Connect with a Current Undergrad

Do you have questions about what it's like being a student in the School of Public Health and Health Professions? Connect with one of our student ambassadors, representatives for the school can tell you about more about SPHHP and its academic programs.   

2021-2022 Public Health Ambassadors

Ayan Deria.

Ayan Deria

I am currently a junior in the Public Health BS program with a minor in social justice. I have always had an interest in the health care field and learning about how public health affects everyone on an individual and population basis. Throughout my time here at UB, I've learned just how important this field is and how crucial health and well-being is to the world specifically at crucial times like the time we are living in and how we can progress. I plan to further my education by pursuing my master's with a concentration in epidemiology, in hopes to use these skills to address health inequity for vulnerable populations and working to eliminate these barriers that hinder communities on a local and global basis.

Alexis Gantos.

Alexis Gantos

I am currently a senior, studying public health. As a transfer student, I know what it is like to feel undecided about what you are doing with your goals, and to change your mind. Helping people has always been one of my passions. I was interested in public health and discovered that it is the career that I would like to pursue. I will be helping people at a population level, and I think that is a really cool thing. I have already gained some public health experience as a contact tracer for the New York State Contact Tracing Initiative. Through this, I have gained experience interacting with people in stressful situations that are important to community health. The more I learn about public health, the more I am excited to pursue my career once I graduate. As of the time I am writing this, I am not 100% sure what I would like to do with my degree, but I am leaning towards program development. I hope to work at the national level of public health to really be able to make a difference with my degree.

Srikrithi Krishnan.

Srikrithi Krishnan

Hi everyone! I am currently a senior pursuing a dual degree in psychology and public health, along with a minor in addiction studies and sociology. I’m also a member of the Honors College. I was not a public health major when I first started here at UB, but I took Introduction to Public Health and really liked the idea of creating change and helping communities at a population-level perspective, instead of at an individual level. Something I have gotten good at throughout my time at UB is time management and knowing what to prioritize with such a busy schedule. Throughout my undergraduate career, I have been part of many different clubs, research projects and jobs. I am currently vice president of the Public Health Club, which helps bring public health awareness to UB and the community. I also worked in the Smoking Research Lab on campus, which looked at how e-cigarette use affects populations. Currently, I work in the Office of the President at UB, and also work at Wegmans in the bakery. After undergrad, I plan to pursue a master's in public health, along with a master of business administration. Long term, I want to help prevent chronic diseases in populations in lower socioeconomic statuses. Outside of school, I love reading, exercising, cooking and spending time with friends! I am so excited to be a SPHHP ambassador, and look forward to helping you out with any questions or help you need!

Ashley Kwong.

Ashley Kwong

I am currently a senior pursuing my bachelor’s in public health. I have always had an interest in the health care field, but was never sure what career path was best suited for me. My time at UB has allowed me to experience different majors and discover my love for public health. I developed a passion for public health that I had not experienced in my previous majors. I love the dynamic nature of public health and how it strives to address pressing health issues within our communities on multiple levels. Throughout my years at UB, I have been a part of various organizations both on and off-campus. My freshman year I was a peer tutor with the Chat Room program, which worked with international students one-on-one to improve their English. I have also worked as a Welcome Weekend leader to aid first-year students with assimilating to life in college. One of my passions is volunteering, which led me to join Alpha Phi Omega. Alpha Phi Omega is a service fraternity that is dedicated to giving back to our local community through service. I have also served on multiple executive boards, secretary for the FiIlipino American Student Association, and historian and Pledge Committee for Alpha Phi Omega. My experience as an intern at Vassar Hospital and Mid Hudson Hospital sparked my interest in hospital management. I plan on attending graduate school for health administration so I can optimize health services for patients in need.

Aretha Pierre.

Aretha Pierre

I am currently a senior born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., pursuing my bachelor's in public health. I enjoy going out to eat, spending time with friends and dancing. I have always been passionate about health care and helping underserved communities. When first entering UB, I had the intention of completing my bachelor's in biology but quickly realized that it was not the best fit for me. When I discovered public health, I realized it would allow me to channel my passion for health, science and helping others on a grander scale. Public health focuses on the health of a population and ways to improve it in everyday life. Therefore, it allows me to see how our community well being is maintained through simple improvements and discover the underlying causes for health trends we see today. In spring 2021, I joined UB’s Experiential Learning Network/SPHHP project called Exploring Public Health in Various Community Settings, which was one of my first steps in educating communities and helping bridge the gap between health and the underserved. In the future, I plan to pursue a career in health care administration and get my MHA degree.

Kiersten Voccola.

Kiersten Voccola

I am currently a rising senior, studying public health, with a minor in political science. My time at UB has been anything but conventional, as I am graduating a year early, with two years of health care experience. Learning in the classroom, along with getting hands-on experience has been invaluable in expanding my skill set. The public health program has allowed me to discover my passions and pursue an exciting career path. Mental health at the population level is what I am most passionate about, and my part-time job at a psychiatric hospital has allowed me to learn about how we can better serve psychiatric patients from a public health perspective.

One of the projects I am most proud of is the vaccine clinic that I was the assistant team lead for. Through that project, I was able to help over 500 people get a COVID vaccine. I attribute the professional opportunities I’ve already had to the public health program at UB. In the future, I plan to go to law school, and I plan to specialize in public health law.

Ian Wong.

