Dr. Sue Forster-Cox
Office: CHSS 327
Biography: Sue Forster-Cox, PhD, MPH, MCHES, is a Professor in the Department. She teaches Rural Health Issues, US/Mexico Border Health Issues, Foundations of Public Health Education, and oversees the Field Experience for all students. She is the Coordinator of the Online program, Graduate program (interim), and two Peace Corps programs: Paul C. Coverdell Fellows and Master’s International. Her community-based service/research interests include training community members in basic public health concepts. She has HRSA grants, with University of New Mexico MPH colleagues: developing and teaching an online Maternal and Child Health public health certificate program and partnering with Region 6 Public Health Training Center, Tulane. In 2014 Dr. Forster-Cox was appointed by President Obama to serve on the US/Mexico Border Health Commission, US Section. She serves as Co-President of the New Mexico Public Health Association.
PhD: Health Promotion, University of New Mexico, 1995
Dr. Charles Kozel
Office: CHSS 307
Biography: Chuck Kozel, PhD, MPH, MCHES, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses including, Foundations of Health Education, Coping with Loss and Grief: A Cross Cultural Perspective, Health Promotion for Older Adults, Aging and Public Policy, Adulthood and Aging (Aging across the lifespan) and the graduate course, Health Program Planning. He serves as coordinator of the Gerontology Minor Program, Chair (Elected) of the University Teaching Council (UTC), and as a Community Director on the Stay @ New Mexico, a subsidiary corporation of the Mesilla Valley Hospice. His research interests include innovative health promotion advocacy, leadership and policy development for policy driven change, U.S.-Mexico border health, and healthy aging. He has presented his research at numerous local, state, national and international health education, health promotion and public health conferences, and published his research in several peer reviewed journals. He is recognized for his national leadership, serving on the national Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) Board of Trustees (2 Terms), recently the Trustee for Professional Preparation. He is recognized for his teaching, receiving the Donald C. Roush Excellence in Teaching NMSU faculty award 2014, for his service receiving the CHSS Faculty Service award 2014, and for his national service by the APHA 2013.
PhD: Health Education, University of New Mexico, 1995.
Dr. Cindy Kratzke
Office: CHSS 323
Biography: Cindy Kratzke, PhD, CHES, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences. She brings over 15 years of leadership experience in healthcare management and healthcare education. Her research areas are cancer prevention and control including minority community health workers and mammography use, mobile technology use, and mother-daughter communication. She has presented her research at nearly 50 conferences including international and national cancer conferences. She has published numerous articles in leading peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Community Health and Journal of Cancer Education. She is appointed by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez to the statewide Community Health Workers Advisory Council. She is on the Board of Directors of Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), a national organization to reduce the burden of cancer through education. Dr. Kratzke received her Ph.D. in Health Services Research.
PhD: Health Services Research, Old Dominion University, 2005.
Dr. Jill McDonald
Professor of Public Health Sciences; Stan Fulton Endowed Chair in Health Disparities Research, Director of the Southwest Institute for Health Disparities Research
Office: CHSS 335/202A
Dr. Ernesto Moralez
Office: CHSS 337
Biography: I completed my PhD degree at the University of Colorado Denver in 2015 and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from NMSU in 2009 My doctoral research focused on looking at the impact of chronic illness on depression treatment in primary care among low-income patient populations. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in public health here at NMSU, and have also taught courses in personal health and wellness, health coaching, complementary and alternative medicine, and health psychology at four other institutions. Before joining the faculty here at NMSU, I worked on research and evaluation projects in areas such as smoking cessation programs, motivational interviewing in primary care settings, depression recognition and treatment, and the use of promotoras and community health workers in community settings. My current research interests include identifying potential moderators and mediators that predict mental health and cancer screening behaviors as well as the impact of illness complexity on decision-making practices.
Dr. Rebecca Palacios
Office: CHSS 301
Biography: Dr. Palacios’ has a Doctoral degree in Health Psychology from the University of Texas at El Paso and is currently an Assistant Professor of Health Science at New Mexico State University. Prior to this she served as Director of Research at Border Research Solutions, a private research company. In this capacity she directed various applied research studies in community health along the U.S./Mexico border, including health needs assessments examining prevalence of overweight and diabetes in adults and children (Pan American Health Organization, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center), the health and functional status of the aging population (UTEP, Texas Tech), service needs of the HIV/AIDS population (Planned Parenthood Administrative Offices), and rural/colonia health (New Mexico Department of Health, UTEP). Dr. Palacios has also conducted program evaluations for a variety of health programs targeting substance and alcohol abuse prevention (BASICS, UTEP; Project ALERT, UTEP; Family Drug Court, 65th District Court), teen pregnancy prevention (Worth the Wait and CHOICES Two Should Know, El Paso City Department of Public Health), and other health education programs. Dr. Palacios has authored over 34 publications, including published articles, peer reviewed abstracts and technical reports. Dr. Palacios has 9 publications in peer reviewed journals related to stress, motivation, Alzheimer’s disease, risk behaviors in college students, and geriatric health. Her current research examines the relation of motivational systems to disease precursors for hypertension and diabetes, including obesity-related risk factors (e.g., unhealthy diet and physical inactivity), family history of hypertension, and stress. Dr. Palacios is currently working on validating two new research instruments that assess motivation for physical activity and healthy eating. As a native to the border region, Dr. Palacios is dedicated to promoting health related research on the Mexican American population.
PhD: University of Texas El Paso, 2005
Dr. Satya Rao
Professor and Graduate Certificate of Public Health Coordinator
Office: CHSS 303K
Biography: Dr. Rao’s areas of research and service interests include violence, substance use and abuse, mental health issues such as suicide and suicide ideation among racial and ethnic minority communities.
PhD: Texas Women’s University, 1994
Dr. Joe Tomaka
Professor and Graduate Coordinator
Biography: Dr. Tomaka served as Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Texas at El Paso where he served as Chair of the Department of Health Promotion, Associate Dean for the College of Health Sciences, and Director of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Ph.D. Program. In 2013, he moved to New Mexico State University where he is Professor, Associate Dean for Research in the College of Health and Social Services, and Interim Department Head for the Department of Public Health Sciences.
Education: PhD: State University of New York at Buffalo, Social and Health Psychology 1993; MS: State University of New York at Buffalo, Social and Health Psychology 1990; BS: Geneseo State University, 1987.
Dr. Susan Wilson
Office: CHSS 303D
Biography: Prior to her arrival at NMSU in 2007, she served as Hawkins County Program Director, Rural and Community Health and Community Partnerships program (the programmatic winner of the prestigious National Rural Health Association’s Outstanding Rural Health Program Award for 2007) and on the faculty of the Department of Public Health at East Tennessee State University. Previous positions include serving on the faculty at Southwestern Medical School and UTMB-Galveston medical school; as Staff Consultant for the Texas Senate; and Director of Research and Data Management for one of the largest Health Systems Agencies in the nation covering 16 counties in north-central Texas. Dr. Wilson has conducted international research and service projects in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. Professional specialties include social determinants of health, health administration and policy, rural health, health disparities, preparedness & response, and international health.
PhD: Southern Methodist University, 1982
Phone: (575) 6464300
Office: CHSS 331