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Gina Gilson, Treasurer of the USOH Club

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

Gina Gilson is the treasurer of the Undergraduate Students for One Health club at UC Davis. I spoke with Gina to learn more about the club’s goals and her plans for the club.

Name: Gina Gilson

Year: Junior

Major: Biological Sciences, possible minor in Global Disease Biology

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Fun facts:

Favorite snack: Xxtra Hot Cheetos

Pet cat’s name: Don-Juan

How did you get involved with the USOH club and why?

Freshman year, while I was walking around the MU, I saw the original club members at the tables. They gave me a brief summary of what the club was, and I decided to sign up. I couldn’t go to the meetings during fall quarter, but thankfully, I started going to the meetings during winter quarter. I wanted to join because I really enjoyed the concept of one health. I think it’s really important to understand the concept in order to treat patients and animals. Freshman year, I wanted to be a dentist and I used this club as a way to learn how I can integrate their one health concepts into my future practices. The club made me interested in the public health field as a potential career.

Why did you want to become the treasurer for the USOH club?

At the end of my freshman year, the founding officers graduated, so they needed younger members to fill their positions. I applied as an event coordinator and got the position…because I wanted to be more involved in the club, and was interested in the Global Disease Biology minor. During my sophomore year, members attended meetings less, and our club presence on campus became a lot smaller. By the end of sophomore year, I decided to reapply as a treasurer in order to meet the club’s needs at the time. The officers and I wanted to re-vamp the club for the next year, in hopes of gaining new active members.

What future plans do you have for the club? Where do you see the club going after you graduate?

Well, this year we’ve been working a lot with the Students for One Health (SOH) from the UCD Veterinary Medical School, so I hope to see more events with them. We’re currently working on more volunteer and outreach events. We’re thinking about doing a lab tour on campus as well as volunteering at student farms to try to incorporate all aspects of one health. We’re trying to publicize our club and get bigger.

By the time I graduate, I hope that our club has raised awareness about one health on campus. I want science majors here to be able to incorporate the concepts of one health into their studies and their practices as future physicians.

I hope after I graduate, the club will be well-known and have more members. I want the future club officers to be passionate about one health and involve the club in larger events. Ultimately, our club is about education and raising awareness, and we want to share that with others, especially with people who don’t know much about it.

Why should students join USOH?

Students should join if they are interested in learning how to make a difference; it doesn’t matter how small or big the difference is, as long as they have the ambition, they should totally join. Changing small aspects of your life can make a large impact on the world. An example is the reduction in use of plastic bags. We use reusable bags now and Yolo Bypass isn’t filled with plastic. An even better example is emptying out pools of stagnant water. If you just clear the pools of water that aren’t in use (like potted plants), you decrease the mosquito population since those pools of water are great breeding grounds for them. This also decreases the prevalence of disease in our animal and human populations. Simple things can make a huge difference on our environment and well-being. I hope students are interested in learning about one health so that they know doing little deeds can make a huge impact on our world.

Amanda is a fourth year UCD student majoring in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior with a minor in Psychology. She is an undergraduate research assistant at an affective neuroscience lab on campus. When she isn't studying or working, Amanda enjoys binge-watching shows on Netflix, doodling, napping, and hanging out with her friends.
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