Welcome to my faculty web page.
My main emphases are career and college counseling, multicultural competence, and social justice and advocacy. These are the arenas in which I live and breathe. I am challenged to continually develop myself both personally and professionally in these areas and hope that I can share that challenge with my students.
Lara Cushing’s research focuses on social inequalities in exposure to environmental hazards, and race and class determinants of environmental health disparities. Her work has investigated questions of environmental justice in the context of hazardous industrial facilities, prenatal exposures to harmful man-made chemicals, urban greenspace, oil and gas drilling, and global climate change. Dr. Cushing holds a M.P.H. in Epidemiology and a B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Rita Melendez, PhD. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sexuality Studies and Sociology. She specializes in public health, gender and race/ethnicity issues. Her research focusses on access to care for HIV-positive Latino immigrants as well as prevention services for Latinos. She is currently conducting a study exploring how rural Latino immigrants have access to PrEP services. Her past research studies inlcude a qualitative survey of over 600 Latinos from Zacatecas living in the US and exploring their access to care as well as health. Dr.