Summer break is over, and UCHI is proud to announce some big news for the upcoming school year.

It's been a summer of new additions, new honors and so many people to thank.

Now that fall is here (even in sunny California!), we are getting ready for an exciting year here at UCHI. With a brand new website, tons of new talent and experience coming into our chapter leadership, and great new possibilities for projects and partnerships, there is so much to be thankful for in the upcoming school year. 

We also welcomed our colleague Nazaire St. Fort from the State University of Haiti (UEH) to California this summer. Nazaire has shown phenomenal leadership with our partner student-organization in Haiti, UEH's Aksyon Inivèsite pou Devlopman Dirab (AIDD), and we are thrilled to announce that he will be officially joining UCHI as our In-Country Director upon his return to Haiti. 

(Pictured from left to right at UC Davis: Nicolás Pascal, Nazaire St. Fort, and Jean-Yves Merilus - a Ph.D student in Geography who has been working to help to organize UCHI's thesis mentorship project)

UCHI Co-Founder Nicolás Pascal shared the following with us when we asked him to say a few words about Nazaire's visit:

"It was an honor to welcome Nazaire St. Fort to California as a visiting student scholar at UC Davis, and to UCHI as our in-country director. Nazaire spent several weeks training under the expert tutelage of UC Davis' Dr. Steven Temple. He has now returned to Port au Prince and our partners at the State University of Haiti, where he will continue UCHI's two-years and counting ground presence, continuing this important aspect of our collaborative work. 
Mr. St. Fort's training and subsequent efforts in Haiti will further UCHI's ability to realize the tremendous potential that a global partnership for higher education between the UC's aggregate "power of ten" campuses and the State University of Haiti community promises - both in Haiti and here in California."

Checking in with our chapter directors!
As we start a new school year, our ten chapters share their big updates:

UCB welcomes Donna Kim. Congratulations to outgoing chapter director Yoori Chung on her graduation from UC Berkeley and her exciting new opportunity teaching high school mathmatics in Mississippi this year. UCHI's UC Berkeley chapter is lucky to have a promising new director in rising junior, Donna Kim, who is majoring in Social Welfare and Political Science. This year, the chapter has organized a De-Cal course, "Rebuilding Haiti Through a Multi-Disciplinary Approach."

UCD welcomes Adeel Ashfaq. UCHI chapter director extraordinaire Jessica Jaswal also graduated this year, and UCHI is glad to welcome Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major Adeel Ashfaq as UC Davis director. The Davis chapter will continue working on projects in the fields of agricultural development, hospital drug donations, and more. Adeel is also hoping to continue to develop the chapter by recruiting undergraduates, hosting a variety of public awareness events, and establishing an international development seminar series. He hopes to end the year with strong project collaborations and a fully developed campus presence for future generations of UC Davis UCHI leadership.

UCI welcomes back Yesenia Palacios. Yesenia co-directed the UCI chapter last year with recent graduate Juhi Babu, and this year the chapter is fully in her capable hands. On the horizon is the development of a fellowship position and events with other global organizations at UCI. Last year, the chapter hosted a photo exhibition displaying student photographs from their trips abroad, and Yesenia hopes to continue this exhibition annually, getting even more groups involved. Look out for a global awareness week on the Irvine campus soon!

UCLA welcomes Wayne Wong. UCLA’s Laya Reddy graduated last May as well, and she told us: “Though I plan to be part of UCHI for years to come, the new UCLA chapter director will be Wayne Wong who has served as Vice President this past year. He is awesome and will do a great job as chapter director!” Wayne, a Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) major, shared that as director-in-transition, "It is an honor to take the reins from Laya." Wayne hopes to continue expanding UCHI at UCLA’s peer-to-peer capabilities with the State University of Haiti and raise awareness of the UCHI mission among students and faculty at home.

UCM welcomes back Ariana Ruiz. Our UC Merced chapter gets to keep their director this year. Ariana, a Microbiology and Immunology major, says UCHI @ UCM has some great plans, including a campus-wide global awareness event and a screening of Baseball in the Time of Cholera. The chapter also plans to do more networking with graduate students to get support for thesis mentorship, increase faculty support/participation, and is looking to add a public health class about Haiti to the UC Merced curriculum, similar to the course taught at UC Riverside last year. 

UCR welcomes back Mohannad Awadalla. We are so glad Neuroscience major Mohannad will be continuing as director this upcoming year as well (he is also taking Jessica Jaswal's place as Council of Directors Chair). Riverside's plans include: raising money by hosting a winter benefit concert to build an rebuild an orphanage destroyed in the 2010 earthquake, hosting an event to introduce faculty/staff to UCHI, and working hard to recruit members for the thesis-memoir project. With the help of graduate student Sarah Bobek, Mohannad will be  specifically looking for graduate agronomy students. 

