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Cara L. Eckhardt is an associate professor in the School of Public Health. Eckhardt teaches the doctoral seminar in the Community Health Ph.D. program as well as two undergraduate courses – Introduction to Epidemiology and Global Health.
Eckhardt’s research focus is the prevention of childhood obesity. Her research has included projects investigating the impact of maternal nutrition during pregnancy on childhood obesity risk, elucidating how maternal nutrition during pregnancy might affect infant growth patterns and subsequent obesity risk, linking infant feeding practices to infant growth patterns, improving early screening methods for identifying children at risk for obesity and evaluating interventions to improve the diets of young children.
After earning her doctorate degree, Eckhardt was a post-doctoral fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C. She returned to Oregon in 2008 and joined the PSU faculty in 2009.
B.A., Cornell University, 1995
M.P.H., Emory University 1999
Ph.D., University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, 2004
Awards and Honors
- 2016, Nick Norgan Award for Annals of Human Biology manuscript, Maternal vitamin D status and infant anthropometry in a US multi-centre cohort study, Eckhardt CL, Gernand AD, Roth DE, Bodnar LM, The Annals of Human Biology, 2015;42(3):215-22.
- 2011-2016, Outstanding Teacher of the Year nominee, PSU, for five years running
- 2003-2004, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dissertation Completion Fellowship
- 2002, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Institute of Nutrition Fellowship
- 2001, American Society of Nutritional Sciences NABISCO Predoctoral Fellowship Award
- R03 HD07584101A1 (ECKHARDT CL), NIH/NICHD, 2014-20106. Defining Infant Rapid Weight Gain to Best Predict Childhood Obesity. Role: Principal Investigator
- R01 NR014245 (BODNAR LM, HUTCHEON J), NIH/NINR, 2013-2017. Informing Evidence-based Maternal Weight Gain Guidelines for Twin Pregnancies. Role: Co-Investigator
- Meyer Memorial Trust Grant (IZUMI B), Meyer Memorial Trust, 2009-2015. Oregon farm-to-childcare for infants and toddlers. Role: Co-Investigator
- Kaiser Permanente Healthy Food Access Grant (IZUMI B), Kaiser Permanente, 2012-2013. Farm-to-Head Start: Increasing Children’s Access to Regionally Grown Fruits & Vegetables. Role: Co-Investigator
- R01 HD058061(STEVENS VJ), NIH/NICHD, 2010-2012. Weight Management for Improved Pregnancy Outcomes. Role: Funded via Administrative Supplement Grant under PA-08-191 for supplementary project: The Impact of Limiting Pregnancy Weight Gain Among Obese Mother
Jane Mercer has been with the School of Public Health and, before that, with the PSU School of Community Health for more than 30 years.
Her early years at PSU began with teaching Health and Fitness courses. This evolved to include departmental academic advising and finally, becoming internship coordinator. Currently, she teaches Health Promotion Disease Prevention, advises School of Public Health undergraduate students, co-directs student interns and co-chairs the Deadline Appeals Board as well as serving on many additional committees across campus.
Throughout her work with the School of Public Health, Jane’s priority is to assist students with all needs that may arise. On a daily basis, her goal is to work with the students that she teaches and advises in order to improve their individual higher education experience.
M.S.T., Humboldt State University, 1982
California Basic Teaching License, 1982
M.S.T., Portland State University, 1986
Oregon Basic Teaching License, 1986
Awards and Honors
PSU 30 Years of Service Award, 2016
Randy Miller’s primary interest is in human movement studies, working to understand, improve and enhance methodologies related to exercise prescription and safe, effective program design strategies used to reduce injuries and improve performance in active individuals. He served as the director of the Physical Education program at PSU for almost two decades, where he supervised the Physical Activity courses and instructors.
Miller is a National Strength and Conditioning Association certified strength and conditioning specialist. He currently sits on the NSCA Certification Committee. He has worked with athletes at a local area high school – St. Mary’s Academy – and volunteered as a strength and conditioning coach for the Portland Rockies, a Single A affiliate of Major League baseball’s Colorado Rockies organization. His current research interests include: biomechanics of strength training, functional conditioning and injury prevention, and the use of strength training to prevent injuries and promote better performance.
M.S.T., PSU, 1992
Brad Wipfli’s research concentrates on health promotion and health behavior change. He is interested in identifying effective behavioral and environmental change strategies that impact physical and mental health. He also investigates the ways in which changes in health behaviors impact physiological processes and clinical indicators of illness and disease.
Wipfli won the 2009 Dissertation of the Year award from the National Association of Sport and Physical Education for his work discovering that post-exercise improvements in depressive symptoms are mediated by reductions in serum serotonin. He has also been a part of several pioneering Total Worker Health interventions, including the groundbreaking Safety and Health Involvement for Truckers study, which is the largest health and safety intervention with truck drivers in U.S. history. He is currently leading an intervention aimed at improving health, safety, and well-being of workers in sedentary occupations (see here).
