Alumni of the Communication, Culture, and Health Team
Steven Ramondt, PhD (2018)
Steven earned a PhD in Health Psychology at UC Merced in 2018. His dissertation research aimed to characterize news coverage of air pollution and health and its effects on health beliefs including fatalism, protective health behaviors, and support for environmental issues. Steven is particularly interested in reducing the adverse health effects of air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley. Steven earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. His published research has examined media exposure and fatalism and perspectives of environmental health risks. He served as a 2017-18 UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellow.
He is currently working at Sanquin, the national bloodbank of The Netherlands, and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), to develop a communication strategy to enhance recruitment and retention of blood donors. His project focuses on deploying social media data to derive information about donor experiences and behavior to inform a social media-based communication strategy for blood centers. The project has three aims: 1) Map who (actors) communicates what, when and how about blood donation on social media platforms; 2) link this behavior to actual donor behavior; 3) develop a strategy to influence donor behavior through communication via social media.
Natalie Pena Marquez, B.A. (2018)
Natalie majored in Psychology and minored in Sociology. She is passionate about working with children and youth. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Counseling Psychology at Fresno State University. Natalie worked on the team June 2016-May 2018.
Vanessa Morfin-Quezada (2019)
Vanessa is a Psychology major with a minor in Public Health. She is passionate about working with children and is interested in the health of the Latinx community, especially those with low incomes. She has worked for BUILD, a non-profit organization and the San Mateo County Library. Vanessa worked on the team January-April 2018 as a Student Success Intern.
Yesenia Villa, B.A. (Public Health, 2018)
Yesenia is interested in health promotion and education. She completed an internship with Kaiser Permanente to address health care navigation of refugees in Stanislaus County. Yesenia plans invest her time in the Peace Corps before pursuing a master of public health. Yesenia worked on the team January 2017-May 2018.
Elizabeth Pena (2018)
Elizabeth graduated with a BS in Molecular and Cell Biology. She was a Spring 2018 Student Success Intern on the team, working on a project to understand where Mexican-American women learn about nutrition. She was awarded a fellowship from the UC Global Health Institute's Center of Excellence on Women's Health, Gender, & Empowerment to develop empowerment-based nutrition communication for bicultural Latinas. In addition to her work on the team, Elizabeth has assisted in conducting research on oral health amongst the Latino community and has interned at Mercy Medical Center.
Zabrina Campos-Melendez, B.A. (2017)
Zabrina majored in Management and Business Economics and minored in Spanish. She worked on the team for over two years, and was instrumental in establishing trusting relationships with individual residents as well as procedures for data collection in the community. She is now applying her management skills to her family's flower farm in Watsonville.
Stephanie Gamboa, B.A. (Public Health, 2017)
Stephanie was named an Outstanding Student in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts for her scholastic achievements and leadership and intellectual contributions to the team from January 2016 through August 2017. Stephanie was instrumental in developing an intervention to improve access to health information in a rural community. She also assisted with data analysis to understand Mexican-American women's perceptions of healthy diets. Stephanie was funded through the UROC Scholars Program.
Lisette Manriquez (Cognitive Science, 2018)
Lisette was a Cognitive and Information Sciences major and has a strong dedication to behavioral neuroscience. She worked on the CCH Team as a Student Success Intern in Spring 2017. Lisette previously assisted in single-cell genomic research for Lawrence Berkeley at Joint Genome Institute. In addition to her work on the team, Lisette worked with elders who suffer from neurodegenerative disorders. Lisette plans to obtain a PhD in cognitive neuroscience to help reform psychiatric treatment facilities for vulnerable and underserved populations.
Raquel Perez-Zuniga, B.A. (2017)
Raquel graduated with double majors in Psychology and Spanish. Raquel is proud to have been part of Lift While You Lead Mentoring Network and serves as a UC Merced Success Mentor and on the Merced Youth Court Club, where she advocates for Merced County Youth in the Justice and Juvenile System. She plans to pursue a PhD in Health Psychology and become an applied psychologist. Raquel worked on the team Summer 2015-Summer 2016.
