Making Best Of Opportunities

Before she enters the Master of Science in Global Health program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) this fall, Evangeline Adana ’20 has environmental research to present at a national conference, a music scholarship to utilize, and an animal lovers club she co-founded on campus to nurture.

“That’s the beauty of Dominican,” Eva says. “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 recalls. “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 this month's National Conferences of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at Montana State University was cancelled, 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 have helped Eva prepare for a medical career.

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

Medical school was her goal and the Kaiser Permanente Pre-Med Mentors Program helped her decide on a path toward a doctorate degree. She is 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 last year. Though her internship with Dr. Spivak has ended, Eva continues to meet bi-weekly with her in her office at Kaiser Petaluma to continue to shadow and discuss Eva’s career options. She is joining Dr. Spivak during rotations and shadowing a majority of diverse specialties before she graduates from Dominican in May.

“Through shadowing an OB/GYN, and having acquired direct experience, this has ignited my passion for women's reproductive health,” Eva says. “This has showcased the necessity for accessible reproductive health care being paramount, in order to reduce poverty. Interning for Kaiser has 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 continues to work 25 hours a week, as a childcare provider, continues to serve as president of the Hand-In-Paw club on campus, with co-founder Olivia Lang-Brown, and continues 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 says. “I wanted to find a way to still make music a part of my life for as long as possible. The music degree has 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 is grateful for that and the professors who have made her Dominican experience so memorable and enjoyable.

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

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