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Students

Graduate Intern

Sophia Angelo

Sophia received her Bachelor's degree in Public Health from San Diego State University in 2015 and has worked in clinical research for the past few years. In the past, Sophia worked as an infectious disease clinical researcher on studies involving COVID-19, HIV, Influenza, and other communicable diseases. She recently transitioned into a new role at the County of San Diego as a Communicable Disease Investigator. She is currently pursuing her Master's of Public Health from the University of Nevada, Reno and is expected to graduate in 2023.
Graduate Intern

Ricardo Duarte

Ricardo graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2012 majoring in Sociology. He then moved back to San Diego to work as a Preschool Teacher for the YMCA. Ricardo also brings experience from his tenure as the Education Coordinator for Father Joe's Villages’ Therapeutic Childcare Center which allowed him to provide educational counseling to families and develop and implement community events. He is passionate about increasing literacy rates and interest in STEAM-related education. Ricardo is currently pursuing their Master's in Social Work at San Diego State University with an emphasis on macro-related Administration.
Graduate Intern

Yvonne Epps

Yvonne received her Bachelor's in Social Work from San Diego State University in 2013 and a year later started working for San Diego County's Child Welfare Services (CWS). For five years, Yvonne has worked with families involved with CWS and provided case management services to those who were involved with both court mandated cases and voluntary non-court involved cases. She has also previously worked as an investigator for emergency response, and specialized in medically fragile cases, assessing the safety and risk of their homes, and connecting them with local services. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Social Work with an emphasis in macro practice through Boston University's Online School of Social Work and is expected to graduate in 2023.
Graduate Assistant

Alicia Jacobo

Alicia received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from San Diego State University in 2010. She has experience working with children, families, older adults, and adults with disabilities. Her work experience includes being a Medical Social Worker for San Ysidro Health Center for 10 years. Alicia's primary interest is in healthcare policies for older adults and advocating for Universal Healthcare. She is a Graduate Advisor with the SDSU-Latino Student Social Work Association (LSSWA), active on the Social Action Committee (SAC), and a part of various other community organizations. Alicia is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Social Work with concentration in Administration and Community Development from San Diego State University. She is expected to graduate this May 2022, which will make her a double alumni.
Graduate Assistant

Jakob Schmall

After volunteering with SPI during his fourth year as undergraduate student at SDSU studying Biology with minors in Interdisciplinary Studies and Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience, Jakob works part-time with SPI as a student assistant supporting a wide variety of projects. This fall, Jakob will embark on his journey as a Graduate Student at SDSU’s School of Public Health with an emphasis in Health Management and Policy. Outside of the Social Policy Institute, Jakob continues to work in the residence halls as an Assistant Coordinator for Programming.
Student Intern

Emily Tran

Emily Tran (she/her/hers) is a second-generation Vietnamese-American to two refugee parents and is a part of the LGBTQ+ community. In 2013, she became certified as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) and found her passion in serving vulnerable populations in the community, specifically in providing care for senior citizens in the Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE). She is currently an undergraduate student at San Diego State University majoring in Gerontology and minoring in Asian Studies. As a result of her passion in the field of health and senior care, she is currently serving as the Chair of the Commission on Aging in Chula Vista and hopes to redefine what aging means by challenging people’s stereotypes about the process.
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