Shaina Santa Cruz, a graduate university student in the Community Health and fitness Graduate Software, was awarded the Central California Asian Pacific Gals (CCAPW) scholarship.

The scholarship offers financial aid to Asian and Pacific Islander (API) females pursuing better education and learning who are from Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus or Tulare counties. Purposes have been evaluated based on, but not limited to, the following priorities: very first-generation, tutorial accomplishment, leadership and contribution to the API neighborhood.

The CCAPW scholarship marks an significant chapter in Santa Cruz’s journey. As the eldest daughter of Filipino immigrants, she stated that it is unbelievably meaningful to be honored by the CCAPW organization, which focuses on empowering Asian and Pacific Island women of all ages in their personalized and qualified growth. The group has supported API girls in Central California for 40 many years while cultivating a house for leadership and mentorship prospects for the next technology of API leaders.

Santa Cruz’s exploration focuses on social inequalities that factor into health and fitness outcomes. As part of Professor Irene Yen’s HOPe Lab, she has worked on research inspecting social determinants of health, together with training, political participation, and housing instability. At present, she strategies to review housing instability and adverse childhood experiences in rural spots, these kinds of as the Central Valley.

“Since I entered the Ph.D. method, Professor Yen has impressed and encouraged my expansion as a lady of shade,” she claimed. “Similarly, I hope to carry on this development through CCAPW and look ahead to connecting with and discovering from my new group.”

Throughout her undergraduate software at California Point out College, Fullerton, Santa Cruz collaborated with professors in the parts of communicative conditions, greater education and learning, cognitive science and overall health science, which she claimed helped establish her passion for improving populace health by way of stats. As a health educator, chair of a speech remedy corporation, and researcher, she formulated her information of neighborhood well being issues through application-evaluation do the job and fingers-on company-learning ordeals. In the end, she options to generate a school situation in a community health and fitness or epidemiology division at a condition university and mentor the next technology of researchers.