Meet the 2017 Fellows


Vanessa Au

Vanessa Au, MPH, Health & Social Behavior

I am at the School of Public Health because I am interested in bridging my analytical and interpersonal skills in order to address the health disparities that many underserved populations face. I choose to participate in the Fellows program for the opportunities to be challenged to develop leadership skills through collaboration with a diverse team of peers and community partners. 



Marvin Crespin

Marvin Crespin-Gamez, MPH, Health and Social Behavior

I want to gain the technical skillset necessary to be able to design and implement public health programs with international development agencies around the world. I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to grow and develop both professionally and personally through an introspective look at who I am as a leader, but especially to learn from the amazing group I will be part of.



Sabine Dabady

Sabine Dabady, MPH, Public Health Nutrition

Here is a story about Sabine. Her journey to Berkeley and the Bay Area, started by train, by way of Brooklyn, NY where she was raised. She understands more than ever that paths are not linear. As a teenager, Sabine loved art museums. At 16, she declared that she wanted to be an art curator. She studied Art History and French at Vanderbilt University to prepare for her road ahead. Following college and some of its associated hiccups, she did not become a curator. Instead she worked in the performing arts as a booking agent of tour dates for dance and theater companies.

During that period, a bike accident, a global food systems continuing education course, and a volunteer opportunity at a farmers' market were some of the factors in her causal pie that motivated her to pursue a different path. After several years, Sabine called the curtain on her work of booking tour dates to return to school to study Nutrition. She feels that she has been a student for quite some time and is looking for a mirror to see herself in a new light [cue the entrance of CHL Fellows]. This is where her journey really unfolds.


Amelia Plant

Amelia Plant, MPH, Maternal and Child Health

Drawn to UC Berkeley’s focus on eliminating health disparities, I am pursuing a Master in Public Health to gain the skills to advocate for disadvantaged populations and evaluate interventions that aim to improve the social determinants of health for women and families. The CHL Fellows Program is the perfect opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from other public health disciplines and develop the practical experience to be an effective leader in the field.




FionaRuddyHeadshot BW

Fiona Ruddy, MPH/MCP, Health and Social Behavior/Housing, Community, and Economic Development

After working on food access issues at home in Detroit, I decided to pursue a joint degree in Public Health and City Planning at UC Berkeley to deepen my understanding of the intersection between these two disciplines and how they can work together to create healthier, more equitable communities for individuals to thrive. I am thrilled to be a 2017 CHL Fellow – developing my personal and professional leadership skills are key to putting my academic training to use and creating tangible change for good.


Kiana Said

Kiana Said, MPH, Environmental Health Sciences

My passion for understanding environmental impacts on human health, and Berkeley’s handful of opportunities and resources is what brought me to the School of Public Health. The structure of the Fellows program appeals to me because of the diverse activities that are provided such as the leadership coaching, workshops, consulting project, and the retreats. Overall, I am looking to be a part of the group of Fellows to be involved in a positive way at the School of Public Health and the Center for Health Leadership, and to increase my self-awareness on what my strengths and weaknesses are.



Anitra Smith

Anitra Smith, MPH, Health Policy and Management

My passion for building healthy communities in my hometown of Oakland, CA has inspired me to pursue graduate training at the School of Public Health. I want to address health inequities from a quality improvement lens within our health care delivery system. I plan to work in community clinics and public hospital settings and use population analytic tools and patient reported feedback to drive quality improvement initiatives. I’m thrilled to be a Fellow! I believe that being a Fellow will provide a unique opportunity for me to gain a heightened sense of self-awareness and focus on leadership development. Beyond that, I’ll be given an amazing opportunity to work with a dynamic group of colleagues from different backgrounds, which is invaluable.


Claudia Zaugg

Claudia Zaugg, MPH, Maternal and Child Health

I decided to pursue my MPH at Berkeley because I am determined to address the health inequities in our state, especially among vulnerable children and adolescents. I chose to participate in the Fellows program to grow as a professional outside the classroom and to interact with my larger peer group -the future leaders in public health!