2018 - 2019 PhD Dissertation Fellow

Monique Gill, MPH

Monique Gill is a PhD candidate in Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the healthy development of children and adolescents, primarily through examining social and physical environments in schools. Ms. Gill dissertation research aims to advance understanding of the school health environment, including the ways in which both physical and social aspects of the environment are associated with health behaviors.

 

Her research philosophy is grounded in the idea that community-engaged approaches, or those that promote meaningful partnership and collaboration with community stakeholders, are essential for fostering positive health outcomes.

 

Monique completed her undergraduate education at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and her MPH at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Prior to beginning her public health training, Monique worked as a high school science teacher in Houston.

2016 - 2017 DrPH Dissertation Fellow

Christopher​ ​Viya​ ​Chau,​ ​MS,​ ​MPH,​ ​RD

Christopher​ ​Viya​ ​Chau​ ​is​ ​committed​ ​to​ ​working​ ​at​ ​the​ ​intersection​ ​of​ ​obesity​ ​research,​ ​healthful lifestyle​ ​interventions,​ ​and​ ​nutrition​ ​program​ ​evaluation.​ ​A​ ​proud​ ​native​ ​of​ ​Los​ ​Angeles,​ ​CA, Christopher​ ​earned​ ​a​ ​BS​ ​in​ ​biology​ ​from​ ​UCLA.​ ​After​ ​joining​ ​the​ ​NYC​ ​chapter​ ​of​ ​Teach​ ​For America​ ​and​ ​earning​ ​his​ ​MS​ ​in​ ​adolescent​ ​education,​ ​Christopher​ ​taught​ ​high​ ​school​ ​and spearheaded​ ​the​ ​first​ ​nutrition​ ​and​ ​health​ ​curriculum​ ​at​ ​his​ ​school.​ ​Inspired​ ​to​ ​deepen​ ​his understanding​ ​of​ ​public​ ​health​ ​nutrition,​ ​Christopher​ ​returned​ ​to​ ​school​ ​to​ ​earn​ ​his post-baccalaureate​ ​in​ ​nutrition,​ ​MPH​ ​from​ ​UCLA,​ ​and​ ​credential​ ​as​ ​a​ ​registered​ ​dietitian.​ ​While at​ ​UCLA,​ ​Christopher​ ​served​ ​under​ ​the​ ​visionary​ ​leadership​ ​of​ ​Dr.​ ​Toni​ ​Yancey​ ​as​ ​a​ ​project coordinator​ ​for​ ​the​ ​CDC-funded​ ​UCLA​ ​REACH​ ​Healthy-By-Default​ ​Project.​ ​He​ ​collaborated with​ ​esteemed​ ​research​ ​and​ ​community​ ​partners​ ​to​ ​implement​ ​and​ ​disseminate​ ​Instant​ ​Recess​® and​ ​other​ ​“healthy-by-default”​ ​strategies​ ​among​ ​African​ ​American​ ​and​ ​Latino​ ​populations, nationally.​ ​These​ ​experiences​ ​led​ ​Christopher​ ​to​ ​pursue​ ​a​ ​Doctor​ ​of​ ​Public​ ​Health​ ​(DrPH)​ ​degree with​ ​a​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​public​ ​health​ ​nutrition​ ​at​ ​the​ ​University​ ​of​ ​California,​ ​Berkeley.

Christopher’s​ ​dissertation​ ​project​ ​aims​ ​to​ ​move​ ​the​ ​field​ ​of​ ​childhood​ ​obesity​ ​prevention​ ​forward by​ ​identifying​ ​long-term​ ​predictors​ ​of​ ​eating​ ​behavior,​ ​abdominal​ ​fat​ ​development,​ ​and​ ​heart disease​ ​risk​ ​among​ ​communities​ ​of​ ​color.​ ​His​ ​study​ ​sample​ ​consists​ ​of​ ​over​ ​2,000​ ​black​ ​and white​ ​girls,​ ​who​ ​were​ ​recruited​ ​from​ ​San​ ​Francisco,​ ​Cincinnati,​ ​and​ ​Washington,​ ​DC metropolitan​ ​areas​ ​and​ ​followed​ ​from​ ​1987-1997.​ ​His​ ​work​ ​aims​ ​to​ ​expand​ ​the​ ​current​ ​obesity literature,​ ​impact​ ​clinical​ ​practice,​ ​and​ ​inform​ ​obesity​ ​prevention​ ​programs.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​future,​ ​he plans​ ​to​ ​explore​ ​how​ ​nutrition​ ​and​ ​physical​ ​activity​ ​policies​ ​and​ ​programs​ ​can​ ​change​ ​the​ ​social environment​ ​and​ ​influence​ ​behaviors​ ​of​ ​young​ ​children.​ ​Christopher​ ​hopes​ ​to​ ​continue​ ​the​ ​fight against​ ​obesity​ ​and​ ​chronic​ ​disease​ ​so​ ​that​ ​future​ ​generations​ ​can​ ​live​ ​longer—not​ ​shorter—lives than​ ​their​ ​parents.

2015 - 2016 DrPH Dissertation Fellow

KIMBERLY COLEMAN-PHOX, MPH

Kimberly Coleman-Phox is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. Her research focuses on racial disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes, especially among low-income women. With the additional health risks driven by the obesity epidemic, her dissertation research focuses on interventions to prevent excessive gestational weight gain and improve pregnancy outcomes. Her research aims to meet the needs of women at high risk for gaining excessive weight. Study participants include African-American and Latina women who were overweight or obese at the start of their pregnancy. The majority of study participants live in the northern California counties of San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa. In addition to implementing effective interventions to support healthier diets and increased physical activity during pregnancy, Kimberly is interested in identifying health protective psychological factors and incorporating strengths-based approaches in intervention development.

Kimberly Coleman-Phox received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Mills College and a Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health at the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, she is the project director of the Maternal Adiposity, Metabolism and Stress Study (MAMAS) at the University of California, San Francisco. MAMAS is an NIH-funded trial centering on mindfulness-based, stress reduction, and healthy eating interventions to help overweight and obese, low-income women achieve a healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

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