Ya Yang is a junior at the University of California, Merced where he is double majoring in Public Health and Psychology. He was born in Thailand where he lived until he was fourteen. His interest in Public Health developed during his first year of college when he learned about the health disparities in the San Joaquin Valley. Inspired by what he learned, Yang sought out research opportunities in the Health Communications and Interventions Lab and the Health Equity Research Lab where he received training in conducting literature reviews, survey administration and analysis, and qualitative interviewing. In the summer of 2018 he was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to conduct research on the complex health issues faced by Hmong shamans who provide healing and spiritual care in both California and Thailand. Right now, Yang is participating in the UC Washington Center program as a UCDC Presidential Public Service Fellowship recipient and interning at Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH).