Selena Nguyen-Rodriguez, PhD, MPH
Dr. Selena Nguyen-Rodriguez is a Professor of Health Science at CSULB. She joined CSULB in 2009 as an evaluator and grant writer for the Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training and became a faculty member in 2011. Growing up in Santa Ana, CA motivates her to support the education and health of underrepresented students and under-resourced communities. Her first love was psychology and while she pursued a career in public health, all of her work includes a psychosocial approach. Since she strongly believes that teaching should not be limited to the classroom, she actively engages in programs and creates opportunities that support increasing students’ hands-on research experience and professional development. Making a difference in the lives of her students and community members is the absolute best part of her job
Dr. Nguyen-Rodriguez earned her Ph.D. in Preventive Medicine from the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. During that time she also completed her MPH in Biostatistics and Epidemiology. The training received during these academic programs provided her with comprehensive skills in research methods, statistical analysis, and evaluation.
Dr. Nguyen-Rodriguez's research interests lie in improving health outcomes for minority populations, based on the principles of health psychology. She believes that to attain healthy outcomes, peoples' minds and bodies must both be addressed. Thus, she employs transdisciplinary approaches in her efforts to provide holistic health intervention to those most in need, with the aim of achieving health equity for all. Her research focuses on psychosocial (e.g., stress) and cultural (e.g., values) predictors of health behaviors (such as diet and sleep) and outcomes (e.g., well-being, obesity) among minority populations.
Healthy Balance Research Lab (HBRL)
Together with her research students, Dr. Nguyen-Rodriguez named her research lab the Healthy Balance Research Lab to represent its mission and activities. Since she is an obesity prevention researcher, energy balance is key to her work. Given her training in psychology and health psychology approach, mental balance is key to supporting holistic health. Her aim to move toward achieving health equity for populations that experience social and health inequities relies on engaging in practices based in social justice.
Current Research Projects
Multilevel Antecedents of Sleep in Latino Youth
1K01HL140283, National Institutes of Health, 2018-2023
The MIMIS (Measuring and Identifying Multilevel Influences on Sleep) Project aims to identify the individual, social and environmental influences of sleep in Latino pre-adolescents. MIMIS was the chosen public name for the project because many Latino cultures refer to going to sleep as “going mimis.” Next to diet and physical activity, sleep is becoming known as the third pillar of health, with poor sleep being a significant risk factor for obesity, particularly in children. Latino children are disproportionately impacted by obesity. Findings from MIMIS will be used to develop culturally congruent sleep health intervention strategies. Integrating mental well-being and sleep health approaches with diet and physical activity programs may enhance the long-term effectiveness of obesity prevention and treatment interventions for Latino youth.
The MIMIS study is recruiting 10-12 year old Latino children for participation in this observational research study. A qualitative analysis is underway to identify the multi-level influences to be measured quantitatively through mobile health assessment, sleep actigraphy and surveys with 140 children. Visit us on Facebook @MIMIS.HBRL
Early Academic Career Excellence Award, California State University, Long Beach, 2015
Programs to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research (PRIDE) Scholar, 2015-2016
Since joining CSULB, Dr. Nguyen-Rodriguez has taught nine different courses, primarily methodology courses. She has also taught the Summer PREP (Preparing for Research Excellence) and academic year Associates Program Learning Community courses for the BUILD Research Training Program. She enjoys being able to highlight the importance of research in public health outcomes in our communities while teaching.
Past Courses Taught
HHS 290 - Interdisciplinary Approaches to Health Disparities
H SC 402 - Applied Concepts of Community Health Education
H SC 403 - Community Health Statistics
H SC 427 - Drugs and Health
H SC 485 - Internship in Community Health Education
H SC 503 - Advanced Community Health Statistics
H SC 570 - Theoretical Concepts and Issues in Health Science
H SC 624 - Seminar in Community Analysis and Program Planning
H SC 696 - Research Methods
Courses Currently Taught
H SC 503 - Advanced Community Health Statistics