Meet Your Peer Advisors for 2017-2018!
Graduation Year: 2018
Hours: Monday 12:30PM-4:00PM
Hi everyone! My name is Amy Bui and I am a senior from Lawrence, Massachusetts. I am on the combined track of Public Health with a focus area in Infectious Diseases; I am also pursuing a minor in Microbiology and a certificate in Biotechnology. I love how broad and diverse this major is! Because of the focus area, I was able to combine both of my interests, which in turn, made it my own.
I came into UMass Amherst as a Science major, and soon switched to Microbiology when I learned that the Science major was intended for students who wanted to pursue a career in teaching. It wasn’t until my second semester of sophomore year when I discovered my passion and love for Public Health. After taking the course Public Health 160: My Body, My Health, I met with a Peer Advisor who was extremely informative and friendly. She recommended that I should attend an information session, even if I wasn’t ready to apply to the major. She was the reason that I wanted to become a Peer Advisor so I can also be the person that helps students feel reassured, and at ease.
Aside from peer advising, I am also involved in CMASS (Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success), AASA (Asian-American Student Association), VSA (Vietnamese Student Association), Public Health Club, and spent some time at the TickReport lab on campus! I am also currently a part of the Microbiology Teaching Services.
My advice or recommendation is that it’s NEVER too early or too late to get involved. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone; you never know where it may take you. Your college career and success is what you make it, so it’s up to you to reach out and find any useful resources on campus.
I look forward to meeting all of you!
Graduation Year: 2019
Hours: Tuesday 1:00PM-4:30PM
Hey everyone! My name is Debby Crespo and I am a junior from Boston, Massachusetts. I am on the combined track with a focus area in the Sciences. Originally, I came to UMass as a biology student on the pre-med track. However, it wasn’t until my spring semester Freshman year that I narrowed down my interests. It wasn’t until a Public Health info session that I realized I wanted to major in Public Health. Now I am a Microbiology and Public Health double major, attempting to earn her dual degree and a Spanish & Health Certificate. I have always had an interest in helping people, especially women and children, so I am considering applying to Medical school or some form of graduate program.
What I love about the UMass Public Health program is that it provides students a great foundation for any health-related career they choose. The major is so flexible that it allows students to explore all areas of the interests and combine them from departments all over campus. All the faculty and students are eager to help one another and give you all the support you need.
My advice for all students is to step out of your comfort zone and really explore everything that interests you. I wouldn’t be going for a dual degree or even be a peer advisor if didn’t leave my comfort zone and tried something new. UMass is a huge school with a lot of opportunities. Take advantage of everything that is being offered.
I look forward to meeting all of you throughout the year.
Graduation Year: 2018
Hours: Monday 4:00PM-5:00PM, Tuesday 3:00PM-5:30PM
Hi everyone! My name is Amanda DuBois and I am a senior from Freetown, Massachusetts. I am a Public Health major and Biology and Psychology double-minor on the pre-medical track. Within public health, I am highly interested in community health education. Public Health was a major that I happened to stumble upon during the spring semester of my freshman year. I came into UMass Amherst as a biology major on the pre-med track and was pretty convinced that this was a route I had to take if I wanted to one day attend medical school. That was, however, until a friend of mine was interested in joining the Public Health major, and had to attend “some sort of mandatory information session.” She didn’t want to go alone, so I offered to go with her and I am so glad I did! Public Health is a major that is focused on bettering the lives and health of people on a global scale, making it a major that can absolutely help me reach my career goal. It was at the information session that I discovered this major and learned that it really combined all of the things I am most passionate about. I’ve always known that I want to help others, especially children. This lead me to the decision that I wanted to some day become a pediatrician.
So, if I had one piece of advice for any undergraduates it would be to take the time to explore different events like the major/career fairs and different clubs on campus. You never know when you’ll happen upon the perfect major/career path for you! Plus, you’ll meet some pretty great people along the way. Outside of peer advising I am member of the undergraduate research team for the Pediatric Physical Activity Lab, participate in UMass Alternative Spring Break and worked as a CNA at the Arbors. I look forward to meeting you!
Graduation Year: 2018
Office Hours: Wednesday 8:30AM-12:00PM
Hello everyone! My name is Amy Lam and I am a senior from Medford, Massachusetts. I am a Public Health and Communication double major and am pursuing an Information Technology minor. My area of focus is on the role of communication, data, and technology in improving healthcare and encouraging individuals to live healthier lives. I began my journey at UMass as an undeclared major, but I knew that I was interested in health sciences. Public Health was the perfect choice for me because it gave me the flexibility to incorporate my other academic interests to truly make the most of my time at UMass.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to intern at a health software company and see firsthand the role of communication and technology in improving the healthcare industry by minimizing clinical costs, improving the overall quality of care, and providing more effective coordination of care and management of at-risk populations. In addition to being a Peer Advisor I also hold a job on campus with the Information Technology Computer Classrooms (ITCC) as a staffroom consultant to provide teaching spaces and access to different software for faculty and students interested in using computer technology in their coursework.
