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Professor’s Research Earns Prestigious Appointment to Help Guide Tobacco Policy

December 21, 2018

Professor Mariaelena Gonzalez has been appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the California Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee (TEROC).

Gonzalez, with the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts and an affiliate of the Heath Sciences Research Institute, focuses on social epidemiology and social determinants of health, including tobacco, health disparities, Latino and refugee health; risk and prevention behaviors; and global health policy and global governance, among other topics.

She conducted her postdoctoral research in tobacco control at UCSF, and has continued her extensive studies on that topic since she joined UC Merced. She was nominated to serve on TEROC, a legislatively mandated oversight committee that monitors the use of Proposition 99 and Proposition 56 tobacco tax revenues for tobacco control, prevention education and tobacco-related research in California.

The committee advises the California Department of Public Health, the University of California and the California Department of Education with respect to policy, development, integration and evaluation of tobacco education programs. TEROC is also responsible for the development of a master plan for the future implementation of tobacco control.

The group’s goals are to limit tobacco-promoting influences such as marketing efforts; reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, tobacco smoke residue, tobacco waste and other tobacco products; reduce the availability of tobacco; and promote tobacco cessation.

“I am really honored to have been nominated and appointed,” Gonzalez said. “I hope to serve the people of California while on TEROC, and ensure that the issues facing the San Joaquin Valley and surrounding mountain communities are taken into account when decisions are made.”

Gonzalez earned her Ph.D. in 2009 from Stanford University, and joined UC Merced in 2013. She also holds degrees in religions of the world from M.T.S. Harvard Divinity School at Harvard University, and in mathematics and religious studies from Santa Clara University.

Lorena Anderson

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