Ian Wong

I am currently a sophomore majoring in public health with a minor in biostatistics. I recently switched to the public health major during my freshman year due to my freshman seminar (PUB 199). This class opened my eyes and fascinated me in the field of public health and the operations on world populations that occur behind the scenes that people are rarely aware of. I aspire to contribute to this grand cause of improving the health of the public through the field of epidemiology. I am preparing to apply to the 3+2 MPH program here at UB to then work towards a PhD in epidemiology so I may gain as many connections and as much knowledge as I can to hopefully influence the public health community to further improve the world and its health. I am eager to spread the importance of public health especially as this field has gained more publicity in recent years due to the rise of COVID. In experiencing the hindrances that this pandemic invokes first-hand, I understand and relate to how frustrating and difficult the process of searching for opportunities and reaching out to others for advice is. I hope to alleviate some stress for upcoming undergraduates by providing as much information and helpful resources as possible in regards to the school of public health alongside the undergraduate experience itself.

Perla Zolt.

Perla Zolt

I am currently a junior public health major with a minor in cultural anthropology in the Honors College with the hopes of attending physician assistant school after I graduate! Ever since the pandemic, I found myself loving the field of public health and constantly wanting to learn more. I have been able to use classroom knowledge in a real world setting, which helps me understand what is going on in the world and what I can do about it! I am also currently the director of membership selection for my sorority Alpha Sigma Tau and a research assistant in Dr. Wen's Maternal and Child Health Lab. These experiences have confirmed my love for working with and helping others. I am so excited about spending my final two years learning more about the importance and relativity of public health, and I cannot wait to take this knowledge with me wherever I go!

2021-2022 Exercise and Nutrition Sciences Ambassadors

Jen Limer.

Jen Limer

I am currently a junior at the University at Buffalo, majoring in exercise science, minoring in public health, and a member of the Honors College. I will be earning my doctorate in physical therapy through the 3+3 program here at UB in the upcoming years. Through my time at UB, I have been fortunate to receive motivation and inspiration from those around me, whether it be friends, family, professors, TAs or advisors. I have always gained great strength from the encouragement of those who wholeheartedly believe in me, and I am excited to be that person for all of the future patients I work with. As a longtime athlete, I have a passion for health and for finding new activities to keep me moving. My friends and I have fun times sledding during the Buffalo winters and getting out to take sunset walks in the spring. This is something that I love about exercise science--that we get to work hard in the classroom with other passionate students, and then go out and use all the skills we have learned in so many different aspects of our lives. There are so many opportunities in this program, and I am thrilled I get to take advantage of them and make my mark on health care.

Nayab Mesfun.

Nayab Mesfun

My name is Nayab Mesfun, and I am a junior exercise science major with a concentration in pre-physical therapy and a minor in nutrition. I am pursing my bachelor’s in exercise science and then hope to move on to achieve my DPT/doctor of physical therapy degree. I aspire to be a future physical therapist, although I am contemplating between becoming a physician’s assistant as well. I have always loved science and the medical field, and through my various shadowing and volunteering experiences have come to appreciate both careers and areas of study. This, combined with my love and yearning to help others, has led me down the path of exercise science.

I am both a first-generation American and student, with immigrant parents from Eritrea, and am happy to share my experiences and advice with adjusting and acclimating to college and collegiate life. I also enjoy getting involved in my community and throughout UB and have been a part of multiple clubs while attending. I have served on the Resident Hall Council as a senator for my freshmen dorm, have been on the E-Board of MAPS (the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students) as the volunteer coordinator and currently serve as the activities coordinator, and have been an active member of both the BSU (Black Student Association) and ASA (African Student Association) to garner a community and connect to my roots while at UB. I additionally volunteer and shadow regularly at the Pediatric and Adolescent Urgent Care of WNY here in Buffalo.

I am excited to be an ES ambassador and am more than happy to help with any of your needs. I have experiences as a first-gen student, living on and off-campus, with leadership positions in clubs, volunteering and shadowing, working while in school, and much more, and can assist with understanding and becoming accustomed to life as a UB student. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or help you may need, and I am excited to get to know you more. Good luck!


Amy Sternberg

I am a third-year exercise science student working towards my master's in athletic training. I hope to achieve this through the 3+2 accelerated MSAT program. Through working with the University at Buffalo’s Football Athletic Training Team, I have been shown that athletic training is definitely the career I want to pursue. In the future, I aim to work at the collegiate or professional level.

I grew up in Orange County, N.Y., graduating from Monroe Woodbury High School. I've participated in sports such as hockey and tennis. Now, I continue to be active by going to the gym. I am very eager to learn more about exercise science this semester and am excited to continue my role as an Exercise Science Ambassador for the University at Buffalo. 

Megan Weber.

Megan Weber

I am currently a sophomore at the University at Buffalo majoring in exercise science and minoring in nutrition. I plan to further my education by applying to the 3+3 program in order to get my doctorate in physical therapy. I am very interested in pursuing a career in orthopedic or pediatric physical therapy and am extremely passionate about advocating for the physical therapy occupation. Throughout my experience at UB, shadowing opportunities, and extensive number of volunteer hours, I have come to appreciate health and wellness even more. I hope to adjust how health care is practiced and work towards incorporating more public health and wellness efforts into my career.

Adriana Zieba Rosa.

Adriana Zieba Rosa

I am currently a junior majoring in exercise science with a concentration in exercise physiology. Originally, I was in the 3+3 Physical Therapy program but decided to switch to the 3+2 program in Athletic Training instead. I am from Long Beach, N.Y., so I love going to the beach and participating in outdoor activities. I hope to work as an athletic trainer for a high school-, college- or professional-level sports team.

On campus, I am involved with the Intercultural and Diversity Center, holding a position as diversity advocate. We celebrate, educate and advocate for diversity on campus through a number of programs. In addition, I am the publicity coordinator for the Latin American Student Association, a club where I have made some of my closest friends.

Both of these positions have allowed me to become very engaged in the campus community, which is something I plan to continue with this position. Lastly, I am in the Daniel Ackers Scholars program as well as CSTEP.