2021

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.
Myriah Kunipo-Aguirre
Myriah Kunipo-Aguirre is a first-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.
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.

2020

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

2019

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.
Jessica Cueva
Jessica Cueva is currently a fourth-year undergraduate student at CSULB majoring in Health Science with an option in Community Health Education within the College of Health and Human Services. In completing her studies, she is working to pursue her Master of Public Health following her baccalaureate degree. Jessica’s areas of interest include health education promotion for underserved populations and program planning. Following her graduate degree, she hopes to kickstart her career as a Public Health Data Analyst.
Jasmine Doxey
Jasmine is a Masters of Public Health graduate of CSULB, and the first in her family to pursue a master’s degree. Her areas of interest are health inequities and social determinants of health among communities of color. In the future she hopes to work in community health education and prevention, and conduct research for minority and underserved populations. She is excited to be a part of CHER as a stepping stone for gaining practical skills and experience in health equity research.
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.
Kayla Keck
Kayla is a senior graduating from CSULB this May with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science. She plans to attend nursing school after leaving CSULB in pursuit of her dream career as a Registered Nurse. Ultimately, she hopes to become a pediatric nurse in the hospital setting with a specialty in cardiology or critical care. In her free time Kayla enjoys running, yoga, and spending time with her family. Kayla is excited to be a part of the CHER team.
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.
Samantha Ruiz
Samantha Ruiz is a volunteer at CHER and is currently pursuing her Master in Public Health degree at CSULB. Sam holds a B.A. in Human Biology with a focus in Cross-Cultural Health and Healing from Pitzer College and has a background in youth organizing and addressing injustices experienced by incarcerated women. She currently addresses educational inequities by working with first-generation college bound youth in her community. Sam is passionate about environmental justice, particularly about the health effects of the built environment on marginalized communities. She hopes to eventually start her career in youth organizing and policy efforts centered on health disparities. On her free time, Sam enjoys practicing yoga, crafting herbal medicine and spending time outdoors by hiking or cycling.
Patricia Trinidad
Patricia Trinidad is in her final year of the Master of Public Health program at CSULB. She is interested in fostering healthier physical, nutritional, and higher educational attainment for women and children of communities of color. She hopes to continue researching these topics and help build capacity for organizations serving historically under served populations through evaluation, grant-writing, and consulting for community-based organizations. In the future, Patricia plans to be a non-profit Executive Director or Director of a social venture organization working to advance health equity for communities of color.

2018

Deanna Afif
Deanna Afif is a 2nd year Graduate student in the Public Health Program at CSULB. Her areas of interest are in chronic disease epidemiology as well as environmental health specifically in water quality and gastrointestinal diseases. In the future she hopes to work in an international health organization as an epidemiologist. In her spare time she likes to go camping and hiking.
Gabriel Cruz
Gabriel Cruz is currently a graduate student in the Masters in Public Health Program at CSULB. His career aspirations are to pursue medicine and work as a doctor in the medical field. Some of his research interests in public health include diabetes prevention, HIV, and Epidemiology. Gabriel comes from a family background of nursing, as both his parents work as Public Health Nurses for the Los Angeles County Department of Health.
Nathalia Kim
Nathalia Kim will be graduating from CSULB in fall 2018, with a Bachelor of Science in health science. Upon graduation, she will be applying to graduate school of occupational therapy. Her goal is to become an occupational therapist who will bring positive change to each individual’s life. Nathalia’s areas of interest in research include autism, mental health, and HIV/AIDS. She sees CHER as a great opportunity to build her professionalism and gain skills in research, data entry, and data collection.