Alyssa Arbolante, Sylmar resident and graduate of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, has been recognized for her work in communications related to the health sciences at the school, ranked among the Top 10 public health graduate schools in the United States.
In addition to her graduate degree — which she received on June 10 — Arbolante was named a Lester Breslow Impact Award Fellow at the school’s 2022 Student Academic Honors and Awards Ceremony at UCLA. The award, which includes a stipend, stems from her achievements in the MPH program, including her work studying the question of racism as a public health issue.
“To this day we live in a time where the color of your skin is intrinsically linked to the challenges you face just to live a good, healthy life,” Arbolante said. “These are social determinants of health that have serious consequences on both physical and mental health.
“As public health leaders, we have a job to fill.”
Arbolante first graduated from UCLA in 2020 with a bachelor of arts degree in linguistics. While continuing her studies for a master’s degree, she has served as a teaching and research assistant and has been active in Students of Color for Public Health, the Mobile Clinic Project, and other activities, including her award-winning animated short “Racism is a Public Health Crisis.”
She has also worked at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“Alyssa becomes a double Bruin, adding an MPH in Community Health Sciences to her UCLA undergraduate degree in linguistics and Spanish with a minor in global health,” said Dr. Julienne Jose-Chen, the Fielding School’s assistant dean for student services.
“It’s this commitment to academic excellence while communicating why and how public health is a field which has an impact on seemingly intractable problems facing society, which led the evaluators to name her a public health impact fellow.”
The Breslow Award Fellow is among several student honors presented by the Fielding School to honor the late Dr. Lester Breslow, a former dean of the Fielding School and among the first public health experts to quantify the health benefits, risks, and associations with a life expectancy of exercise, diet, sleep, and smoking.