Reproductive Health Interest Group
The Reproductive Health Interest Group (RHIG) is a registered graduate student group at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Founded in 2002, RHIG brings together students, faculty, and staff to learn about and discuss reproductive health issues, share information, and engage in service and advocacy projects.
Please welcome the new Leadership Team!
Leadership Team and Subcommittees
Dr. Paula Tavrow, Faculty Advisor ptavrow at ucla.edu
Meet the new leaders
Jasmine Uysal (RHIG Co-President) is a second year MPH Student and researcher in the Department of Community Health Sciences focusing on global reproductive health and justice. Since graduating from the University of Southern California in 2014 with a B.A. in Health & Humanities emphasis in Global Health, Jasmine has been avidly promoting health care equality and access in underprivileged populations through a series of nonprofit management, research, and advocacy efforts with organizations such as World Vision International, Unite for Sight, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), Jhpiego, and UCLA. Last year Jasmine served as RHIG’s Advocacy Co-Chair working on advocacy projects including LARC awareness week, AIDS Walk Los Angeles, and Creating Space – RHIG’s newest effort designed to improve lactation accommodation and access on UCLA Campus. Jasmine is also pursuing numerous research projects in the effort to improve community reproductive health projects and knowledge. Her current research projects include contraceptive decision making in the Philippines, consumer access to emergency contraception and female condoms in the USA, Nurse-Midwife newborn care skills in Lesotho, and HIV/AIDS risk among adolescent girls in Lesotho. Additionally, Jasmine works on project evaluations to assess and improve community reproductive health outcomes and implementation processes. After graduation, she intends to continue her pursuits in research and program implementation for reproductive justice and community health.
Caitlin O’Connor (RHIG Co-President), half of RHIG’s newly elected co-presidency (alongside Jasmine Uysal) is a first year MPH student in the Department of Community Health Sciences. She came to UCLA after completing both her B.A. in Black Studies and Applied Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and two years of serving as a community health educator in the US Peace Corps (Swaziland 2012-2014). She is currently in RHIG leadership serving as social media coordinator, which she considers a much more attractive responsibility than her other academic pursuits. She is currently working as a Title X program intern as a local OB/GYN clinic near UCLA. Her areas of interest include: reproductive health, policy and advocacy, social epidemiology, and healthcare management. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her dogs, rearranging furniture in her apartment, and finding new and exciting places in LA to use her student discount.
Katherine Sziraczky (RHIG Treasurer) is a first-year MPH student in the Health Policy and Management Department. She completed her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley with a double major in Business Administration and Public Health, and then led the Americas Demand Generation Marketing team for Cisco Meraki, a cloud IT company in San Francisco. She has volunteered with UNICEF at Cal, Volunteers Around the World, Samahope, and MyLife, all programs working toward improving the health and quality of life for people around the world. In her free time, she loves swimming, jogging, live music, and good books.
Amy Elizabeth Alterman-Paradiso (RHIG Education Chair) is a third year PHD Student in Culture and Performance in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance and a first year MPH student in the Department of Community Health Sciences. Since graduating from Indiana University in 2010 with a B.A. in Folklore and Gender Studies, Amy has integrated arts-based teaching methods and LGBTQ-inclusive teaching practices into sex education implementation as a sexuality educator for Planned Parenthood of New York City. As an interdisciplinary scholar, she explores how the arts can be used for public health education initiatives and sex education curricula adaptation. Her current research project is an ethnographic investigation of sex education implementation in Atlanta, Georgia. At UCLA, she collaborates on diverse projects across campus with the goal of fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration and expanding reproductive health education access for youth.
Ingrid Talavera-Gutierrez (RHIG Events Coordinator) is an undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Global Studies with a special interest in sexual reproductive health. Ingrid has extensive experience with event planning as well as a business background as she has previously worked for the Southwestern Advantage Company where she ran her own business. Ingrid is especially passionate about reproductive health and justice and is excited to bring her skills in event planning and marketing to RHIG. She has successfully completed training in both Puberty and Middle School Teen Talk through Health Connected and intends to pursue research along with community work regarding woman’s health and sex education. Her objective for RHIG is to bring forth events that will not only increase RHIG’s involvement within the public health community but events that will build strong and valuable relationships together within the UCLA community and the greater Los Angeles area.
Katy Eyberg (RHIG Advocacy Chair) is a first-year MPH student in the Department of Community Health Sciences. After earning her B.A. in English from the University of Texas, she worked as a high-school English teacher for three years in the Austin area. That experience inspired her to pursue an MPH to combat health inequities that occur with adolescents, especially in public schools and resource-poor areas. Katy also enjoys advocacy and political activism. She has experience canvassing Planned Parenthood supporters, registering people to vote, and speaking before government agencies on education and gun laws. In her spare time, Katy enjoys reading, bicycling, and exploring.
Some outgoing members share their reflections on what RHIG has meant to them:
“RHIG has served as an incredible resource for both knowledge and opportunities for involvement over the past two years. I have learned more about reproductive health, rights and justice than can be summarized in a few sentences and have developed a relationship with an incredible community of human beings whose passion for bettering the lives of others is apparent in their every action. I will forever be grateful for my time with them.” -Michelle Smudde, RHIG Advocacy Co-Chair
“Through the work we’ve done, RHIG has afforded me a tremendous opportunity to create my own topography of reproductive justice organizations, collaboratives, and institutions in Los Angeles. In this capacity, RHIG has facilitated my ability to plug into communities that affirm and support my commitment to reproductive justice. What’s more, RHIG has offered a context through which I have been able to meet so many wonderful people whose passion, compassion, and humility will continue to inspire me!” -Monica Ramsy, RHIG Secretary
“The past year serving on RHIG’s leadership team has been an honor. I am grateful for my colleagues and the intersectional framework from which we worked. This experience has complemented my studies perfectly and I will always look back on this time fondly.” -Sally Saleh, RHIG Treasurer
“We want to send a big thank you to both the RHIG leadership team and RHIG members for the past year, which has been full of exciting projects and inspiring accomplishments! We’ve accomplished more than we imagined was possible over the past year, and are thrilled to welcome the new RHIG leadership team.” -Suba Narasimhan & Sarah Jane Smith, RHIG Co-Presidents
Interested in becoming a member? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE RHIG NEWSLETTER