HPRG Students

Maria.jpgMaria Rivas Reyes is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of California, Merced majoring in Public Health. She has a background in research on the cooking and feeding practices of Latina women and their children. She was funded through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Center for the Humanities (UROC-H) to conduct research on health care access among Mexican immigrants in Merced County. After graduating in Spring of 2019, she plans to attend graduate school in Public Health to help prevent diet related diseases among minorities.



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 is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Public Health. Her research interests include refugee health, health policy, and health disparities. She has background in research on oral health, refugee resource environments, and chronic conditions throughout California. Additionally, she is a Strauss Scholar, and a student representative on several committees, including the Chancellor’s Committee for Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion. She plans to attain a J.D./M.P.H. to address health policy and human rights issues.