Summer 2016

Twenty-four interns from ten UCSD divisions (Global TIES, an engineering major; the Global Health major; the Public Health major; the Human Rights minor; the Sixth College practicum; the Public Service minor, based in Thurgood Marshall College; Partners at Learning, an Educational Studies major; the Earth Sciences major, based in Scripps Institution of Oceanography; the Environmental Systems major, of the Division of Physical Sciences; and the Urban Studies and Planning major) participated in the 2016 Blum Summer Field Internship.



Mazyar Alanderi | International Relations

Growing up, I have never really known what career I saw myself doing in the future. All I knew for a fact was that I wanted to leave a positive impact on people and the world in one way or another. I discovered my passion for political science in my first year of college and embarked on the tedious journey towards law school soon after. I've always thought of the possible career paths for a political science student to be very linear and black and white, as my peers would always tell me that the only path worth taking is law. The Blum Summer Field Internship gave me a much-needed realization; the realization that I could study something that I'm passionate about, and still make a difference in the world. It really broadened my scope of career possibilities and heavily eased the pressure that comes with seeing law school as my only option and being uncertain if it is right for me or not. For once I feel a fulfillment with the work that I have been doing as well where my future is headed, and the feeling is priceless to me.

Tiffany Chan | Public Health

Tiffany is a third year Public Health and Ethnic Studies double major. She enjoys working with and helping others, which is reflected through her involvements at her college Sixth College, where she works at their front desk, is an Orientation Leader, and sits on Student Council. Tiffany is interesting in learning about health disparities and social justice issues; as a result, she was extremely excited about working on the Blum Summer Internship team. With the knowledge she has gained after this summer, she aspires to provide healthcare access to disadvantaged and minority communities either in Southern California or the Bay Area after achieving her Bachelor’s degree.

Yesenia Cuevas | Partners at Learning (PAL)

Yesenia is a 4th year student from Warren College majoring in Human Development and minoring in Education Studies. During the school year you can find her serving as a tutor & mentor to elementary students as part of the PAL EDS program. Yesenia aspires to become a bilingual education elementary teacher, which is why she chose Earthlab as her primary site. She enjoys working with children and experimenting with learning methods that are interactive and give students the chance to experience the outside world as they learn about their environment and how they can help make a change in the world.

Jodi Fong | Partners at Learning (PAL)

Jodi Fong is a third-year undergraduate, double-majoring in International Studies with a focus in Sociology and Human Development, with a minor in Education Studies. Through her courses with the Department of Education Studies at UCSD, Jodi was exposed to the educational challenges faced by schools in San Diego. She has spent her last year tutoring and mentoring at a local underserved elementary school. With this experience, and her summer working with students at the EarthLab, she feels very inspired and is more certain than ever that she wants to pursue a career in education. She wants to work within education to move toward more social and economic equity for underserved communities.

Kaeli Green | Partners at Learning (PAL)

Kaeli Green is a fourth year Eleanor Roosevelt student graduating in the spring of 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a focus in Sociology and Education Studies minor. She has become inspired by working with children and has found meaning in helping students and adults develop their passions, skills, and interests. This is what has led her to intern with the EarthLab team this past summer. In her free time, you can find her at El Toyon Elementary in National City mentoring and tutoring students or going on nature-inspired adventures throughout San Diego. After graduating, she is planning to move up north to either pursue a graduate program or find a career in the nonprofit sector or education where she can truly make a community-inspired impact.

Colleen Mergen | Global TIES

Colleen Mergen is currently in her third year at the University of California, San Diego. To get the most out of her time here at UCSD, she wants to learn about all of her interests which include both science and art. Thus, Colleen is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Studio Art. She has also been a part of the Global TIES program for over a year now. By joining TIES, she developed an interest in humanitarian engineering which really strengthened through the Blum summer field internship. Outside of class, she has been involved in student organizations, namely the Society of Women Engineers and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Jose Saucedo | Anthropology (UCSC)

Jose Saucedo is currently a 4th year undergraduate student at UC Santa Cruz majoring in Anthropology. He is also part of the Chancellor's Undergraduate Internship Program where he serves as the Social Justice & Community Cocurricular Programs Intern at UC Santa Cruz. His interests lay on education around social justice issues and ways to create social change. During BSFI 2016, Jose was part of the Earthlab Cohort where he got the opportunity to work with children, practice ethnographic research, and help educate. He believes that the BSFI internship helped him bridge his major as a discipline and connect it to the real world.

