California State University, Fullerton
Archana McEligot, Ph.D., professor of public health at Cal State Fullerton, is recognized for her long-standing commitment to bolstering underrepresented students in the public health field.
McEligot conceptualized, developed and implemented the Big Data, Discovery and Diversity through Research Education and Partnership (BD3-REAP) program to train students on big data science and provide mentorships from leading scientists. In addition, the program was designed to address imposter syndrome, negative stereotypes, feelings of isolation and other barriers often experienced by underrepresented students in STEM fields. Under her leadership, the BD3-REAP program facilitated strong peer relationships, sustained faculty mentorship, hosted professional development workshops, provided emotional support and guidance related to financial resources and graduate school preparation.
The outcomes of the BD3-REAP program's first two cohorts exemplify Dr. McEligot's ability to facilitate the success of underrepresented students: Nearly 60 percent of students have authored manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and/or university publications; 75 percent applied to graduate school and were successfully admitted in data science-related fields.
McEligot also helped develop a new public health nutrition concentration at CSUF, which includes programs that study nutrition in underserved communities. Through McEligot's curriculum innovations, nearly 200 underrepresented students have been trained in the field and have served in community service and internships.
“As her colleague, I am continuously impressed with Dr. McEligot's vision and how she identifies a need, researches funding sources, connects with partners and then develops a detailed and sustainable project to enrich the lives of those most in need," says Laura Chandler, DrPH, assistant professor of public health at CSUF.