Dr. Ramirez is an Assistant Professor of Public Health Communication at the University of California, Merced. She has a doctorate in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Public Health from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Santa Clara University. She has 20 years of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating strategic, culturally appropriate behavior change interventions in multinational organizations. Dr. Ramirez’ program of research aims to understand the multiple levels of communication influence on health behaviors and health disparities.
Dr. Díaz Rios is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Nutrition and the Co-Director of the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California, Merced. She obtained her PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Illinois after completing her undergraduate training in Dietetics and a Masters in Medical Sciences at the University of Guanajuato in México. Dr. Díaz Rios is a registered dietitian with experience on nutrition counseling and education in Mexico and in the U.S. Her research focuses on the development, adaptation, and evaluation of theory-based, culturally sensitive approaches to nutrition education and food access.
Dr. Valdez is an Associate Professor of Sociology at University of California, Merced. Her research and teaching interests include racial and ethnic relations and health disparities. She has received fellowship and grant support from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Her work has been published in many academic journals and edited volumes. She is the author of two books, The New Entrepreneurs: How Race, Class and Gender Shape American Enterprise (Stanford, 2011) and Entrepreneurs and the Search for the American Dream (Routledge, 2015). Professor Valdez is currently at work on a project examining the relationship between social entrepreneurs, community gardens, and food access in low-resource minority communities.