Esmira Yisimila | Communication Studies Major and International Studies Minor

Esmira is graduating with a degree in communication and a minor in international studies. Born and raised in a multi-cultural environment, Esmira is fond of exploring new culture, history and people and she loves to present these different dimensions of the world through various means of media. In the course of internship, Esmira worked teaching grade school students about nature, open spaces and native spices and along with her teammate, they created a Google map and reports of energy use and consumption in the Encanto neighborhood.



Lupe Galindo | Political Science (UC Irvine)

Lupe Galindo is a 4th year political science student at UC Irvine. She was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. Her parents are originally from Mexico, specifically, Durango and Jalisco, which fall in the northern / central regions of the country. She is the third child of four.

In her spare time she enjoy going on long runs and hikes, getting some hits at the batting cage, and reading. She is also an adventure seeker and enjoys meeting new people and learning about different cultures.

Nicholas Locke | Global Health

Nicholas Locke: Nick is a Human Biology/Global Health double major who has lived in Sacramento, Stockton, San Diego, and Medellin, Colombia. Nick entered college with aspirations of working overseas as a doctor before he discovered UCSD’s Global Health Program. He quickly fell in love with the program and it’s unique sociocultural approach to health. He added a double major in Global Health, and now hopes to someday work overseas in relation to health, either as a project manager or community development worker. His current endeavors include helping form the UCSD Students for Global Health and researching better ways to approach homelessness in urban centers such as San Diego.

Ethan Ma | Urban Studies and Planning

Ethan is a student at UCSD, where he studies Urban Studies and Planning. He enjoys reading poems, watching films, and traveling by bicycle. He feels confident that his experiences in San Ysidro will inform his future career choices and complement the theoretically inclined education he receives at University.

Alyssa Moyer | Global Health

Alyssa is a fourth year Global Health student from the San Francisco Bay area. She plans to add an International Migration sSudies minor to supplement her education. She is currently conducting research under Professor Wong at UCSD. The purpose of this research is to create a feasibility report for the organization Survivors of Torture on temporary housing for asylum seekers in San Diego. Alyssa is interested in working with new immigrants in particular because of the vulnerability of their health and well-being.
She is Vice President of Public Health Brigades at UCSD, through which she travelled to Honduras to aid underprivileged local communities, providing them with cement floors, showers, bathrooms, and water storage. Alyssa was drawn to Global Brigades due to the model it works on, viewing health holistically rather than solely physical. By introducing both medical and socio-economic programs into a community, the community can stay healthy for longer.
Alyssa believes that socio-economic programs can provide a more integral solution to tackle recurring health problems in a community than biomedicine alone. Following her internship experience, she hopes to incorporate social and climate justice into her work.

Stephanie Peng | International Studies-Literature

Stephanie is a fourth year International Studies - Literature major. She considers the Bay Area home but is very excited to get to know San Diego better. Initially, Stephanie came to UCSD hoping to pursue a career as an English teacher, but after taking International Studies classes, is now also interested in perhaps pursuing work in the development sector. Ultimately, her goal is to engage critically with the community around her and foster positive relationships through her career and daily life, regardless of the path that life takes her. She is a runner, a writer, a tennis player, a traveler and a lover of cats.

Cynthia Robles | Public Health

As a 2016 UCSD graduate, with majors in Public Health and Psychology, Cynthia hopes to continue her work in the public health by working at a local community health center. As she continues to further her experience in the field, future academic plans include obtaining a Master’s degree in Public Health with emphasis on Community Health. Cynthia thoroughly enjoyed and learned a great deal from her participation in the 2016 BLUM Cross-Border Initiative.

Francis Yu | Urban Studies and Planning

Francis Yu is an Urban Studies and Planning and Communication Studies student at UC San Diego, interested in looking at the built environment and how it communicates and facilitates power, interactions, and everyday life. He is a queer Filipino-American immigrant from the San Francisco Bay Area and his identity is both a reflection and product of diversity in the city. He likes working with and for communities. Some of his recent experiences include working in the communications team of Councilmember David Alvarez’s office, where he helped campaign for the construction of a new park in the Ocean View Hills community, and working as an organizer for Center on Policy Initiatives, where he coordinated a voter turnout program aimed at UCSD students. Some of his hobbies include scuba diving, going to concerts, and cooking.

Alesa Zhang | Economics (UC Berkeley)

Alesa Zhang (whose Chinese name is Jing Zhang) plans to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics this coming December. She is passionate about working to remediate inequality, and, in her degree program, has dedicated time to courses that relate to the subject of development. To pursue her interest in development economics, she is minoring in Global Poverty and Practice, at the Blum Center at UC Berkeley. She’d very proud of her minor, and feels that it has given her the most inspiring, encouraging and transformative experience in university, making her a better person who cares about this world and wants to make it a better place.
She plans to pursue a Masters degree in Public Policy or Ph.D in Economics two years after graduation. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she’d like to work for a non-profit or research institute to get real-world experience toward defining the questions that would guide her future studies. Besides academics, she loves nature and enjoys hiking in her spare time.



