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Mission Statement

The mission of the Public Health Department at UC Merced is to promote and protect health in the San Joaquín Valley and the world through our research and the training of the next generation of public health leaders.

Guiding Principles

We are guided by our commitment to:

Health equity, social justice, and environmental justice. We believe health is a fundamental right and are committed to achieving health equity and justice.

Centering the San Joaquín Valley. We respect and acknowledge the diverse history, culture, and natural resources of our region, and aim to combine resources to achieve health equity and social and environmental justice in this region.

Learning and innovation. We develop local and national leaders, scholars, and public health practitioners through rigorous training and mentorship.

Community engagement. We believe in engaging community members and stakeholders to develop and implement innovative, culturally-appropriate, and evidence-based solutions. Our relationships with local communities — and our commitment to community capacity building — are integral to our efforts to serve underserved populations and achieve local solutions.

Research excellence. We adhere to the principles of scientific inquiry and academic conduct in our quest to achieve research excellence, intellectual rigor, and open inquiry.

Diversity. We embrace diversity as a source of strength. Our differences — of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, socioeconomic status, abilities, experience, and more — enhance our ability to achieve the university’s core missions of public service, teaching and research. We welcome faculty, staff, and students from all backgrounds and want everyone at UC Merced to feel respected and valued.

Interdisciplinarity. Our faculty represent multiple disciplines and their work requires an interdisciplinary lens, a hallmark of public health, and is in part demonstrated by collaborations across traditional disciplines.

Land acknowledgment. We acknowledge that local indigenous people, including the Yokuts and Miwuk who understand the earth as a place for everyone, first inhabited the land where UC Merced is located.

Our Culture. We are a vibrant and collegial intellectual community, marked by outstanding scholarship and participation in interdisciplinary communities of inquiry. We strive to promote an emotionally and socially healthy environment for work and learning. We value all members of our community, and we understand that maintaining a collegial environment is an important way of advancing our scholarly leadership.

We treat each other well by practicing and promoting the following attitudes and behaviors:

  • Effective Communication. We interact in culturally competent ways, with respect and consideration.
  • Intellectual Humility. We believe that everyone has the same ultimate goals, even if they have a different way of getting there than we do. We practice empathy by putting ourselves in others’ shoes.
  • Inclusiveness. We encourage each other by acknowledging each other’s contributions and providing assistance when needed.

Updated 2022