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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

UC Davis science, pre-health clubs provide learning opportunities this fall for incoming students

SENDForC, Bayanihan Clinic and Youth In Dentistry representatives share their experiences from being involved

    For many new students, a new chapter has just opened in their book of life as they step foot on the UC Davis campus. Perhaps lost and yearning for connection following a year of virtual classes and interaction, students can look forward to joining many different science or pre-health clubs this year as many of the organizations are transitioning back to in-person this fall quarter. 

    Recently established as the Davis Chapter of the organization about a year ago, SENDForC provides an opportunity to meet like-minded undergraduates who are passionate in STEM subjects, and are eager to create and host workshops and mentorship programs for underprivileged high schools across the nation. Bryan Kuo, a rising third-year at UC Davis and one of the co-leads for the Biology and Chemistry Committee, explains why he joined this student-led organization, reflecting on his experiences as a high school student.

    “Throughout highschool, I attended STEM summer programs to explore my interests in more specific science-related fields,” Kuo said. “While these programs were very helpful, they usually cost a fair amount of money, making them less accessible for some students. With the desire to provide a similar learning experience free-of-charge for all high school students, I joined SENDforC’s Biology/Chemistry Committee to help SENDforC design and teach workshops in Biology and Chemistry. Others should join SENDforC if they are interested in helping to make STEM education and higher education more accessible for students of all backgrounds.” 

    The committee has already hosted a few virtual yet interactive workshops on subjects such as immunology, genetic engineering and neurophysiology. This fall, the organization is looking to bring the workshops to high school students in areas near Davis.

    Pre-health club students have the opportunity to engage in volunteer work to help patients at Bayanihan Clinic, one of the student-run clinics at UC Davis. Roland Del Mundo, an undergraduate coordinator for Bayanihan Clinic, explains the clinic’s goals and work.

    “Bayanihan Clinic provides accessible primary and preventative care to Filipino immigrants and all diverse, underserved communities of the Greater Sacramento area, while honoring the legacy of Filipino veterans through advocacy and community engagement,” Del Mundo said. “During clinic days, undergraduate clinic interns manage the clinic flow while assisting medical students and doctors with patients. Bayanihan provides specialty services including Vision Services, Diabetes Empowerment Program, Healthy Breast Program and Wellness Services. In addition to the clinical aspect, our clinic performs outreach events catered towards our veteranos that raise awareness about Filipinx heritage.”

Despite the clinic’s competitive application and rigorous commitment of three consecutive quarters for students, Del Mundo has learned to cherish the skills and appreciate the experience as a leader of the clinic’s mission.

“One thing that I have learned in my time in Bayanihan is how to deliver culturally sensitive healthcare,” Del Mundo said. “This includes using active listening, critical thinking and proper communication to ensure that we understand our patients needs and are providing the best possible care we can to our diverse group of patients. Seeing the positive changes we are making in our community has been fulfilling and has strengthened my dedication toward caring for the lives of others.” 

For students pursuing a dental career, Youth in Dentistry is a newly established club in the Davis area for pre-dental undergraduate students to guide those passionate about dentistry and looking to attend dental school in the future. Isabel Caymo, one of the co-presidents who helped start the Davis chapter for Youth in Dentistry, describes the club’s purpose and how they flourished during the pandemic. 

“Youth in Dentistry at UC Davis was created during quarantine as a virtual-based platform used to provide information and resources regarding everything dentistry-related,” Caymo said. “Through this main purpose, we also aim to create a tight-knit pre-dental community within all of our students and members. We have hosted numerous Instagram takeovers with pre-dental students, dental students and dentists where they take us through a day in their lives. Our other projects consist of creating DAT questions of the day where our followers can interact to test their knowledge and researching and producing informational posts regarding dentistry topics.”

Fellow Co-President of Youth in Dentistry Brinda Prothia shares what she has gained from being a part of the club along with leading the club’s operations.

“I have been able to network with multiple dental students, UCD alumni, etc. all through the power of social media,” Prothia said via email. “I have also learned more about different specialities of Dentistry as well as all the important components of the Dental Application. And last but not least, I have found my community here where there are so many like-minded students like me who share the same passion for the field of Dentistry.”

Written by: Brandon Nguyenscience@theaggie.org

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