Mariah Rubin smiling wearing a white blouse

February Student of the Month: Mariah Rubin

Hello! My name is Mariah Rubin and I am a 4th year Global Disease Biology (GDB) major and Spanish minor. I knew that I wanted to be a GDB major from the first time I visited UC Davis during Admitted Students’ Day and visited the GDB booth. I came in as an Environmental Science and Management major since I already knew that I care about the planet, but I also had interests in public health. The GDB major has been the perfect program for combining my various interests. I have loved learning about One Health and it has propelled my interests in food security. This framework provides me with the perspective about the connection between the planet, animals and people and I’ve experienced these dynamics firsthand from working on the Student Farm. I’m a Lead Student Farmer in the Fresh Focus program which focuses on reducing food waste through donations of our organic, sustainably grown produce to campus at locations such as The Pantry and Fruit & Veggie Up! programs. 

The practicum component of the GDB major pushed me out of my comfort zone and led me to pursue a research opportunity. I wanted to focus on research related to food security, and it turned out my instructor for Introduction to Public Health, Dr. Gonsalves, was working on a project with Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. I am focusing my practicum project on how COVID-19 has affected volunteerism at food-providing agencies throughout Sacramento County. I am so grateful for the mentorship I have received throughout this project and I believe that the practicum is a really special component of the major. I’ve also been fortunate to have the opportunity to become involved with Joan Viteri Memorial Clinic, a student-run clinic in Oak Park, Sacramento. These opportunities and GDB have solidified my interest in pursuing a career in public health. I am hoping to take a gap year after graduating to work in the public health field before applying to programs for a Masters in Public Health. Thank you to everyone who helps to make the GDB program incredibly supportive and fostering a strong sense of community!