My Last Day as a Peer Advisor

Austin Dalmasso

Hello GDB Friends, Peers and Family,

Today marks my last day as a GDB Peer Advisor. I am incredibly fortunate for all the experiences I have had and connections I have made with students, staff, and faculty while in this role. As my life transitions, I am moving on to pursue an MPH at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. I will be studying in the Sociomedical Sciences department with a certificate in Health and Human Rights. I truly believe that without the holistic, comprehensive scope of the Global Disease Biology major I would not be able to access this opportunity and continue pursuing my passion for health equity and justice. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continually upends the structure of our educational institutions, I find that there are some important reminders in order to stay centered and motivated. This situation is revealing the resilient nature of our UC Davis community as well as the enduring strength and adaptability of our student body. I am hopeful for the future and this current situation has served to reaffirm the necessity of a One Health educational track such as that offered by the GDB program. I am in solidarity with all students working to navigate this unprecedented educational landscape and I know that in times like these it is pertinent to rely on your networks for support. Carl Sagan once said, “for all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness.” I believe this is still true and I am anxiously awaiting change.

I believe that generational knowledge is vital. If I could go back and have a conversation with myself in 2016 at the beginning of my first year at Davis I would offer some simple words of advice. Make sure to be cognizant of the range of opportunities available at Davis; step out of your comfort zone soon and often. Use your voice, the necessity for advocacy never ceases. Professors are just regular people with a few extra letters after their last name, they are (usually) here because they want to be. Drink more water. Give yourself a break. Etc, etc.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me (amdalmasso@ucdavis.edu) for anything!

Austin