Gehena Girish ’22

portrait of a student tour guide

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Home Town: Folsom, California

How long have you been walking backwards, leading campus tours? 

Certified to lead tours in 2019!

Major: Global Disease Biology

Minor: Political Science

Why did you choose UC Davis? 

I wanted to go to a university close to home, so I was still able to see my family but also experience college life away from home. Davis was a great choice for that. I also loved visiting campus during my senior year of high school, and fell in love with the calm and relaxed atmosphere. I have never been a competitive person by nature, and I knew Davis had the environment for me to thrive while being surrounded by like-minded individuals who valued their education over competition. But my major is the big reason why I chose UC Davis. Global Disease Biology is quite truly a program unlike any other, and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to study disease and health from a variety of perspectives, making me a more informed citizen of the world (especially during COVID!). 

What have been your favorite classes?

My major-related coursework, like a class I took with Dr. Leveau that was centered around disease and its role in society. It was right up my alley! My minor coursework has also been so fascinating, especially my international relations courses, because they provide me with a new perspective on global health from a political and historical standpoint.

How did you find your community?

Through the student organizations I've joined! Beyond being a tour guide and recruitment member for Undergraduate Admissions, I have joined a professional community service sorority (Lambda Omicron Xi) and a preventative health organization, R.I.V.E.R. These organizations are directly aligned with my values and goals, and have allowed me to give back to my community in various ways, along with giving me a group of people with the same values and a drive to serve.

What was the most surprising thing you discovered?

I was surprised to see how many opportunities there were for me here at Davis. I got to spend a quarter interning in the Birthing Ward at the local hospital, for example. It was so simple to find the opportunity and jump on it!

What is your favorite thing about UC Davis?

The spirit of our campus. I am constantly inspired by the students and faculty around me, who are all working towards making our world a better place. Aggies are some of the kindest people I have ever met, and I am proud to be right here at UC Davis.