Promoting Healthy Communities
By David Ogul
“I have a passion for both teaching and research, and CSUSM’s environment allows me to excel and have a nice balance. There are not a lot of environments where you can do that.”
-- Dr. Christina Holub
It’s all about prevention.
That’s the message from Dr. Christina Holub, an assistant professor at the new Master of Public Health program at Cal State San Marcos whose research focuses on investigating risk behaviors that lead to health disparities in certain populations.
A current research project is aimed at boosting physical activity among Pacific Islanders through culturally inspired activities with a functional, circuit-style group exercise format.
“I’ve always been interested in why some populations experience higher rates of certain health problems, but when I began looking at Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, I was just blown away by the health disparities,” she said. “If you address health risk behaviors early on, you can prevent a lot of health problems in the future. And just getting people to move and exercise can help change their life, not just physically but mentally.”
Holub earned her master’s from Yale University in Epidemiology with a focus on Social and Behavioral Sciences and her Ph.D. in Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked on community health projects at fishing villages in El Salvador, studied how parental behaviors impact risk behaviors of adolescents in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and has collaborated with the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico. Holub also is the founder of Cogtoolz, a project that works to improve self-care and mental health among students.
“I have a passion for both teaching and research, and CSUSM’s environment allows me to have a nice balance,” she said. “There are not a lot of environments where you can do that.”