Monserrat Venegas and Emma Dobson's Takeaways from UC Global Health Day 2022

Monserrat Venegas and Emma Dobson

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On May 7th, UC Santa Cruz hosted UC Global Health Day 2022, a system-wide conference on global health showcasing the outstanding research, training and outreach taking place across the University of California campuses. We asked Emma and Monse, two Global Health students who attended the conference, the following questions:


  1. What breakout sessions did you attend and what was covered?

  2. What was your favorite session?

  3. How do you think this experience influenced your understanding of the field of Global Health?

  4. How are you going to implement what you learned at UC GH Day back on UCSD's campus?

Emma Dobson (she/her) is a second year Global Health B.S. student minoring in Health Care - Social Issues.


1. What breakout sessions did you attend and what was covered?

I enjoyed my time at the UC Global Health Day immensely, and I loved listening to the event speakers, especially Rupa Marya’s speech on “Deep Medicine and the Care Revolution.” Dr. Marya challenged the current systems of thinking to force the audience to reevaluate if illness itself should be defined as a tangible bacteria or rather, the body’s response to a trigger. These triggers can even be from stress or trauma from discrimination, and Dr. Marya argues that the body has no way to differentiate between a bacterium and trauma when creating an inflammatory response. In this way, Dr. Marya shared her belief that structural issues that cause stress should be treated with the same health severity as a bacterial illness.


2. What was your favorite session?
After the plenary speakers, the first breakout session I attended was titled “Uniting Campuses to End Sexual Violence presented by The Global College Campus Violence Prevention Network”. They spoke about how they had a student advisory board comprised of students from the University of California system who assisted universities across the globe in their research on sexual violence on college campuses.

3. How do you think this experience influenced your understanding of the field of Global Health?

I also attended a breakout session titled “Partners in Health Engage: An Opportunity for Student Action”. This was my favorite session, because I found it most applicable to my current work. Since I am co-founding the Partners in Health Engage chapter at UCSD this coming fall quarter, I was excited to learn more about the intricacies of starting a student-run chapter. During this session, we discussed how Partners in Health builds community power to advocate for health equity across the world. The PIH Engage mission is to organize local communities toward building a global movement for the right to health, and at UCSD, we will work to mobilize students in the fight for health equity. We learned about the logistical processes of running the club and what the typical structure of a student-led organization looks like. We also discussed the roles the leaders hold and their responsibilities, and considered some examples of events we can hold.

4. How are you going to implement what you learned at UC GH Day back on UCSD's campus?

Attending the UC Global Health Day opened my eyes to the exciting prospects for Partners in Health Engage at UCSD, and it increased my personal enthusiasm for getting involved within our local community.




Monserrat (Monse) Venegas is a third year double majoring in Global Health (B.S.) and Education Sciences.


1. What breakout sessions did you attend and what was covered?

I am a huge fan of Rupa Marya which is why I attended the Student-Led Discussion on Plenary Themes from Vandana Shiva and Rupa Marya. It was a great opportunity to go over the concepts learned from the first two speakers such as deep medicine, inflammation, and colonial capitalist logic with peers from other UCs. We also went over ideas from Vandana Shiva’s recorded lecture and the themes of ecological apartheid, the global need to reduce the use of glyphosate, and the radical solution of community seed banks. Later in the day, I attended the Partners in Health Engage: An Opportunity for Student Action breakout session which was a presentation to help global health students learn how to create a Partners in Health Chapter.


2. What was your favorite session?

My favorite part of UC Global Health Day was the last plenary session which consisted of two speakers, Adriann Begay and Cristina Rivera Carpenter. I had the ability earlier this year to listen to one of the speakers and it was fascinating to how my global health lectures correlated with a lot of the materials that I had seen that day.


3. How do you think this experience influenced your understanding of the field of Global Health?

I sincerely believe that this experience helped me understand how the concepts that I was learning in class applied to the real world. It greatly help to learn about the research that all of the plenary speakers presented. Dr. Ricky Blumenthal, the third plenary speaker, mentioned in his presentation the need to develop a praxis that allows you to reduce social distance between participants and researchers. This need to consider positionality was very impactful to me because as echoed in global health just studying things is not enough, we have to use science responsibly and for a purpose without having blindspots.


4. How are you going to implement what you learned at UC GH Day back on UCSD's campus?

I am planning to work with my fellow global health peers and faculty to form a Partners in Health Engage Chapter at UCSD. I was inspired by how other students are taking action and starting chapters and movements in their campuses and I think this would be a very meaningful organization that can make a difference and increase student participation in global health and community efforts.

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