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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.


Ahana Singh
Graduate intern Ahana Singh is a Master of Public Health (MPH) candidate in the Department of Health Science. She aspires to promote mental health among underprivileged populations to enhance wellness and quality of life (QoL). After pursuing a Doctor of Public Health degree (DrPH), she would like to travel back to her birth country Nepal to prevent human trafficking and to advocate for sex workers. Her areas of interest in research include the association between mental health and sexual health and their relationship to QoL. Ahana strongly believes an effective way to prevent a negative health outcome is to spread awareness and knowledge through health education efforts.
Blake Stephens
Blake Stephens is currently a fourth-year undergraduate student at CSULB majoring in Health Science with an option in Community Health Education. Upon completion of his bachelor's degree, Blake will be applying to Physician Assistant master's programs. His primary areas of interest include emergency medicine and pediatric oncology in underserved communities. To compliment his studies, Blake enjoys volunteering at local hospitals to gain valuable healthcare experience.
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.


Dallin Geiser
Dallin Geiser is an undergraduate health science major who will be graduating in the upcoming summer. His interest in epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as how health inequities impact a population’s health are what drives him to learn and excel in his time at CHER. Upon graduating, he has plans to attend graduate school to obtain a Master’s in Public Health in the field of epidemiology/biostatistics. Additionally, he hopes to continue being involved in research upon completion of his time at CHER.
Lyka Trinidad
Lyka Trinidad has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from the University of the Philippines and a Master in Public Health (MPH) degree from CSULB. She has a strong research and public health background with a demonstrated experience in managing surveillance systems, and monitoring and evaluation of HIV/AIDS, and STI programs in the Philippines. Her other areas of interest include mental health, adolescent health and health education.
Samantha Serrano
Samantha Serrano will be graduating from CSULB in spring 2018, with a Bachelor’s of Science in health science. She plans to continue her education and pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health. Samantha is passionate about working with and empowering marginalized communities, specifically the Latino community. Ultimately, she would like to provide sexual and reproductive health services to Latino communities in the U.S and in Central America. Additionally, she would like to continue health research in the areas of sexual health and infectious disease.
Stephanie Sumstine
Stephanie Sumstine is a Graduate Research Assistant for the Center for Health Equity Research. She received her Bachelor in Science degree from CSULB in Community Health Education and is finishing her Master in Public Health (MPH) degree from CSULB. Stephanie is also a Certified Health Education Specialist and has a profound interest in reducing health disparities among under-served populations. Stephanie’s MPH research experience involves racial/ethnic differences in mental health correlates of substance use and prescription stimulants among undergraduate college students. Her other research interests are in HIV prevention/risk reduction and youth development.
Tino Rivera
Tino Rivera will be graduating from CSULB in the spring of 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Science. He plans to continue his education and attend nursing school to prepare him for his professional goals of providing care for underserved communities and addressing health disparities. Tino has many interests within public health such as sexual health, emergency preparedness, and the distribution/occurrence of disease. He sees this internship experience as a great opportunity to learn more about the Long Beach community and to build research skills.