UHP Graduate Emily Eijansantos Awarded 2018 UC Davis University Medal

Emily Eijansantos giving UC Davis College of Biological Sciences Commencement Speech
Emily Eijansantos giving UC Davis College of Biological Sciences Commencement Speech

By Shelbie Condie

In addition to her B.A. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, Emily Eijansantos was awarded the 2018 University Medalist, UC Davis's highest undergraduate award. This medal is given each year to the top graduating senior. Eijansantos was awarded for her outstanding community service, future scholarship and contributions to society, and excellence in undergraduate studies.

During her time at UC Davis, University Honors Program student Eijansantos worked in the lab of Professor Aldrin Gomes, researching ibuprofen's effects on heart cells. She published her research in academic journals and received honorable mention for the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. Additionally, she volunteered at the Connected Clinic at UC Davis for women with postpartum depression. Observing support groups, she analyzed research notes and encouraged mothers to come to the clinic. Volunteering here helped her realize there needed to be more awareness for mental health, specifically for clinics like Connected. By utilizing her membership in the Davis Wushu club, Eijansantos used martial arts to raise funds for mental health awareness. The student group hosted an event called "Fight the Stigma: A Charity Showcase", raising $1,000 for the Connected Clinic, and established ongoing support by students for the clinic.

Emily Eijansantos is currently applying to medical school for 2019 and is working for an adult day program in Livermore. Enjoy Life More, Inc. is a company that serves individuals with cognitive impairments. As part of their Direct Care Staff, she aids and guides participants as they learn to be integrated into the greater community through volunteerism, socialization with peers, and exploration of public resources. Eijansanto hopes to grow and inspire more change and future advocacy for this population.