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California State University, Long Beach
Health Science Department at CSULB

Selena Nguyen-Rodriguez, PhD, MPH

Dr. Nguyen-Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor of Health Science at CSULB. She earned her PhD 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.  As a faculty research associate of the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation & Leadership Training (the Center), she plays a central role in procuring research funding for development of community-based health programs for underserved populations.  These grant efforts also aim to secure research training programs for underrepresented students.

Training program efforts segue well to Dr. Nguyen-Rodriguez's approach to teaching.  She teaches courses in health behavior theory, statistics, and research methods, which provide the opportunity to highlight the importance of research in public health outcomes in our communities.  She strongly believes that teaching should not be limited to the course content alone.  Thus, she actively invites students to discuss research and career options with her outside of the classroom.  Also, she provides a number of research-related trainings as part of her work with the Center.  She finds that these small-scale and individual-level student interactions are the most rewarding and fulfilling aspects of being a professor.