Empowering Voices: Public Health Students Reflect on Key Takeaways from the 11th Annual CSU Health Policy Conference

By Dr. Ni Zhang, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health & Recreation

11th Annual CSU Health Policy Conference in Sacramento

A dozen enthusiastic public health students attended the electrifying 11th Annual CSU Health Policy Conference in Sacramento from April 15th to 17th. Over two action-packed days, they connected with legislators, public health professionals, advocates, lobbyists, and legislative analysts. When asked to share the most exciting highlights and key takeaways from the speakers, the students said:

  • I like when the Secretary of State, Dr. Weber said, ‘if there are no seats at the table, bring your own chair.’ I took this to mean that you need to advocate for yourself when you believe you deserve better and to create your own path when it comes to finding a career. — Suodaba
  • When Mayor of Sacramento, Darrell Steinberg, said “be hard on the issues, be easy on the people and enrich your knowledge about the world by reading.” I also really liked what Ash Kalra said “don’t forget where you came from.” — Raveena
  • Dr. Aragon mentioned that when you’re talking to someone who shares different values or a different perspective on an issue you should: Listen and ask yourself 3 things: What can I learn about this person, what can I learn about myself, and what can I learn about the issue. — Angelica
  • From Dr. Weber: You should make people afraid to lose your support and your voice. By voting and advocating, people will listen to you because they are afraid of your power. – Reagan
  • Policy is not just about passing bills, it is about working to make the future better in order for other people to not go through the same struggles we did. — Dana
  • One thing that stuck with me would be hearing Wendy Carillo speak about how legacy is planting a seed for a tree that we will not see because it made me reflect and think about the future I want to create for those that will come after me and it solidified why I want to go into public policy. — Micole

SJSU has been active in planning and participating in this conference from the beginning. The conference is a unique convening of public health students and faculty across the CSU, all committed to government service and public health.

11th Annual CSU Health Policy Conference in Sacramento

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