My best advice for success is to be a curious individual. Ask a lot of questions, actively pursue unfamiliar experiences, and engage in conversation with someone new. It’s okay not to know all the answers. When you take initiative and seek to learn as much as you can, you end up discovering more opportunities for growth. Find excitement in learning new things about yourself and the world around you.
Graduation Year: 2018
Hours: Monday 9:00AM-12:30PM
Hello! My name is Abby Lilak and I am a senior from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I am on the science track and my area of focus is in biomedicine and I also have a biology minor.
I originally came into UMass Amherst as a Microbiology major, but I quickly realized that the major wasn't the right choice for me. I wanted to continue to extend my knowledge in science but wanted to also focus more on incorporating social and political aspects into my learning as well. I looked around campus to see if there was a major that incorporated all of my interests and that is how I found the Public Health major. I used my focus area within the major as a way of incorporating my fascination of biology with the real life aspects of public health. I am grateful that I was able to truly make the major my own.
Besides being an Head Peer Advisor, I am in iCons, and the Chancellor's Undergraduate Advisory Council. My best advice for success is to get to know your professors on a personal level. I have had difficulties in some classes and went to the professors for help and they were more than willing to help me. Professors know that asking for help isn't always easy and will do all that they can to try and help you succeed.
I look forward to meeting you all throughout the year!
Graduation Year: 2018
Office Hours: Wednesday 2:30PM-4:30PM, Friday 8:30AM-10:00AM
Hi everyone! My name is Casey Noonan and I am a senior from Norwood, MA. I am on a pre-health track and I also have minors in microbiology and psychology. Within the scope of public health, I am interested in women's health and the study of infectious disease. I am hoping to attend nursing school after graduation. Freshman year, one of my friends switched their major to public health and after hearing them explain the major, I attended an information session and never looked back!
I love public health since its main focus is improving the health of the community as a whole. I look forward to integrating the key elements of equity, community education, and promotion of healthy lifestyles into my future career as a clinician. Most times, medicine focuses on the individual as the patient, and seeing health on a community scale is a unique perspective.
I would advise all students to explore different majors, because you never know when you'll accidentally stumble upon your perfect major, just like I did! I'm so proud to be a part of SPHHS, and I have made friends for life within this wonderfully open, warm, and compassionate community.
Outside of peer advising I am part of the Red Cross Club and the Commonwealth Honors College. I am also a research assistant in the Pediatric Physical Activity Lab, where we study the benefits of increased physical activity on preschool and elementary-aged children in Amherst.
I look forward to meeting you throughout the year!
Graduation Year: 2019
Hours: Thursday 1:00PM-4:30PM
Hello Everyone! My name is Anthonia Okafor and I am from Boston, Massachusetts. I am a Junior Public Health Sciences Major taking pre-med coursework in which I use towards my Science focus area. After graduation, I plan to pursue a career in medicine.
I came across majoring in public health per conversation with an undergraduate public health major while I was in my senior year of high school. I entered UMass as a Public Health major and have yet to have any regrets. Being a public health major, I not only learn about the science behind life but I also have the opportunity to study the effects of humans on the natural and physical sciences of the world and the ways in which they impact, whether it be positively or negatively, themselves, each other, and the environment. I want to be able to use my knowledge of public health to not only treat an individual as a physician but also tie in their surrounding community to give them their optimal treatment and ensure they are receiving the best care with me and at their respective homes.
In addition to being a Peer Advisor, I am also a member of the Commonwealth Honors College and I also serve as an Accountant to the Student Bridges Agency of UMass Amherst.
One piece of advice I have for students is to be proactive and utilize as many resources as you can because UMass Amherst is full of opportunities. The SPHHS is a great resource to be connected with other resources on campus, they even have a number of opportunities themselves. We are all here to help you succeed.
Feel free to stop by anytime and I look forward to meeting you!
Graduation year: 2018
Hours: Wednesday 3:30PM-5:00PM, Friday 10:00AM-12:00PM
Hi everyone! My name is Kate Silberberg and I am from Wellesley, MA. I am a Senior Public Health major and a Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor. I’m interested in Women, Children’s, and Global Health. I hope to pursue a Master’s of Science degree to become a Nurse Practitioner.
