Eva Danesh never really had to leave home to go to UCLA — “home” came along with her.

“My older brother, Noah, was a sophomore when I got in, so I was able to go through my first two years here with him,” she said with a laugh. “And then my younger brother, Jonah, started at UCLA, so I’ve never been here alone.” 

And there’s a strong chance the siblings’ lives will continue to dovetail. Danesh, a psychology major and public health minor set to graduate this June, will start medical school at USC in the fall — just as her older brother did, and just as her younger brother is considering doing. 

It’s a dream she’s had her entire life, sparked in part by watching the talk show “The Doctors” as a kid: balancing the daily responsibilities of helping patients one-on-one with having a platform to share health information with the wider public.

That dual interest is one reason Danesh got involved with broadcast journalism in high school, then print journalism in college — although the transition to writing initially gave her pause. 

“I always saw writing as a big responsibility – one day I am conducting interviews and typing up a story in Powell and the next, that story is printed on thousands of newspapers around campus,” she said. “At first, it was a big adjustment from being live on camera, but I realized how much I loved the way writing about a person or an event let me put the focus on them so completely.”

Starting with a piece on student holiday traditions, Danesh began taking on assignments regularly for the paper, including an in-depth examination of the site Bruinwalk, where community members share reviews of and experiences with classes, professors and apartments. 

That piece was especially memorable — she co-authored it with her older brother. The duo would end up filing five pieces together for the paper on topics ranging from record-breaking California heat waves to a marrow registry event spearheaded by UCLA football. And the family tradition continued: Danesh helped onboard her younger brother as a Daily Bruin reporter as well, with the two co-authoring 11 stories.

“What makes me proudest is knowing that I can put out information that people find well-written and important enough that it can, maybe in a very small way, enact change,” she said. “For example, I’ve written a few stories about blood donation and our blood center, and one day I overheard someone look up from the paper and say they were going to donate blood that day.”

In addition to writing for the Daily Bruin and serving on its editorial board, Danesh has been able to make a difference in other significant ways. During her time as a student, she has served as co-president of the American Medical Women’s Association UCLA undergraduate division; as a teaching assistant for a cell and molecular biology course; and as the instructor of a class she created herself through UCLA’s Undergraduate Student Initiated Education program. 

That course, “Making the Grade — At What Cost?” examined the relationship between mental health and the demands put on high-achieving students while offering strategies to cope, succeed and share experiences. One of her goals in creating it was to help build a community where students felt both informed and supported; remembering how that goal came to fruition still makes Danesh smile.

“With the course and with my writing — with everything — it means a lot that people would trust me to share information they can really use,” she said. “Everything I’ve studied and done here has imbued in me the responsibility of helping people, and it’s something I look forward to continuing when I hopefully achieve my goal of becoming a doctor.” 

Although Danesh has many plans for life after college, she has no doubt that she’ll be returning to campus soon, lest her younger brother enjoy his privacy too much. (“I’m going to visit him,” she joked, “whether he likes it or not.”) After all, being a Bruin is in the blood — beyond her brothers, Danesh’s mother, grandmother, cousins and a number of other relatives and friends attended UCLA as well.

“When I was writing an article about the John Wooden stamp unveiling, at the event, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made a surprise appearance to give a speech. I think that shows the magic of UCLA, where alumni live their Bruin connection forever,” she said. “I hope I’m one of those people in the future. Love for my family may have gotten me here, but love for UCLA made me so happy to stay.”