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I completed a BA in East Asian Studies at BYU with a minor in Japanese (1982) and then went on to earn an MA in International and Area Studies, and an MBA in International Business Administration, at BYU (1985). I then worked for the National Security Agency as a Japanese linguist and research analyst for one year before returning to BYU to earn an EdD in Health Science with a focus on international and global health promotion. I taught at Utah State University for nine years in the Kinesiology and Health Science Department prior to joining the Health Science faculty at BYU in 2000 to help develop an MPH program with an emphasis in Global Health Promotion. I was with BYU almost 8 years before returning to Utah State University in January of 2008 where I served as Dean and Executive Director for Moab and the Southwest Region within the Regional Campus and Distance Education (RCDE) system at Utah State University. Effective July 2017, I am returning to the Kinesiology and Health Science faculty at USU to help launch a new MPH program.
Most of my research activities fall under the broad category of public health nutrition. Specifically, I have been involved in investigating the nutrition transition in developing countries (the shift from traditional to modern diets, and the corresponding rise in obesity and diet-related illness). I have conducted research on this topic primarily in Asian countries including China, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines, and have published findings in such journals as Health Promotion International, Ecology of Food and Nutrition, and the Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
I am also interested in the interaction between culture, eating styles, and body esteem, and have completed several studies that investigate the usefulness of non-dieting approaches to healthy weight promotion and self-esteem.