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Dr. Emmanuel Iyiegbuniwe

Emmanuel Iyiegbuniwe
Associate Professor/

Emmanuel's Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Emmanuel Iyiegbuniwe is an Associate Professor and the inaugural Director of Public Health at California State University San Marcos. He received both MS and PhD degrees in Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences from the School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago in 1994 and 1997. He also earned MS and MBA degrees from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and Western Kentucky University, respectively. He has over twenty-five years of academic administration, teaching, research, service, and consulting experiences with expertise in developing and delivering comprehensive environmental public health programs and in fostering interdisciplinary international service learning collaborations and research.

Dr. Iyiegbuniwe strongly believes that research should inform practice and that research, service delivery, and public health policy should develop in a mutually reinforcing fashion for the benefit of all stakeholders. From 2014 to 2016, Dr. Iyiegbuniwe was the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Training Project Grant (TPG) titled “The Environmental Health Science Program at Western Kentucky University.” Since inception, the $150,000 grant has supported 14 undergraduate Environmental Health Science students as well a Guest Speakers who were invited to WKU campus.

Dr. Iyiegbuniwe has served as a Steering Committee member for the NIOSH’s Pilot Research Project (PRP) at the University of Cincinnati’s (UC) Education and Research Center (ERC) during the past 10 years. In that capacity, Dr. Iyiegbuniwe moderated a number of PRP Symposiums and reviewed several PRP research grant applications from faculty and doctoral students from affiliated institutions in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. He was instrumental in appointing and supporting several faculty members and students of the College of Health & Human Services (CHHS) at WKU to attend the annual Research Capacity Building Workshops and PRP Symposiums at UC. He has directed and mentored public health students as part of WKU’s International Service Learning Program to Belize.

Dr. Iyiegbuniwe sits on the editorial board and/or is a reviewer for four major scientific journals in public health, environmental health sciences, and nanotechnology, including Journal Epidemiology and Public Health, Journal of Public Health Nursing, International Journal of Nanoparticles, and International Journal of Nanomaterials. He is a recipient of the 2014 Kentucky Public Health Association’s William ‘Bill’ Patton Environmental Service Award for exceptional performance, outstanding achievements and meritorious service in “Environmental Services in Kentucky. Additionally, he received WKU’s Outstanding Faculty for Research and Creativity Award for the College of Health and Human Services in 2014. Dr. Iyiegbuniwe is a Thomas Jefferson / United States Agency for International Development (USAID) scholar, a fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s (AIHA) Future Leaders Institute, a fellow of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute, and a fellow of Nippon Foundation’s Japan Studies Institute (JSI)/American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

Dr. Christina Holub

Christina Holub
Assistant Professor

Christina's Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Holub’s research focuses on developing health promotion interventions to reduce health disparities through academic-community partnerships. In 2012, she was identified as a Pacific American Emerging Leader and was invited to be a fellow of the National Pacific American Leadership Institute (NAPALI). She is also a recipient of the NIH LRP Program in the area of Health Disparities Research. She has a strong background in behavioral sciences, with publications in the area of cultural adaptation of self-report instruments and in obesity prevention in minority communities. During her postdoctoral years at San Diego State University (SDSU), Dr. Holub led the evaluation team in a church-based randomized controlled trial funded by the National Cancer Institute, which aimed to assess the impact of a multi-level intervention on physical activity among church-going Latinas. Dr. Holub also managed a CDC-funded Special Interest Project in collaboration with Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health aimed at developing culturally appropriate, evidence-based recommendations for obesity prevention programs.

Currently, Dr. Holub leads a pilot exercise study for Pacific Islanders in San Diego, funded by UCSD's Clinical and Translational Research Institute. The pilot study was informed by her previous work, the Pacific Islander Community Health Study (PIC Health), which was funded by the American Cancer Society, Health Disparities Program, 2013-2015. Dr. Holub is Assistant Professor in Public Health at CSU San Marcos. She is also affiliated with SDSU’s Institute for Behavioral and Community Health (IBACH) and Zahn Innovation Platform. Dr. Holub received her MPH from Yale University (Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Social and Behavioral Sciences focus) and PhD in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Dr. Deborah Morton

Deborah Morton
Assistant Professor

Deborah's Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Deborah J. Morton is an Assistant Professor in the MPH program at CSUSM.  She is associate professor emeritus from the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Division of Epidemiology at University of California, San Diego. As an epidemiologist, Dr. Morton has a long history of varied research experience in many areas of Public Health/Medicine such as diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, obesity and tobacco use primarily in ethnic and sexual minority populations, and has authored or co-authored over 70 publications in scientific journals.  In 2005, she was given the UCSD Chancellor’s Diversity Award for her work in the LGBT community.  Dr. Morton is also currently affiliated faculty with the Department of American Indian Studies and the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC) at CSUSM.

In the tribal/reservation community in San Diego County, Dr. Morton has a long collaboration with Indian Health Council, Inc., an American Indian health clinic owned and operated by nine tribes.   Dr. Morton is Founder and current Chair of the clinic’s own tribally-based Institutional Review Board (IRB) created in 2004.  This tribal IRB has reviewed and supported many research projects whose results have had direct benefits for the Indian clinic and their tribal community patient population.  This tribally-based IRB has established a positive bridge between tribal people and academic researchers, not an easy task due to many historical abuses in Indian Country by unethical scientists and health researchers.