UCSB welcomes back Sierra Griffin. The UCSB chapter (also lucky to keep their chapter director, Global Studies major Sierra) is excited for the upcoming year, and has many plans in the works. In collaboration with local NGO Direct Relief International, the chapter just hosted a film screening of Baseball in the Time of Cholera and an incredible panel discussion featuring Haitian human rights attorney Mario Joseph, Trevor Nielsen of the Global Philanthropy Group, Nicole Phillips of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti and filmmaker Bryn Mooser. UCHI @ UCSB is hoping to expand leadership and to take on more projects with Haitian students.

UCSC welcomes Elaine Ponce-Dick. This year, the UC Santa Cruz chapter is welcoming in new Director, Elaine Ponce-Dick. She is taking over while previous Director Lydia Lambert (majoring in Politics with a minor in Art History) is studying abroad in France, and they will co-lead the chapter for the second half of the year. Elaine is an Environmental Studies and Politics double major, has been with UCHI for the past year, and is very enthusiastic about continuing work with UCHI. The Santa Cruz chapter is looking forward to collaborating with more students and faculty members at UCSC this upcoming year as we continue to grow momentum. UCHI at UCSC plans to reach out to students and staff to gain support for ongoing and new projects.

UCSD welcomes Nisha Balaraman. A Cognitive Science major with minors in Dance and Health Care/Social Issues, Nisha was vice president of our UCSD chapter last year, and is now taking over for graduate Brad Segal. Last year, the chapter appointed section directors and coordinated with various student organizations to create more ties within the San Diego campus. Nisha is looking forward to recruiting new members and establishing partnerships on our campus this upcoming year with faculty to build a stronger system of resources for UCHI.

UCSF welcomes back Harinder Chahal. Harinder is currently in Geneva working with the World Health Organization and is returning this month. The San Francisco chapter is currently planning on recruiting new members, including a new director in the upcoming year. The chapter will also be focusing on their upcoming October 17th lecture featuring Paul Farmer (see the right-hand column for more details) and fundraising for the disaster response training program.

Take Initiative!

If you're looking for a way to support the effort for public higher education in Haiti, please take the time to contact the UCHI chapter director at the campus nearest you

Please also visit our donation page, hosted by UCLA Giving. Your donation will help us bring resources to our Haitian partners; providing opportunity for collaborations and facilitating various projects.

And don't forget to take a look at our projects. If you see one that interests you, please don't hesitate to contact us or make a donation. gets a makeover!

This re-design has been in the works for a while now, so we couldn't be more thrilled to unveil our beautiful new site this month thanks to AirTight Internet Services. Hope you guys like the new site as much as we do!

+ A big "thank you" to UC Riverside

This summer, we recieved the University of California President's Award for Outstanding Student Leadership. UCHI is so grateful to have been given this honor by the University. To celebrate the award and the start of our best year yet, we wanted to share this photo with all of you that shows the award itself during UCHI's meeting with UC Riverside's Chancellor Tim White.

Big thanks to UCR Professors Christopher Chase-Dunn and Christiane Weirauch for their incredible support, as well as Chancellor White for his nomination. 


UCHI recognized as inagural "UCGHI Affiliated Student Initiative"

We are also proud to announce that earlier this month, the University of California's Global Health Institute (UCGHI) leadership has recognized UCHI as their inaugural Affiliated Student Initiative.

UCGHI Co-Directors Dr. Haile T. Debas and Dr. Thomas J. Coates explain that, "student-led initiatives play an important role in focused development of partnerships and service projects on the ground. The UCGHI welcomes UCHI as its first affiliated student initiative. With advocates and supporters from all sides, UCHI will unquestionably continue to make significant progress." 


On Our Calendar...

October 4 @ UCSB - Our UCSB chapter hosted a film screening of Baseball In the Time of Cholera and panel discussion with Trevor Nielsen (Global Philanthropy Group), Bryn Mooser (Filmmaker, Baseball in the Time of Cholera), Nicole Phillips (Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti), and Mario Joseph (Bureau des Avocats Internationaux). The event was a smash hit, filling UCSB's Campbell Hall nearly to capacity, and we hope the dialogue it started will continue to generate great new ideas!

October 6 @ UCD -
 UCR Chapter Director Adeel Ashfaq and Deputy Director Nina Cung invited Dr. Phuoc Le of UCSF to speak on UCHI's behalf during the 10th annual AMSA conference on Saturday, October 6th. Dr. Le has done great work in Haiti's health sector, and his two global development workshops were a huge success at the conference.

October 17 @ UCSF - We are so excited for the upcoming "Global Health Delivery," a presentation by Dr. Paul Farmer of Partners in Health that we are co-hosting with UCSF Global Health Sciences. This event will be an incredible opportunity to hear Dr. Farmer speak and network with like minded people in the Bay Area. Come join us at UCSF's Cole Hall, from 12pm-1pm!

October 20, TBA - UCHI is hosting our very first online symposium from 12pm to 3pm on Saturday, October 20th. UCHI affiliates (including students, faculty, partnering organizations and any other supporters) are welcome join us as we reflect on our goals for the upcoming year and outline a strategy to achieve them. We hope this symposium will help clarify aspects of our organization and the roles of everyone involved. Please keep an eye out for more details on how to join the conversation in the upcoming weeks.

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