSULB pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health science with an option in community health education. Sofia has research interests in health disparities among racial minorities and the effects racism on health. Being the daughter of a first-generation Mexican American has inspired Sofia to work in underserved communities to address health disparities. Sofia plans to pursue a Master’s in Public Health or go to nursing school to become a women’s health nurse practitioner. In her free time, Sofia enjoys cooking, reading, yoga, and going on walks.


Candelaria Garcia
Candelaria Garcia is a fifth-year undergraduate student at CSULB majoring in Health Science with an option in Community Health Education. Her research interests are reflective of her lived experiences as a first-generation Chicana from Compton, California. She seeks to combat health disparities related to environmental injustice, substance use and misuse, and other chronic conditions influenced by the social determinants of health. Following her baccalaureate degree, Candelaria plans to enroll in graduate studies in epidemiology to pursue a health-related research career.
Cassidy Thompson
Cassidy Thompson is currently a fourth-year undergraduate student at CSULB majoring in Health Science with an option in Community Health Education and receiving a certificate in Healthcare Administration. After completing her studies, she is interested in pursuing a Master’s in Public Health following her baccalaureate degree. In the future, she plans on pursuing a career in nursing. Her primary areas of interest include working with oncology patients, drug prevention and unintentional injuries/trauma patients. To compliment her studies, Cassidy has completed her Medical Assistant certificate and is in the process of working on her EMT certification.
Christopher Counts
Christopher Counts is a Master of Public Health student at CSULB. After completing his degree, he plans on attending medical school and becoming a primary care physician. Christopher has a particular interest in addressing health disparities among racial and sexual minorities and plans to work in these underserved communities. Outside of research, Christopher enjoys volunteer work, yoga, hiking in the mountains, and snow skiing.
Ivan Keophimphone
Ivan Keophimphone is an upcoming graduate at California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Health Science, and an emphasis in Community Health. His areas of interest regarding research and health include community interventions addressing less equitable health outcomes and environmental health. He will be the first in his family to graduate from a four year university, and plans to pursue a career in firefighting, working towards promoting health through prevention and fire safety.
Ligia Flores
Ligia Flores is a fourth-year student at CSULB majoring in Health Science with a Community Health Education option. Her areas of interest include working with low-income, racial and ethnic minority communities and providing health education among communities of color. Ligia hopes to work in health disparities research, as well as providing awareness and health education to families of color. She is very excited to be a part of CHER.


Angineh Babakhanians
Angineh is a first generation Armenian college graduate who holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Science with an emphasis in Community Health. She serves as an Evaluation Coordinator at the Center for Health Equity Research (CHER). Angineh is involved in the Community Wellness Project, a mental health prevention and intervention project, My Sisters Keeper program that serves victims of human trafficking, and a number of other projects. Some of her interests lie within health disparities and social determinants, health education promotion and communicable disease control. Angineh plans to attain a Master’s in Public Health and hopes to work for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the near future.
Carissa Mathison
Carissa is graduating from CSULB in spring 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in health science and a minor in human development. She plans to attend graduate school to receive a masters in occupational therapy. She is excited to pursue a career that will allow her to optimize the quality of life in diverse populations. Her research interests include health disparities among Asian populations, epidemiology, and tobacco prevention. Carissa is the daughter of a Taiwanese immigrant and is a first generation college student.
Crystal Eckman
Crystal will be graduating spring 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science. She plans on going to graduate school to receive her masters or doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy. Crystal has a passion for researching substance use disorders and plans on researching the effects of Occupational Therapy on the health outcomes of people with substance abuse disorders. Outside of school, Crystal enjoys wilderness backpacking and rock wall climbing.