AsherLev Santos

AsherLev "Asher" Santos
Assistant Professor

Asher's Curriculum Vitae

Dr. AsherLev (Asher) Santos’ academic training has always been global. His undergraduate degrees from Seattle University are in International Studies, Foreign Language and Humanities. After living and working in Japan he completed a Masters of Pacific International Affairs from the University of California San Diego (UCSD); and recently completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health, Global Health awarded by the Joint-Doctoral Program in Public Health between UCSD and San Diego State University (SDSU). His overall interest is in health diplomacy or how relationships between nations impact health outcomes. Of particular interest to him is the relationship between developing nations. He has focused on Brazil and its relationship with other Lusophone or Portuguese speaking countries, and is interested in Brazil’s role as a regional and international leader in health.

His applied experiences range in geographic location and in organization perspective. Dr. Santos has spent time studying in France, doing research in Brazil, and leading a study project in Jamaica. Additionally, he has worked for Japanese educational agencies and with the World Health Organization in Switzerland. He has experience conducting educational programs abroad, taking groups of students through Central Europe, Australia and Argentina. Both his international academic and practical training have grown his skills in several languages, and comfort at navigating different professional and cultural settings.

Locally Dr. Santos was a program director at UPAC (Union of Pan Asian Communities), and worked for the San Diego LGBT Community Center on youth and API youth targeted projects. He has worked as an HIV Prevention Health Planner for, and still works with, the HIV, STD and Hepatitis Branch of Public Health Services (HSHB).

Dr. Santos is a Seattleite who has made San Diego home with his husband, Davey, and their chocolate lab, Pogi.


L. Bandong

Lisa G. Bandong
Internship Coordinator

Lisa's Curriculum Vita

Lisa G. Bandong is the Internship Coordinator for the Masters of Public Health program at CSUSM. She earned a Master’s Degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from CSU Fullerton. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Drama with an emphasis in Stage Management from UC Irvine. She is a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher, and she is the founder of a successful North County prenatal yoga program through the City of San Marcos. Lisa’s teaching philosophy is that learning is an active endeavor that builds upon what the student already knows. Her research interests include maternal child health, lactation supportive environments, and polycystic ovarian syndrome, the most common endocrine disorder in women. In her free time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her young family in her home town of San Marcos.


G. Merchant

Gina Merchant

Gina's Curriculum Vita

Dr. Merchant is a behavioral scientist with a PhD in Public Health from the University of California San Diego, and a Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from California State University San Marcos.  Her research focuses on testing novel applications of technology for health promotion and disease prevention. Dr. Merchant specializes in understanding how online and face-to-face social networks influence individual-level behavior, and how social media can be used as a platform for studying and intervening on health.  Her work explores how computer-mediated communication among friends and “followers” affects users’ online health communication, interactions, and, ultimately, health behavior.  Although Dr. Merchant’s past projects have focused on obesity prevention and physical activity promotion she is in the process of transitioning her program of research to focus on health care decision-making including parental confidence in childhood vaccinations.  Using the epidemiological triad as a model, Dr. Merchant is particularly interested in studying scientific misinformation as a health threat (the agent), and how social media (the vector) is supported by Web 2.0 (the environment).

Dr. Merchant is a National Library of Medicine Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California San Diego in the Department of Biomedical Informatics with a secondary appointment in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health.  Her research is highly interdisciplinary, and she enjoys collaborating with scientists from diverse fields such as computer science, engineering, and anthropology.  Dr. Merchant is an active member of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, previously co-chairing the Special Interest Group Theories and Techniques of Behavior Change (, and is a founding member of an R Coding Club for social scientists on the UCSD campus (  In her spare time Dr. Merchant enjoys running, playing soccer, cooking, camping, and hanging out with her family.


R. Remigio-Baker

Rosemay A. Remigio-Baker

Dr. Rosemay A. Remigio-Baker is an epidemiologist with publications in the area of health disparities, such as assessing the racial/ethnic and sex differences in the bidirectional association between depression and obesity, with further investigation of body composition such as visceral fat and muscle mass; as well as the relationship between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and abdominal aortic calcification.  She has a PhD in Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, a MPH from San Diego State University and a BS in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UCSD.  Additionally, she received postdoctoral training in the epidemiology of arterial calcification as well as smoking policy from UCSD.  Dr. Remigio-Baker has extensive experience working in health departments nationwide including the Hawaii Department of Health where she investigated adverse childhood events and their relationship to chronic conditions such as depression and lung diseases, as well as obesity, smoking and binge drinking among women in the state.  She was also an Epidemiology Scholar for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene evaluating disparities in hypertension and stroke deaths within Asian and Hispanic subgroups in New York, and an Evaluation Specialist for the San Diego County Immunization Branch coordinating a survey that assess parental attitudes and beliefs about childhood immunization.

Dr. Remigio-Baker has lived in diverse countries, such as the Philippines, Nigeria, and the United States, which cultivated her research interests on health disparity and minority health, and her participation in outreach activities that serve immigrants and ethnic minority populations, including Filipinos, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, East African immigrants, and Latinos.  She is a recent scholar for the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities as well as the National Institute of Aging, both for which she received scholarship including from the UCSD Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for her contribution to health disparities research.


J. Scott

John Scott

Mr. Scott served over a decade in the U.S. military in roles ranging from Infantry to Judge Advocate.  While deployed, he led convoys, developed an anti-corruption initiative, advised commanders, and taught rule-of-law courses to National Police and National Army officials in Afghanistan.

Mr. Scott is currently developing a veterans’ organization and will be pursuing a PhD.  His research interests include healthcare injury prevention and veterans’ healthcare.  He has also worked as a management consultant, antitrust litigator, and hospital in-house legal counsel. 

Mr. Scott earned a B.A. in Economics from U.C. Berkeley, a J.D. from Stanford Law School, and an M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health.  He is admitted to practice law, inter alia, in California, New York, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.  In his free time, he enjoys travel, open water swimming, and dog rescue.