Alexandra Lemon, B.A. (Public Health, 2017)
Alex was a Student Success Intern on the CCH Team for 2016-17, where she worked on the Partnerships to Improve Community Health project. As social media lead, she adapted existing social media content and developed original content for chronic disease prevention. Alex is currently serving as an Americorps volunteer in Louisiana.
Tashelle Wright, B.S.
Tashelle is a doctoral student in Public Health at UC Merced. She is a McNair Scholar and graduated from Westminster College in 2016 with a major in public health. Tashelle is interested in aging and cognition, older adults, chronic disease and addressing preventable health disparities.
Gabrielle de Loyola, B.A. (Public Health, 2017)
Gabrielle majored in Public Health and minored in Cognitive Sciences. She has a passion for community involvement and health empowerment. Gabrielle is part of Alpha Phi Omega, a National Service Fraternity, the Public Health Society, the Health and Wellness Program at UCM, and an intern for the Merced County Agency on Aging. Gabrielle plans to pursue a master’s degree in Social Epidemiology and work in underdeveloped countries before obtaining a medical degree in emergency trauma. Gabrielle worked on the team during Spring 2016.
Kathy Garcia, B.S.
Kathy is a 2017 graduate with a Human Biology major and Cognitive Science minor. She has a strong passion for community engagement and health advocacy. Kathy is an officer of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, which encourages traditionally underrepresented minorities to pursue a premedical career. She enjoys photography, hiking, and reading. She plans to become a neurologist. Kathy worked on the team in Spring 2016.
Monica Gomez, B.A.
Monica is 2016 graduate with a major in psychology and a minor in public health.
Josette Mendiola, B.S.
Josette is a 2016 graduate with a major in Human Biological Science and a minor in Public Health. She is interested in community health care and health education. Josette serves as an officer in the American Medical Student Association and is a member of United Pancreas and the California Health Professional Student Alliance at UC Merced. Her passion for public health has led her join the Communication, Culture, and Health Lab. Josette plans to pursue a master’s degree in Public Health as well as a doctorate in osteopathic medicine. Josette worked on the team in Spring 2016.
Pajai Her, B.A. (Public Health, 2017)
Pajai Her is a 2017 graduate with a major in Public Health and a minor in Psychology. She is interested in community health care and health promotion. She enjoys being a part of Alpha Phi Omega, a National Service Fraternity, and the Public Health Society. She plans to obtain a PhD in Public Health. Pajai has worked on the team Spring-Fall 2016.
Norma Nino, B.A. (Public Health, 2017)
Norma is graduated with a Public Health major and a Psychology minor. She is interested in exploring how the behaviors of Latina/os influence their health and what can be done to improve their health. Norma aspires to pursue a PhD in Public Health and pursue research on the social determinants of health. Norma worked on the team in Spring 2016.
Alyssa Ramirez, B.S.
Alyssa is a 2017 graduate with a major in Human Biological Science. She has a strong passion for community involvement and health education. Alyssa served as Vice-President for the Pre-Optometry Club at UC Merced and was a member of the American Optometric Student Association. She plans to pursue a doctorate in Optometry and give excellent care to the people of the Central Valley.
Ariana Ruiz, B.A.
Ariana graduated from UC Merced in December 2013. She worked on the team from January 2014 through September 2015 focusing on assessing the rural health information environment and social marketing approaches to food access. Her interests include health disparities, global health, policy, health communication, sustainable development. Ariana plans to purse a career in public health research.
Karina van Bogart, B.A.
Karina graduated from UC Merced in 2015 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Public Health. As part of the CCH team in Spring 2015, Karina assisted with research to understand communication about air pollution in the SJV.
Pao Vang, B.S.
Pao Vang is a 2017 graduate with a major in in Computer Science & Engineering. He is proud to be part of the Hmong Student Association at UC Merced. He plans to pursue a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Pao worked on the team in Spring 2016.