I found Public Health interesting and applicable because I have always had a passion for helping others. I wanted to learn about the social and mental aspects of health and wellbeing, not just the science side and Public Health allows me to do just that.
Other than my role as a Peer Advisor, I work at admissions, and am the Director of Philanthropy for my sorority. My best advice would be to get involved! There are so many cool clubs, organizations, and jobs on this campus and it can give you a place to call home at such a large school. My office hours are Wednesday 3:30PM-5:00PM and Friday 10:00AM-12:00PM. Can’t wait to meet you all soon!
Graduation Year: 2018
Office Hours: Thursday 11:30AM-1:30PM, Friday 11:30AM-1:00PM
Hi everyone! My name is Olivia Stoddard and I am a senior public health major from Sharon, MA. I am on the combined track with a focus area in Environmental Health and a minor in Environmental Science. I am passionate about how climate change affects human health, especially in vulnerable populations. I studied abroad in Costa Rica during the second semester of my junior year, where I had the opportunity to fulfill some of my minor and focus area requirements in a hands-on environment. I always encourage students to study abroad – I never would have had the opportunity to see first hand how climate change was affecting the health and environment of coastal populations like I did in Costa Rica! I transferred to UMass my sophomore year because of the great public health major, which they did not offer at my previous school. I am also looking forward to getting a graduate degree in a Climate and Health related program.
In addition to peer advising, I am a Climate and Health intern at an international non-profit organization called Healthcare Without Harm. Healthcare Without Harm works with an organization called Practice Greenhealth to minimize emissions from hospitals, which in turn improves the health of populations. For this position, I complete a range of tasks from making presentations based on research that are forwarded to the U.S. Climate and Health Alliance, to contacting representatives of hospitals to get them involved with the organization.
I advise all students to step outside their comfort zone. Take the class that may be different than what you are used to, join the club, submit the application; who knows where you will end up! The more you are involved in, the more connections you will make which will undoubtedly help you in all future endeavors. I am ecstatic to be your peer advisor and look forward to helping everyone!
Graduation Year: 2018
Track: Social science
Office Hours: Wednesday 11:30AM-3:00PM
Hello! My name is Erik Wills and I am a senior from the small town of Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Currently I'm on the social science track with a focus in economics. I seemed to stumble upon the Public Health major mid-freshman year by enrolling in Public Health 129: Healthcare For All out of pure curiosity. After taking that course I’ve never looked back and fell headfirst into the major. Specifically, my academic interests lie in analyzing health insurance policies, learning about health literacy and the relation of economic status when it comes to healthcare access. What I really love is that the Public Health major won’t ever restrict or hold you back, but instead will launch you forward into a lifelong journey of helping others.
Outside of peer advising I'm on the Student Wellness Advisory Board (aka SWAB!) and enjoy working as a team with fellow students to discuss how UMass Amherst can be continuously improving health and wellness on campus. I also enjoy snowboarding during the winter months, skateboarding during the summer months and going to the rec center in my spare time. My advice for students, new and current, would be to always try and get involved early on! It never hurts to volunteer or try out something new because you never know what bigger opportunities will be revealed later on.
My office hours are on Wednesdays from 11:30AM to 3:00PM, never hesitate to stop by!
Graduation year: 2019
Hours: Tuesday 9:15AM-11:15AM, Thursday 2:30PM-4:00PM
Hi everyone! My name is Emily Zheng and I'm from Quincy Massachusetts. I'm currently a junior Public Health Major interested in Health Policy and Management, with intentions to pursue the Public Policy and Administration Certificate.
My originally interest was in nursing, but after getting my CNA in High School, I realized I had more of an interest in bettering the healthcare system as a whole rather than focusing on the individuals. I came to UMass Amherst as undeclared on the exploratory track for Public Health. I was part of a Public Health Residential Academic Program and it made me realize how so many people in this community wanted to make a difference. After taking Public Health 129: Healthcare for all, I learned about the many faults that our healthcare system had. It may be a big goal, but I hope that one day we'll be able to get rid of the barriers that are preventing people from gaining equal access healthcare and also better the system that we have now.
Aside from Peer Advising, I am also involved in the Greek Community through my sorority Kappa Phi Lambda and being on the Multi-cultural Greek council. Outside of campus, I work at the Arbors at Amherst Assisted Living as a Resident Care Aide and at the UMass Donahue Applied Research and Evaluation as a Project Assistant.
My advice to students not be afraid to step out of their comfort zone. Our campus can feel so big but getting involved in clubs and activities is one way to make it feel a little bit smaller. College is a great time to learn and grow personally and professionally. We're all here for an education but don't forget to network and build a connection peers and the faculty here on campus. Also, definitely use the resources the campus has to offer as well!