Alumna's Well-Rounded Experience Leads To Clinical Research

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Before she graduated from the Master of Science in Global Health program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and started full-time work as a Clinical Research Associate at Children's Hospital Colorado Anschultz Medical Center, Evangeline Adana ’20 presented environmental research at a national conference, utilized a music scholarship, and co-founded an animal lovers club at Dominican University of California.

“That’s the beauty of Dominican,” Eva said. “I had all these opportunities and I wanted to see them all through. That’s been amazing.”

That’s what Eva intended when she was drawn to Dominican upon graduating from Jewish Community High School in San Francisco. She sought to major in both biology and music and was advised in the Office of Admissions she could do both.

“I couldn’t believe I could go to school for the same four years and get two extremely different degrees?!’ ” Eva recalled. “That’s when Dominican became my top choice.”

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As a biology major in the School of Health and Natural Sciences, Eva focused on a pre-medicine track. Biology gave her flexibility to enter the Kaiser Permanente Pre-Med Mentors Program while doing research, and participating in a study abroad program -- Dr. Vania Coelho’s International Field Biology course to Thailand in 2019.

Until National Conferences of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at Montana State University was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic, Eva was to be among 41 total presenters from Dominican delivering 35 presentations in Bozeman. She, along with Dr. Coelho and co-authors Juliana Farmer, Chelsea Bueno, and Rafael Vilches, was to present “The Effects of Thermal Stress Under Low Light Conditions on Two Different Genotypes of Montastraea cavernosa Aquacultured Corals” at NCUR.

The rigors of research helped Eva prepare for a medical career. She joined Children's Hospital Colorado in September of 2021.

“Learning how to work in a research lab, the communication, the intensity. All of that has really given me the tool box that I needed for my next step – the masters and medical school,” she said.

Medical school was her goal and the Kaiser Permanente Pre-Med Mentors Program helped her decide on a path toward a doctorate degree. She was interested in specializing in being an Obstetrician with a focus on women’s reproductive health care, and health policy after shadowing OBGYN Dr. Helene Spivak in 2019. Though her internship with Dr. Spivak had ended, Eva continued to meet bi-weekly with her in her office at Kaiser Petaluma to continue to shadow and discuss Eva’s career options. She joined Dr. Spivak during rotations and shadowing a majority of diverse specialties before she graduated from Dominican.

“Through shadowing an OB/GYN, and having acquired direct experience, that ignited my passion for women's reproductive health,” Eva said. “That showcased the necessity for accessible reproductive health care being paramount, in order to reduce poverty. Interning for Kaiser also shown me the passion I have for efficient medical systems, which is why I wanted to obtain the masters in global health before medical school.”

In the meantime, Eva continued to work 25 hours a week, as a childcare provider, continued to serve as president of the Hand-In-Paw club on campus, with co-founder Olivia Lang-Brown, and continued to play the cello, which she has done since the age of eight. She credits June Choi Oh, chair of the Department of Music, Dance, and Performing Arts in the School of Liberal Arts and Education, for supporting her and helping her manage her time and class schedule between majors in biology and music.

“I knew I wanted to go to medical school, so I thought I should do all the other things that I’m passionate about before I honed in on just the medical experience,” Eva said. “I wanted to find a way to still make music a part of my life for as long as possible. The music degree connected me to a family here. It’s such a small, tight knit community.”

The pursuit of a music degree also netted Eva a scholarship. She was one of five students to receive the inaugural The Father Edwin Casey Endowed Scholarship created by alumna Cecilia Park Chang ’63.

Eva was grateful for that and the professors who made her Dominican experience so memorable and enjoyable.

“I know how much the faculty really cares for their students,” Eva said. “It feels like I’m part of this big family.”

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