Roger Figueroa, PhD, MPH, MSc is a Provost New Faculty Fellow (2019-2020), Assistant Professor (eff. 7/1/20). Dr. Figueroa's research combines concepts and methods across disciplinary boundaries to examine interconnections between the social and behavioral determinants of health, with a particular focus on children’s energy-balance behaviors in underrepresented and low-income communities. To date, Dr. Figueroa has developed a comprehensive skill foundation in research methods, including training in a broad range of quantitative (i.e., advanced linear modeling, structural equation modeling, psychometrics) and qualitative methods (i.e., grounded theory, ethnography, qualitative GIS), mixed-methods, and systematic review methods. Roger has received training and research funding support from the USDA, NIH, and from other institutional-level grant programs.
Katherine Baker is a PhD student in Community Nutrition. Originally from Milwaukee, she earned her BA from New York University and her MS in Human Nutrition from Columbia University, where she focused her thesis on using social media to improve nutrition knowledge and self-efficacy among college-aged students, and volunteered as a nutrition and cooking educator in New York City elementary schools. During her MS, Katherine became fascinated with the intersections of climate change, environmental health, and nutrition. She next got her MPH with a certificate in climate and health from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. As an MPH student, she engaged in policy-driven research on air pollution, completed a capstone project investigating health impacts of climate change with NRDC, and worked as a nutrition research assistant at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, examining socioeconomic disparities and their impact on nutrition outcomes in NYC nursing homes. Katherine is passionate about eliminating health disparities, helping communities prevent chronic disease, and hopes to integrate her environmental health science background towards creating sustainable, just, and nourishing solutions to nutrition-related problems. Katherine also loves to bake, write, and hang out with her rescue dog, Millie.
Jamie Chen is an undergraduate student at Cornell University majoring in Nutritional Sciences, with further minors (and passions!) in Biomedical Science and Global Health. She is very interested in applied clinical research through a socio-ecological lens. Her passions in this area of work have led her to the FIG Lab, where she is excited to explore the intersections between social-behavioral-economical determinants of health, metabolic disease, and childhood development. In her free time, Jamie enjoys film-making, listening to podcasts, and exploring bio-hacking.
Reah Chiong is a PhD student in Community Nutrition and an aspiring dietitian. She recently completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics and Food Administration with a Minor in Child Development and Family Studies at California State University - Long Beach in the Spring of 2019. Her research career officially began two years prior when she was funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to undergo research training through the BUILD program. Through a formal mentorship, she developed, instructed, and used a mixed methods approach to evaluate a nutrition and physical activity curriculum for parents and children focused on food parenting. Since then, she has immersed herself in various research roles, settings, and projects – from the development of cooking class modules for community health workers to the data input of pediatric patient food records. Her current research interest involves the interplay between food behaviors, the environment, and health. She hopes to utilize her background in nutrition research and her passion for the community to implement healthy and sustainable food-related policies and practices to address nutrition needs of families and children. Reah’s favorite pastimes include reading at a coffee shop, cooking, and enhancing her calligraphy skills.
Arely Perez, Collaborator and Research Support, was born and raised in Houston, TX. She received her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree in Health and Kinesiology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Arely has ten years of experience working directly with research funded studies and projects related to obesity and diabetes prevention, and physical activity and nutrition. Currently, she is project coordinator for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT Health San Antonio. Since joining the IHPR in 2012, her research focus has been on cancer survivorship and Latino cancer health disparities. Arely's research interests include: addressing health disparities, improving the quality of life of underserved populations, healthcare administration, and learning new methods to better serve her community. In her spare time Arely enjoys running/working out, reading, traveling and spending time with her fur babies, Ojos (kitty) and Robby (pup).