RIMI Health Scholars

2011 RIMI Scholars

Photograph of Mr. Frederick
Brian Frederick RIMI Health Scholar, Department of Criminal Justice
 Mr. Frederick graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. During his undergraduate studies, he worked as a research intern for the Orange County Probation Department’s research division, and served as a mentor at the County’s Youth Guidance Center. He is currently pursuing his Master of Science in Criminal Justice at CSULB. Since beginning the program, he has presented research on the marginalization of critical perspectives (e.g., race, gender, class, culture) in public criminal justice core curricula, and has co-authored a paper with the Chair of his department. As a graduate student, he is primarily interested in the study of punishment and confinement from both a historical and sociological perspective; of particular interest to him is the intersection of crime and mental illness, as well as the social meaning of crime committed by the mentally ill. After CSULB, he hopes to continue his education in a PhD program with the ultimate goal of one day teaching at the university level.
Photograph of Ms. De La Cruz
Cindy De La Cruz RIMI Health Scholar, Department of Health Science
Ms. De La Cruz received a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science Psychology in 2009. Being the first in her family to graduate from college, the educational system has shaped her strong views in advocating for social justice issues such as promoting quality, affordable education as well as access to health care. Specifically, Ms. De La Cruz seeks to revolutionize access points for education and health care services among underserved communities with multiple issues and conditions. As a result, she works to address these concerns through enhancing her experience in research, while developing a deeper understanding of the role that race/ethnicity plays in social and health outcomes.  She previously worked as a research assistant for UCI’s Department of Psychology and Social Behavior as well as on a Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s research team. Both studies focused on the effects and degree of impact of a social-evaluative stressor on cortisol.  Ultimately, Ms. De La Cruz aspires to join a team of researchers who are seeking solutions to aforementioned disparities and raise awareness to these issues through education, community activism, and partnerships. Aside from her goals, she loves to travel to new places and meet new people.
Photograph of Ms. Hidalgo
LeighAna Hidalgo RIMI Health Scholar, Department of Applied Anthropology
 Ms. Hidalgo grew up in a bicultural and bilingual household as the daughter of an El Salvadoran immigrant and a North American mother, who instilled in her a passion for social justice and social change. LeighAnna is working on her Masters in applied anthropology with a focus on economy, urban spaces, and visual media. At Arizona State University she double majored in cultural anthropology and transborder Chicana/o Latina/o studies with a concentration in transborder community development and health. In addition to her studies, she worked for the South Phoenix Collaborative, a network of researchers and students studying the South Mountain community, looking at the coping strategies they employ for staying healthy amidst the economic downturn and changing immigration and employment laws.  Maintaining an interest in the South Mountain community, she is currently conducting a research project on access to credit and finance, self-employment and entrepreneurship among immigrant enclaves in predatory economic, legal, and political landscapes. She practices a mixed methods approach using geographic information systems, statistical analysis, and participant observation. Additionally, she is using visual ethnography to create an applied media comic book designed to disseminate information, and open up dialogue in the community on salient economic and immigration issues.

2010 RIMI Scholars

Gabriel Robles RIMI Health Scholar, Department of Social Work
Mr. Robles obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Linguistics at CSULB. During his undergraduate studies he participated in a program in Salamanca, Spain for heritage speakers of Spanish. This program was designed to allow students to challenge themselves by being placed in a Spanish-monolingual classroom setting. He is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work degree. After graduation and obtaining licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, he aspires to work in a medical or mental health setting working with minority individuals and families from all cultures and nationalities, including the LGBTQ population.
RIMI related Publications
Karla Rodriguez RIMI Health Scholar, Department of Marriage and Family Therapy
Ms. Rodriguez is currently pursuing her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy.  She received a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior, and a B.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Irvine. While at U.C. Irvine, she worked as a research assistant for three years on a project focused on the health impacts of social networks in relation to access to social resources. This study specifically examined the variables of gender and ethnicity. Through this work, she was able to gain experience in conducting literature reviews, survey administration, data collection, and data entry in SPSS. Her current interests are minority health issues, particularly how access to resources impacts mental health outcomes. She is also interested in how the individual pursuit of higher education, in relation to acculturation, impacts Latino family cohesion.
RIMI related Publications
Kelly Cross RIMI Health Scholar, Department of Health Science
Ms. Cross is a first year graduate student in the Department of Health Science Masters in Public Health program.  She completed a Bachelors of Science in Health Science with options in both Community Health Education and School Health Education from CSULB. During her senior year she completed her internship with Dr. Mohammed Forouzesh (Dr. Mo), the Director of the Masters program in the Health Science Department, in which she worked on a research project on the hydration of high school athletes, and prevention of hydration related deaths. This project was submitted and accepted for the American Public Health Association conference in November of 2009. Ms. Cross aspires to earn her Ph.D., but first hopes to live abroad for at least a year. Long-term she desires to work in the field of minority health, and be able to incorporate her athletic experiences and abilities into a program that would benefit children in underserved populations.
Nina Smallwood RIMI Health Scholar, Department of Psychology
Ms. Smallwood graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from CSULB in 2008. As an undergraduate she served as a research assistant for Dr. David Whitney and conducted research with adults with developmental disabilities. She is currently working on her Masters in Psychological Research and is involved with Dr. Guido Urizar’s research on cortisol and stress in pregnant women.  She is interested in conducting research in the area of body image issues and obesity in order to expand the knowledge of how to provide health programs for these specific populations. She is also interested in working with underserved populations in the areas of prevention and healthy behavior intervention strategies.  She aspires to become a Clinical Health Psychologist working in a hospital or clinic setting.