Biobehavioral Health Alumni Profile: Oralia Garcia Dominic, Ph.D.

Oralia Garcia Dominic


B.S. 1994 University of Texas at San Antonio, Biology

M.S. 1997 University of The Incarnate Word, Nutrition

M.A. 2003 University of The Incarnate Word, Multidisciplinary Studies; Concentration: Education

Ph.D. 2008 The Pennsylvania State University, Biobehavioral Health, NIH-NIDDK Pre-doc Fellow

On the Ph.D. program in her words:

“The BBH PhD program exceeded my expectations. The faculty and staff are exceptional. The state-of-the-art campus is inviting. The resources available to graduate students are a huge plus. My dissertation committee members tailored the program to my research area of interest. My advisor allowed me to test hypotheses of my own. In regards to networking, the BBH faculty (and staff!) provided me with opportunities to meet, work, and co-author with senior level investigators. As a direct result of my doctoral training, I was able (1) to submit competitive NIH grant applications to fund my research, including my post-doc work; (2) to be gainfully employed immediately after graduation; and (3) to create a lifelong network. The BBH folks are good people. In summary, the program is excellent. If your goal is to become a researcher and an expert in your chosen field then this program is for you!”

Current areas of Professional Interest

Minority health; health disparities; co-morbidities (intersection between diabetes and colorectal cancer); Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR); the role of social support for improving colorectal cancer screening among Latinos residing in Urban and Rural Pennsylvania; culturally appropriate interventions in health promotion.

Current Position

Health Equity & Quality Services, Highmark Health Services, Camp Hill, PA

Ph.D. Thesis Title

Brief Description: This study examined in adult Pennsylvanians from 1995 to 2005: (1) trends in the prevalence and geographic and demographic distributions of diabetes; and (2) associations of diabetes with selected risk factors by geography and over time.

Ph.D. Advisors:Jan S. Ulbrecht and Linda A. Wray.