Magnolia Garcia | Public Health

Magnolia Garcia was born in Mexico City, and grew up in Tijuana. She moved to Chula Vista four years ago, and started in community college as Biology major, later transferring to UC San Diego, as a Public Health student. She is interested in specific factors that affect the health of a population, such as economics, culture, and policies. She has found it necessary to understand these connections in order to have successful health interventions. She can see herself working as a health educator in the future, and wants to design and implement prevention programs for underrepresented communities. Her ultimate goal is to contribute to the eradication of health disparities around the world. Her favorite activities include spending time with her family, reading, and traveling.

Itzel Gonzalez | Global TIES (JSOE)

Itzel Gonzalez is a Structural Engineering major and Visual Arts minor student at UCSD, graduating in the Fall of 2016. She was born and raised in Tijuana, México and lived in the Tijuana-San Diego region until she moved to Los Angeles for high school. Besides school, she plays soccer for UCSD, as well as for the Xolas de Tijuana team. She’s an avid learner that likes to travel and learn about her own and other cultures around the world.   Her long term goal is to find a way to have a career that will work towards poverty alleviation and social justice and believes this internship help to steer her in this direction.

Estefania Huitron | Global TIES (JSOE)

Estefania Huitron is a third year Warren student studying environmental engineering. As an environmental engineer, she plans to address the lack of certain resources in disadvantaged communities.
She was born and raised in Santa Ana, Orange County, and is the third of four siblings, the second to attend a university. At UCSD, she has been highly involved with TRiO SSSP, a program dedicated to the retention of minority, low income, and disabled students. She is also involved with Alternative Breaks, an organization committed to service and raising awareness regarding social justice issues. She enjoys playing volleyball, hiking, spending time with her friends and family, and drinking boba.

Oslín Licea Chávez | Sixth College

Oslín Licea Chávez is a third year student studying Spanish Literature, with minors in Math and Math Education. He was born and raised in México until age 7, when his family moved to Southern California. Thirteen years later, he is studying at UCSD, where he spends a lot of time in the Education Studies Department, working as an instructional assistant for an upper-division course focused on public education in low-income communities. He is also an active member of  Hermanos Unidos de UCSD and serves as the facilitator for Spanish Literature Club at Garfield High School. He’s a big soccer and boxing fan and loves music, food, books, and chatting with people. In the future, he hopes to become a Spanish and Math in Spanish teacher at a bilingual school.

Alvaro Montano | Management in Business Economics (UC Merced)

Alvaro Montano is a UC Merced Student, majoring in Management in Business Economics (MBE). He was born in San Diego and raised in Tijuana, and, given this opportunity to commute through the border region, he was exposed to economic disparities from a young age. He participated in a series of missionaries trips to inland Baja, and Jalisco and had an opportunity to travel the middle east in high school. This were eye opening experiences that had a great impact on his character and perception.
He’s also a Yosemite enthusiast, and was part of the UCM Outdoor Experience Program where he participated in a series of adventures, which included backpacking, snowboarding and surfing. He enjoys photography, traveling, and trying to develop apps.

Cinthia Sánchez | Public Health

Cinthia is a fourth year Public Health major and Psychology minor.  She’d originally imagined focusing her undergraduate career to earn a B.S. in Psychology, but decided that a career in Public Health would better align with her goals, after conversing with a floor-mate who is studying for a degree in in this field.
She was born in Northridge, California and currently resides in Palmdale, where she lives when not at UCSD. Along with her participation in the 2016 Blum Summer Field internship, she serves a Senior Event Manager at the UCSD box office and is a part of the Public Health Club. She enjoys playing tennis, a throwback to her days as a competitive tennis player in high school. She also enjoys reading and spending time with her family and friends.

Cesar Solis | Political Science, International Relations, Human Rights minor

Cesar Solis is a third year at UC San Diego studying Political Science, International Relations with a minor in Human Rights. His interest in the field of human rights was spurred along by his love for politics and policy.
He grew up in San Diego and has been very active with Democratic politics at the county and local level, and has had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with many who do not feel like they are being heard. He believes that real change cannot come about without solid policy.

Fumika Takazawa | Global TIES (JSOE) + Urban Studies and Planning (minor)

Fumika is a fourth year student at UCSD, majoring in Environmental Engineering with a minor in Urban Studies and Planning. She was born and raised in Japan, where she lived until 2004, when her family moved to Cupertino, CA. In her spare time, she likes to exercise, meet new people, explore the outdoors, and craft.

BSFI | 2016

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