HPRG Alumni

2017-2018 Undergraduate Alumni


Maria Rivas Reyes is a senior at the University of California, Merced majoring in Public Health. She was funded through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to conduct research on health care access among Mexican immigrants in the San Joaquin Valley. She currently interns at Livingston Community Health Center. Maria is passionate about addressing the social determinants of health that impact the adverse health outcomes of vulnerable populations. After graduating, she plans to work on projects relating to health policy and health education before pursuing a PhD in Public Health.


Jovo Velasco is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of California, Merced majoring in Public Health and minoring in Psychology.  Since high school, he has been interested in Public Health; working with the San Joaquin Public Health Department and University of the Pacific to address health disparities among Latinos with diabetes. He is currently a Peer Health Educator for Planned Parenthood, educating the Merced community about sexual and reproductive health. Jovo plans to pursue a Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management and aspires to be a Public Health Director in the future.

AkhilaAkhila Yechuri graduated with a B.A. in Public Health from UC Merced in August 2018. Her interests include health policy and human rights issues. She currently works for the Oakland Unified School District, with the McKinney-Vento and Behavioral Health teams to create literacy programming for students who are homeless and highly-mobile. She was recently awarded a Fulbright- Nehru Research Award to conduct research on health disparities among Hindu and Muslim women, after which she plans to pursue a J.D./M.P.H.