Las Cruces – Maria Teresa Cerqueira will speak as a part of the New Mexico State University College of Health and Social Services' Jeffrey E. and Mary T. Brandon Distinguished Lecture Series Monday, April 5, at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. Hors d'oeuvres will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the lecture will begin at 7 p.m.
Cerqueira is chief of the U.S.-Mexico Border Office of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Regional Office of the World Health Organization. She is an expert in health promotion, public policy, nutrition and evaluation of social strategies. During her lecture, she will speak about the relationship of food and nutrition to the border violence between the U.S. and Mexico.
At PAHO, she has led an effort to create the initiatives "Health Promoting Schools and Universities" and "Healthy Municipalities and Communities in the Americas." These strategies have been widely implemented in all of the countries in the region, and several networks are still active that bring together researchers, policy makers, educators and community leaders in sharing experiences and advocating for healthy public policies.
Before joining PAHO in 1992, Cerqueira was a consultant with the Division of Food Policy and Nutrition with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the U.N. in Latin America, the Caribbean and in Africa.
She has worked as a nutritionist with the University of Miami at the Jackson Memorial Public Health Trust with the women, infant and children (WIC) program, and she evaluated the extended food and nutrition education program (EFNEP) in Dade County, Fla. She also was a researcher with Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland in Project INTERSALT.
Cerqueira was the director of health education with the Secretariat of Health in Mexico, professor of nutrition at the University Iberoamericana and the Universidad Aut noma Metropolitana in Xochimilco, Mexico. She was chief investigator of various experimental projects at the National Nutrition Institute in Mexico City.
She received a Ph.D. in food and nutrition policy from Cornell University in 1996; a Master of Science from the University of Iowa in 1975; and a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University in 1973.
Jeffrey E. Brandon and his wife, Mary T. Brandon, began contributing to the endowment through the NMSU Foundation in 2000. Their intent was to create permanency for the topic of health disparities as a centerpiece for the research, education and service efforts of the College of Health and Social Services faculty and staff.