Adjunct Assistant Professor
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- PhD, Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (1989)
- MS, Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (1986)
- MAEd, Alliant International University, San Diego, CA (2009)
- BA, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA (1981)
Dr. Merchant worked with SDSU Research Foundation’s WIC Program for over 7 years leading Research & Quality Improvement efforts in the program. Kathleen has been engaged in maternal child health and community nutrition programming, monitoring, and evaluation for vulnerable populations worldwide for over 30 years. She has worked in academic settings as well as US and global health and nutrition organizations including WHO, UNICEF, World Bank, Project Concern International and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). She applies an action research model to conduct research to support evidence-based decision-making at WIC. She is currently directing a 3-year CDPH/WIC funded research project to design and test innovative strategies to improve the WIC participant experience. Her area of expertise is maternal child health and nutrition with particular emphasis in nutritional problems of poverty including energy balance and nutritional risks of frequent reproductive cycling for women and children including undernutrition and obesity. She served on the National WIC Association’s Research & Evaluation Committee, nationally, and serves on the Leadership Council of the San Diego Childhood Obesity Initiative, locally. Additionally, she holds a California Professional Pupil Services Credential in Educational Psychology.