B.A., Carthage College, 2002
Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2008
Awards and Honors
- 2009, First Place, Best Practices Intervention Evaluation Competition (Olson, R., Anger, K., Elliot, D.L., Wipfli, B., Schmidt, S., & Gray, M.) APA/NIOSH Work, Stress and Health Conference
- 2009, Dissertation of the Year, National Association for Sport and Physical Education
- 2007, Douglas L. Conley Memorial Scholarship Award, Arizona State University Department of Kinesiology
- NIOSH Center of Excellence (Anger, Center PI) Oregon Healthy Workforce Center of Excellence Research Project: Multilevel Intervention to Improve Safety and Health in Sedentary Occupations Description: This project is a research project within the overall Center application. The study is designed to substantially improve health, safety, and well-being in sedentary workers, including physiological outcomes that contribute to chronic diseases. The project tests whether a multilevel intervention is more effective than single level interventions for increasing the utilization of existing health and safety resources. Role: PI of Research Project
- USAMRAA W81XWH-13-2-0020 (Leslie Hammer, PI) 2/08/13 – 2/07/18 Development and Evaluation of Veteran Supportive Supervisor Training (VSST): Improving Reintegration of the Oregon National Guard and Reserves into the Workplace Description: The major goal of this project is to develop and evaluate a veteran supportive supervisor training program for the civilian workforce to impact veteran and family health and well-being. Role: Co-Investigator
- TREC – NITC (Liu-Qin Yang, PI) 4/01/16 to 10/01/17 How Do Stressed Workers Make Travel Choices that are Good for their Health, Safety, and Productivity? Description: This study will analyze two existing datasets to determine the psychological factors that impact commute choices, and examine how commute choices impact psychological and physiological stress responses to daily stressors. Role: Co-Investigator
- NHLBI R01 HL105495 (Ryan Olson, PI) 4/01/11 to 3/31/16 Social Support During a Randomized Trial of a Trucker Weight Loss Intervention Description: Cluster randomized trial to evaluate the efficacy of a competition-based weight loss intervention for truck drivers that is supported with computer-based training and motivational interviewing. The study will also evaluate how social support factors in both home and work environments moderate intervention effectiveness. Role: Co-Investigator
- NIOSH U19 OH010154 (Kent Anger, PI) 9/01/11 to 8/31/16 Oregon Healthy Workforce Center of Excellence Description: Development and evaluation of a scripted peer-led curriculum to organize home care workers into neighborhood-based Workforce teams that provide education and social support for improving lifestyle (e.g., diet, exercise) and safety behaviors. Role: Collaborator
- NIOSH 2U01 HD059773-05 (Leslie Hammer, PI) 9/01/08 to 7/31/14 Portland Center: Work Family and Health Network Phase II Description: Randomized multi-worksite evaluation of a multi-component intervention (including behavioral self-monitoring) to increase family-supportive supervisory behaviors and employee temporal control over job tasks. Role: Investigator
- NICHD U01 HD059773-05S1 (Leslie Hammer, PI) 9/30/09 to 9/29/11 Administrative Supplement, Work-Life Network Phase II Description: Administrative supplement award to enhance intervention effectiveness through the development of employee self-monitoring activities that are designed to increase co-worker supportive behaviors and employee temporal control over job tasks. Role: Investigator
Jennifer Young’s expertise lies in public health nutrition with maternal, child and adolescent populations. Her areas of focus include: food insecurity; school health; unhealthy food marketing; obesity stigma; and healthy weight and development. She has worked on nutrition programs, projects and policy at the state and local level.
Young enjoys bringing her work experiences into the classroom as students explore the latest data, research, policy and legislation in action. She also has served as a preceptor for nearly thirty interns, and now works alongside many of them as colleagues in the field.
Young is currently working in a joint position among the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Public Health Division and the Oregon Department of Education to improve nutrition and physical activity in Oregon schools. She is completing a doctoral degree in education at PSU.
B.S., University of California, Davis, 1982
M.P.H., Loma Linda University, 1986
Ed.D. candidate, Portland State University
Awards and Honors
OHSU, Dietetic Intern Preceptor Service Award
Belinda Zeidler has been a faculty member at PSU for over 30 years. As director of undergraduate programs at the School of Public Health, she is the undergraduate curriculum chair and is responsible for overseeing the curricular changes to courses and programs at the undergraduate level. She also works as an academic advisor and internship co-coordinator.
Early in her career, as a graduate student at PSU, Zeidler was assigned to teach the Health and Fitness for Life course required of all PSU students. She developed a strong interest in enhancing health by applying successful behavior change theory. Upon graduation, she was hired to coordinate the Health and Fitness program.
Also early in her career, aside from teaching, she worked with an Oregon health insurance company as a health educator, implementing health promotion programs around the state. Her focus was health behavior change for lower socioeconomic populations.
B.S., Anthropology, PSU, 1982
M.S.T., Exercise Science, PSU, 1986
Awards and Honors
2016, Outstanding Teacher Award, PSU College of Urban and Public Affairs, School of Community Health