April GDB Student of the Month: Yolanda Fuentes

Yolanda Fuentes

My name is Yolanda Fuentes I am 4th year Global Disease Biology major born and raised in El Salvador. I moved to the Bay Area when I was 13 years old and navigating through a new country without knowing the language was extremely difficult, especially when visiting medical providers. This and many other experiences have made me want to work with underserved communities and immigrants. For the past year I have been very fortunate to be working in Dr. Rodrigo Gallardo’s lab at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. I am currently working in my practicum project in Avian Reoviruses molecular and pathological characterizations. In my free time I like to spend time with my family, go on runs, sketch, and playing the guitar and ukulele with friends.


When filling out my application to transfer to a four-year university, UC Davis was my number one choice because of their Global Disease Biology major. GDB has allowed me to take classes with professors of different backgrounds (plant pathologists, entomologists, veterinarians, and public health professionals), which have given me a new outlook on health. Now I look at different health challenges with a multidisciplinary approach way of thinking. The advising office has the friendliest and approachable peer-advisors and advisors. I am grateful for Andrea Guggenbickler (our current advisor) and Brandy Fleming (our former advisor) because they have helped me greatly with my transition to Davis, classes, and when going through a rough patch. They really go above and beyond for every student in the major. I am currently undecided between pursuing a masters or going to nursing school after graduating.

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