Deepali Ernest graduated with her Master in Public Health in Epidemiology from San Diego State University School of Public Health in May 2022. Prior to pursuing this degree, Deepali earned a Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior from UC Davis. Following her graduation from UC Davis, Deepali was accepted into a number of prestigious programs and chose to attend the School of Public Health at SDSU in 2020.
At her recent graduation, Deepali was honored with the Hanlon Award. The Hanlon Award is a prestigious distinction named after the late Dr. John J. Hanlon, former Assistant Surgeon General of the US Public Health Service and one of the founders of the SDSU School of Public Health. Deepali’s well-deserved selection was made due to her extensive involvement on and off the University campus as a teaching assistant, researcher, and mentor to other students in the School of Public Health. In addition to her involvement in the community, Deepali graduated with an impressive 3.97 GPA.
During her time at SDSU, Ernest worked with Dr. Tianying Wu on Healthy Aging research. In the Wu lab, it has been shared that Deepali was instrumental in initiating the survey research, and learning and deploying new software systems to develop an online-based survey. She was also a respected leader in the lab, welcoming new team members and sharing her experience and knowledge with others. In addition to working in Dr. Wu’s lab, Deepali served as an emergency data relief intern for a COVID-19 project for the Broadstreet Institute. Here, she used her skills to conduct county and state-level quality assurance of COVID-19 case data from multiple Midwestern states. Moreover, she has played an active role in evaluating and summarizing COVID-19 outreach data for San Diego.
Due to her work and dedication to research, Deepali was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program from 2021 to 2022 to support her efforts in the Wu lab on Healthy Aging.
Deepali is looking forward to continuing her education at University of Texas at Houston to pursue her doctorate in Epidemiology. During her time there, she will continue to focus on fighting chronic diseases in vulnerable communities. Her eventual goal is to remain in academia. Through her work at San Diego State, she has found a love of teaching and mentoring and would like to teach a new generation of public health champions for the future.