The Life of a Post Grad
Shirelle Mizrahi received her Bachelor of Arts in Global Health from UCSD in 2018. We reached out with a few questions about her life as a post grad life and here’s what she had to say!
What was your favorite aspect of the Global Health program at UCSD?
“I appreciated the way in which the curriculum focused on the history of human diseases, research methods used in public health, and intervention and prevention strategies. I was particularly interested in the concept that illness is not only a function of genetics, but so often entangled in structural inequality, identity labels, and cultural beliefs. As an alumnus, I continue to be grateful for the flexible view of healthcare I have developed as a student.”
One class that Shirelle mentions particularly enjoying was ANSC 121: Psychological Anthropology, with Professor Paula Saravia. She believes that this class truly broadened her understanding of individual psychology and the influence society has on the human psyche.
“I also found the Global Health Capstone to be an extremely academically and personally rewarding experience. It was the first time that I immersed myself in hundreds of research articles and really struggled to fully understand the depth of studies pertaining to my thesis topic. My experience writing a thesis under the support of Global Health faculty and my fellow peers was invaluable; it gave me the organizational skills necessary to accurately keep track of hundreds of studies’ data, communicate my methods and study results, form my own voice and opinions on a topic I chose, and interact with research in a way that I hadn’t, previously.”
What have you been up to since you graduated?
Since graduating from UCSD, Shirelle has been involved as a research assistant with the University of California San Diego, Center for Gender Equity and Health.
“As my first project, I contributed to a published report for the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), titled “Sexual Violence Research: Findings from a Systematic Review of the Literature 2015-2019”. The report is a conglomerate of the research regarding sexual violence in the United States from 2015-2019, taking into account prevention strategies, vulnerable populations, and resources for survivors.”
Shirelle was thrilled to be able to co-author sections of the report, such as sections involving sexual assault among the LGBTQ+ community, and male survivors of sexual assault, to name a few.
“Working on these specific sections was a choice I made; my aim was to better understand how groups that are typically on the periphery of the conversation about surviving sexual assault— such as men and the LGBTQ+ community— experience sedimented marginalization and importantly, may lack survivor resources.”
Shirelle notes that uncovering the way LGBTQ+ youth, specifically, experience heightened risk of experiencing sexual assault, and counter-intuitively are equipped with far less targeted resources and interventions, was particularly impactful and has inspired her to continue learning about the effects of stigmatized identity in healthcare.
“I have found my experience at the Center for Gender Equity and Health extremely rewarding, and would recommend interested students keep an eye on their “current positions” that are open to students!”
What advice do you have for current or prospective Global Health students?
Shirelle remembers finding it difficult to connect with professors; specifically, when asking questions about their own research interests and how they have achieved their success.
“As a student in a large public university, it can feel intimidating asking a professor to devote time away from their own work endeavors to speak with, or even mentor, you.”
To combat this fear, Shirelle joined the UCSD Guardian and became a Features Writer. As a Features Writer, Shirelle had to communicate with fellow students and faculty in order to develop articles. In doing so, she was able to tailor her writing around professor research she was intrigued by, or on-campus events she wanted to learn more about— pushing her out of her comfort zone.
“The field of Global Health is broad; if I had one piece of advice to current students, it would be to communicate with the professors that are immersed in the research and projects they find meaningful.”