The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded a $335,446 grant to the CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training to create the ÁNDALE Latino Research Training Program. The project will train fifty (50) underrepresented undergraduate students in Latino nutrition and disease prevention, enhance their professional development, and provide a mentored research opportunity with CSULB faculty.
The current profiles of public health professionals and registered dieticians point to the need to increase the number of multicultural students trained to meet the needs of Latinos to curve the obesity epidemic among this large segment of the U.S. population. Though Latinos are the fastest growing population in the U.S., first generation-educated minority students have been, and continue to be, gravely underrepresented in the food, agricultural, natural resources, and human sciences disciplines.
The project called builds on 15-years of experience in student-centered training programs at the CSULB Center for Latino Health. The ÁNDALE Latino Research Training Program is a 10-week research and training program for undergraduate students to understand the contexts wherein nutrition and health-related decisions and behaviors occur by engaging in nutrition and health related research while receiving mentorship and opportunities for professional development.
The ÁNDALE training program will be housed at the CSULB Center for Latino Health and Dr. Melawhy Garcia, MPH, PhD, Assistant Professor of Health Science, and Co-Director of the Center for Latino Health will serve as the Principal Investigator and Faculty Mentor. The program will be a collaboration with multidisciplinary faculty, staff, and students from the College of Health and Human Services. Faculty mentors include Drs. Michelle Barrack, Virginia Gray, and Michelle Taylor from Family and Consumer Sciences, Drs. Mara Bird and Selena Nguyen-Rodriguez from Health Science, Dr. Kellie Walters from Kinesiology, and Dr. Jackie Dawson from Physical Therapy.