Josie Fermin
Class of 2024 graduate Josie Ann Fermin, B.A., public health policy. (Steve Zylius/UC Irvine)

Josie Ann Fermin’s passion for public health started when her grandmother was diagnosed with diabetes, a condition she believes was accelerated by social determinants of health, the kind that can be mitigated by effective public health policy. This insight guided Fermin to concentrate on the prevention and management of noncommunicable diseases. She is energized by the dynamic nature of public health and the potential for policies like the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent landmark regulation of “forever chemicals” in drinking water to bring about positive health outcomes in communities. Fermin plans to pursue a Master of Public Health in child and maternal health and a role as a hospital social worker. As her graduation nears, she looks forward to nurturing her own personal wellness in Aldrich Park. “Having a coffee and a treat as birds chirp and sing while catching up with a friend is so enjoyable and lovely,” Fermin says.

What was your favorite class at UC Irvine?

My favorite class by far has been AIDS Fundamentals. This course was incredibly engaging, and while it was challenging, I learned so much about the science and policies that shaped the foundation of what public health is today. I fell in love with the care and attention the professors of this course took with teaching about this topic so much that it inspired me to pursue internships at the local and federal levels to learn more about public health policy.

Who at UC Irvine has been an influence or made a significant impact on you?

The staff in the Program in Public Health’s Office of Student Affairs have been my mentors, my biggest supporters and a group of people I am so lucky to work with. When I first started my position as a peer academic advisor, I was nervous, but their encouragement and unwavering faith in me nurtured my confidence to not only support other UCI students but also be bold and go after opportunities I was passionate about.

What makes you a proud Anteater?

I am so proud to be an Anteater and to be surrounded by the most intelligent, sincere and passionate students who approach the world with such open minds and care. I am lucky and grateful to join a network of alumni who share advice and pass on wisdom to future Anteaters!

Read more #IamUCI – Class of 2024 stories