On the lenses and challenges of philosophy, a desire to represent the Lao people, and creating impactful messages by bridging visual media and conservation

Dao Xayalath is a Conservation + Tech fellow studying philosophy at UC Berkeley. Here, Dao discusses his major, long-term career aspirations, and goal to represent the Lao community in academia.

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I was originally born at a refugee camp in Laos that no longer exists today. My parents were refugees from Laos who wanted to come to the states to give my sisters and I a better opportunity than they had growing up. …

By Lorraine Meriner Pereira, Fung Fellowship ‘20

Lorraine Pereira is a 2020 alumna of the Fung Fellowship and UC Berkeley, where she majored in Public Health and minored in Global Poverty & Practice. Here, she reflects on how the fellowship’s pedagogical approach equips undergraduates with many of tools and frameworks historically used in the pursuit of social justice, and how the fellowship fits into the trajectory of positive social change.

Between the ongoing pandemic, the continual obstruction of justice for Black lives, and the mis- and disinformation spreading even faster than the flames that engulfed our nation’s west coast, 2020 has exposed the brokenness of the systems…

“I want to understand the broader forces and problems that shape our world, so that I can be more targeted about where and how I choose to work.”

Lauren Leung is a Health + Tech fellow studying computer science with a minor in geography at UC Berkeley. Here, she shares about her academic interests, her personal mission to help others lead healthier lives, and the growth she hopes to accomplish through the fellowship.

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“I originally thought I was going to study English and sociology when I came to Berkeley. After my first semester, I realized that these two majors weren’t right for me, and started surveying a wider variety of courses.

I decided to take a computer science (CS) course, as I didn’t have the chance in high…

“I think everyone I have met, especially through the Fung Fellowship, has the potential to do something really positively impactful for the world, and I hope to see everyone go after their dreams.”

Ananya Raghavan is a Conservation + Tech fellow studying society and environment and data science with a minor in public policy at UC Berkeley. Here, Ananya shares about her areas of study, why she believes interdisciplinary access to tech is necessary, and how fellows can reframe the conversation around biodiversity.

Young woman with curly dark hair wearing a white tank top with an ocean scenery in the background smiles.
Young woman with curly dark hair wearing a white tank top with an ocean scenery in the background smiles.

“I knew that I wanted to focus on environmental work because everything that I’d been passionate about and had done in high school had revolved around that, whether it was volunteering at animal shelters or doing field work and habitat restoration. When I was applying to Berkeley, I learned about…

The Fung Fellowship celebrates its fourth and largest cohort

In August 2020, a new cohort of 116 undergraduates from across Berkeley’s campus began their journey as Fung Fellows. Handpicked from the largest applicant pool yet, these students were chosen for their passion for health and conservation, unique creativity, ability to think outside the box, expertise in their field, and drive to make a difference.

With the launch of the new Conservation + Tech track, this year’s cohort welcomes twice as many first-year fellows as last year. Across tracks, these fellows joined the program with a natural curiosity and propensity for innovation. …

By Lauren Leung

Alumna TJ Dunnivant ’18 is reviving a project that she worked on during her time in the Fung Fellowship. The digital product, called Baloo, mitigates anxiety in child cancer patients through an Augmented Reality (AR) dog. We caught up with TJ to hear about what she’s doing with Baloo, and her goals for the future.

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TJ and her son Asad, who was diagnosed with leukemia.

In her second year as a Fung Fellow, TJ Dunnivant’s 10-year old son Asad was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). At the time, many people recommended that she drop out of school, since it would be a hard process to go through with her…

By Ya Chi “Angelina” Liang and Oscar Ramos

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Pictured: Fung Fellowship 2021 cohorts, Honors Fellows, Staff, and HBI stakeholders

This year, the Fung Fellowship Boot Camp was hosted entirely remotely for the very first time. Traditionally, this event is the first opportunity for fellows to meet and work with each other. Though it was virtual this year, the boot camp served as an exciting look at how the fellowship will continue to develop as a program in an online format.

Welcoming two first-year cohorts

A program specifically focused on the intersection of social good and technology has never been more fitting — and this year, it has expanded to meet the rising need and student interest. The current cohort includes the first class…

Introducing our staff and teaching team for the 2020–21 year.

As we kick off the new school year and our new cohort begins to settle into the program, we want to introduce our staff and teaching team, including both the old and new faces that we are so grateful to have working on this unique experience together!

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Jennifer Mangold, Director

“Despite a pandemic and a necessary pivot, we are proud of the impact our Honors project was able to have this year.”

Team Adapt launched their Honors team in Fall 2019 and originally intended to design adaptable clothing for older adults, partnering with Elder Care Alliance (ECA), a Bay Area senior-living organization. However, in March 2020, the team made the critical decision to pivot their project to help create emergency personal protective equipment (PPE) for at-risk eldercare workers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five young women pose for a selfie.
Five young women pose for a selfie.
Team Adapt members, from left to right: Yoyo Ko, Josie Lee, Vivian Hong, Shirley Jiang, and Romina Mazooji

Now, the team has spearheaded the creation of over 300 reusable gowns, as well as published their “Adapt Gowns Playbook,” designed for senior living facilities to provide personal protective equipment to their workers and at-risk individuals.

Here, Team…

By Kamu Potharaju

Kamu Potharaju, an alumna of the 2019–20 Fung Fellowship cohort, reflects on her experience as a fellow upon finishing her junior year at UC Berkeley.

A group of around 30 young adults sit on grass.
A group of around 30 young adults sit on grass.
An adorable cohort picture from our bootcamp back in August. :’)

I’ve never had a more anticlimactic last day of school. A “Submit” button replaced the triumphant walk out of a lecture hall after my last final, and just like that, I was done with my third (!) year at Berkeley. I’m still not ready to process the bittersweet emotions that come with becoming a senior, so for now, I’m still reminiscing on the memories of junior year. Between the ups and downs, I experienced an…

Fung Fellowship

The Fung Fellowship at UC Berkeley is shaping the next generation of health, conservation, and technology leaders for a better world. 🌱

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