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Archana J. McEligot, Ph.D.

Project Director

Professor, Department of Health Science at CSUF


Dr. Archana McEligot, Professor in Health Science, is the project director of NCW.  She has extensive experience in curriculum development, guiding students, and helping diverse students succeed.  She is the recipient of an NIH career development award and has received intramural and extramural funding to assess dietary intakes and lifestyle behaviors, including obesity on disease outcomes in underserved and at-risk populations.  She has taught nutrition-related topics to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students and has mentored nearly 30 students in research projects since 2006; two of her students have been recognized for outstanding theses, and several have co-published and/or presented at scientific meetings.  She has also been recognized by CSUF’s honor society as an outstanding faculty member for involving students in research.  


Francene Steinberg, Ph.D.

Co-Project Director

Professor, Department of Nutrition at UC Davis


Dr. Francene Steinberg, Nutrition Professor, Department Chair and director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at UC Davis, serves as co-project director. Her research interests focus on the physiologic roles of food phytochemicals, particularly soy protein and associated isoflavones, with regard to cardiovascular disease and overall health promotion. She is also interested in clinical nutrition interventions to reduce chronic disease risk, and the metabolism of lipids and lipoproteins. She will be responsible for administrative coordination and will provide guidance in curriculum development and coordinate UC Davis faculty presentations for the one-week seminar for CSUF students and faculty. She will recommend and help select other faculty participants, assist with development of the video presentations for the new courses and seminar, and facilitate Cooperative Extension contacts for student experiential learning.


Laura Chandler, Dr.PH., MPH

Full-time lecturer, Department of Health Science at CSUF


Dr. Chandler’s expertise is in intrinsic and extrinsic motivation related to lifestyle behaviors, specifically diet and physical activity.  Dr. Chandler completed her doctorate degree at Loma Linda University with an emphasis in health education and promotion.  Dr. Chandler has served as the former advisor for all undergraduate HESC majors and minors, where she helped them identify appropriate courses and select a track and guided them to graduate. During her tenure, the HESC department has experienced a five-fold increase in student enrollment and interest.  Dr. Laura Chandler is responsible for student advisement and outreach, and will oversee the new course on Childhood Obesity, Nutrition and Social Context.

dr. weiss

Jie Wu Weiss, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Health Science at CSUF


Dr. Weiss is a health psychologist who has served as associate director of the Center of Healthy Lifestyle Promotion and Obesity Prevention at CSUF. She has extensive experience in health promotion and risk behavior prevention research among culturally diverse adolescent populations, particularly in Asian and Latino groups. Dr. Weiss has served as PI and co-PI for multiple research projects funded by NIDA, CDC, DOD, and NCI and the state of California. She is currently working on two CDC funded projects, examining the association between Latino mothers’ decision-making process and food choices for their children, and cognitive and psychological factors for college students’ physical activity and eating behavior. In addition, as co-PI on a DOD-funded project, she is working on a home-based intervention to promote physical activity among children with Prader Willi syndrome.  Dr. Jie Weiss is one of four module leaders for the new course, Childhood Obesity, Nutrition and Social Context.  She will teach the second module for the childhood obesity and nutrition course specific to the Hispanic population.


Debra Lynn Patterson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology at CSUF


Dr. Debra Patterson is a physical education teacher educator who specializes in curriculum and instruction aimed at increasing children’s physical activity and knowledge of movement for lifetime sustainability. She has experience working with teachers and increasing their knowledge of ways to decrease childhood obesity and develop awareness of health issues such as diabetes and nutrition. She co-authored the California Physical Education Model Content Standards (2006) and was the PI for the California Physical Education—Health Project from 2000-09. For NCW, she will teach the second course module, on physical activity and obesity in children.

tu-uyen nguyen

Tu-Uyen Nguyen, Ph.D., MPH

Assistant Professor, Asian American Studies at CSUF


Dr. Nguyen, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Asian American Studies Program at CSU Fullerton. She has taught and conducted research on health issues with Asian American Pacific Islander communities for many years. Her scholarship focuses on reducing health disparities by understanding and addressing the socioecological influences of culture and ethnicity on the health-related behaviors of diverse communities. Her current work includes applying community-based participatory research principles and strategies to develop effective cancer education and community-based patient navigation programs; community and organizational capacity building strategies; program evaluation using qualitative and mixed research methods; and linguistic-cultural competency in health promotion programs and health services delivery. Dr. Tu-Uyen Nguyen will teach the third module specific to the Southeast Asian population.

dr. natalie tran

Natalie Tran, Ph.D.


Research Design and Analysis Faculty Coordinator


Dr. Natalie Tran has extensive experience in research design and analysis and is lead evaluator. Her research focuses on instructional practices and social contexts affecting student achievement in science, and she has conducted studies examining teacher practice and instructional strategies affecting student learning in the classroom. Her methodological interests include hierarchical linear modeling, experimental design, quasi-experimental design, and survey study. She was the co-PI on a number of projects funded by the National Science Foundation aimed at improving the quality of K-12 science and math teachers. She also serves as the program evaluator for research projects supported by public and private sectors to promote student interests in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and related fields. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


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