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Rebeca Almeida to Receive Academic Excellence Award

Rebeca Almeida (she/her/hers), a Comparative Ethnic Studies Major/Public Health double major and Women & Gender Studies minor, has been selected by the College of Liberal Arts to receive the Academic Excellence Award. This award reflects her extraordinary “level of intellect, drive, hunger for learning, and passion for social justice” said Dr. Denise Isom, the Ethnic Studies Chair.  

Initially when Rebecca came to Cal Poly she was a Biology major, later she switched into Ethnic Studies, which Rebeca believes truly “changed her life”. Eventually, she added a Public Health major, allowing her to delve deeper into the intersections of public health and Ethnic Studies. Passionate and driven, Rebeca ended her sophomore year by successfully obtaining an internship with the Institute of Collective Health in Brazil (similar to the CDC) where she studied the intersections of obstetric health and racism for Afro-Brazilian womxn. This was just the beginning of a stream of accomplishments. Shortly after her internship, she was invited to serve as a research analyst at UCSF doing a project on breast cancer. Then, not long after she was selected as a BEACoN Research scholar to work with multiple faculty members in Kinesiology/Public Health department.

Within the academic year of 2019-2020, Rebeca has co-authored seven academic peer-reviewed journal articles (three of which she is the first author) and has presented at eight academic Public Health conferences. Dr. Isom stated in her nomination to the college that “her [Rebecca’s] productivity rivals that of a faculty member, and she is just getting started.”

Rebeca’s work is not only limited to research, journals and conferences. She currently serves as the president of the Public Health club, is as a student representative for the Public Health and Ethnic Studies departments, in addition to working on an app to help Brazilians (in Brazil and the U.S.) who have low to no health literacy and volunteering in the community--all of which she has managed to accomplish while maintaining above a 3.9 GPA.

Our department is very proud of Rebeca for all that she has achieved, and the ways in which she has thoughtfully come about those achievements. Upon receiving the award, Rebeca stated “I could not have asked for a better college experience: Ethnic Studies was all I wanted, needed, and more. I know the relationships I created in this department will last for a lifetime, and I am extremely proud to soon be an Ethnic Studies alumna.”

We believe that for Rebeca, this is just the start, even the sky is too little of a limit!

Some of Rebeca’s work is highlighted below:

Almeida, R., Alvarez, S., Whaley, S., & Ventura, A.K. (2019). A Qualitative Study of Breastfeeding and Formula-feeding Mothers' Perceptions of and Experiences in the WIC Program. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Almeida, R., Fang, C. Y., Byrne, C. & Tseng, M. (Under Review). Mammographic Breast Density and Acculturation: Longitudinal Analysis in Chinese Immigrants.

Almeida, R., Lopez-Macha, A., Dugatkin, T., Duron, Y., & Fejerman, L. (Under Review). Community Research Collaboration to develop a Promotor-based hereditary breast cancer education program for Spanish-speaking Latinos.

Alber, J.M., Cohen, C., Bleakley, A., Ghazvini, S., Tolentino, B., Almeida, R., & Chance, B.L. (March 2019). Comparing the effects of different hepatitis B storytelling videos among a sample of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Poster presented at the Society for Public Health Education Conference, UT.

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