Eduardo Delgadillo ’16 has been recognized for service to his peers by his efforts to help UCLA students suffering from financial problems because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delgadillo, who graduated this month from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health (FSPH), received the 2020 Outstanding Service Award from the UCLA Graduate Student Association (GSA). The GSA represents more than 10,000 masters- and doctoral-level students at the university.
Since January, Delgadillo has worked to establish a hardship fund more to help UCLA graduate students in the aftermath of the pandemic. This began with a $10,000 fund for grants and has since grown to more than $80,000, and the team has reviewed and processed more than 200 grant applications.
“These were students who became the breadwinners of their families, were the caretakers for their families, maybe had lost a job and were full-time students,” said Delgadillo, who graduated this month with a master of public health degree, with an emphasis in health policy and management, with 252 classmates from FSPH. He also delivered the student address at the commencement. “I heard heartbreaking stories, even where a family member had died.”
His work took place at the same time he was finishing his courses at FSPH. He has worked as a teaching assistant at UCLA and as an administrative resident with Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. Delgadillo also served as co-president of the Fielding School of Public Health Student Association.
“Eddie is the kind of guy whom everyone comes to rely on without anyone’s quite noticing it along the way. He has an impressively deep dedication to the mission of public health,” said UCLA FSPH Professor Frederick Zimmerman. “For (one) course, (the) students were asked to outline a communication piece that would convey something about how health happens to a new audience. Since this is a big task, they were not expected to actually complete the communication piece, but just to plan it out. Eddie produced a full-fledged website, in Spanish, about colorectal cancer and the importance of screening.”