Laura Farnsworth photoLaura Farnsworth

Degrees: MPH, UC Davis (2017); B.A. International Relations, Anthropology, University of Virginia (2010)

Professional Interests: Nutrition, Chronic disease prevention, and Health disparities.

Graduate Advisor: Lorena Garcia, DrPH, MPH

Entry Year: 2018

Background/Interests: Laura currently works as a California Epidemiologic Investigation Service Fellow in the Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Division at the California Department of Public Health. Before starting her fellowship she earned her MPH from UC Davis where she created a database to help the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch of the California Department of Public Health build a policy primer. Prior to graduate school Laura served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala where she started a health education program aimed at improving the health of indigenous youth and their families.


Lynne LoPresto photoLynne LoPresto

Degrees: M.S. Nutrition Science, UC Berkeley (1988) Registered Dietitian Nutritionist – RDN (1989), B.S. Nutrition Science, UC Davis (1985)

Professional Interests: Health Disparities and Educational Inequality, Nutrition and Health Education and Promotion, School Wellness Policy and School Food and Lunch Policies, Food Security and Environmental Sustainability

Graduate Advisor: Rachel E. Scherr, PhD

Entry Year: 2018

Background/Interests: Taking “Nutrition 10” as a Biochem major at Davis, Lynne discovered her passion for Nutrition. During graduate studies in metabolic nutrition at Berkeley, her desire for applied work lead her to become an RDN and work as a clinical/research Dietitian at UCLA witnessing first-hand the health impact of the obesity epidemic. For the last 20 years she has worked at the local and state level to improve access to health education, healthy food and physical activity and teach future teachers and health professionals at Dominican University of CA. With a PhD in Public Health Science she hopes to contribute to reducing health disparities and educational inequality through more effective and sustainable school wellness and food policies.



Cindy Valencia photoCindy Valencia

Degrees: MPH Nutrition emphasis, UC Davis (2008), B.A.S. Psychology and Chicano/Latino Studies, UC Davis

Professional Interests: Health policy, Health Disparities, Maternal and Child Health, Social Determinants of Health, Environmental Health, Rural Health

Graduate Advisor: Diana Cassady, DrPH, MPH

Entry Year: 2018

Background/Interest: Cindy has worked diligently developing programs, administering health services and fostering collaborative partnerships to create healthier communities. Over the past decade she worked in tobacco control and prevention, alcohol and other drugs risk reduction, chronic disease prevention, nutrition education and obesity prevention, Affordable Care Act outreach and enrollment, whole person care, child injury prevention, preventative well-child care, children with complex medical needs (California Children’s Services), maternal, child and adolescent health case management services, agricultural farm worker health and safety, and most recently pediatric emergency medicine research. Cindy aspires to obtain a Ph.D. and leverage her experience to affect public policy in underserved communities of color, like the Central Valley

Welcome to the UC Davis Graduate Group in Public Health Sciences!

Congratulations on joining a new generation of health professionals focused on improving the lives of the many through the practice of public health.

The PhD Student Handbook is your comprehensive reference guide to the adminstrative aspects of the PhD.

Public Health Sciences PhD Student Handbook

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