Beth Racine, DrPH, will become director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center at El Paso beginning Jan. 1.
As a registered dietician, Racine will also serve as a professor and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service associate department head in the Department of Nutrition at Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Dedication to reducing barriers to healthy living
Racine is currently professor of public health services at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research is focused on understanding incentives and barriers to healthy eating and physical activity among different populations in the U.S. and other countries. Specifically, she has focused on obesity among low-income ethnic groups and accompanying socioeconomic factors.
She has received numerous honors for her work, including the University of North Carolina at Charlotte College of Health and Human Services Dean’s Faculty Research Innovation Award.
One of her initial focus areas within Texas A&M AgriLife will be to build a research program with emphasis on water and public health nutrition. To do so, she will bring together both AgriLife Research scientists and AgriLife Extension specialists to jointly administer education programs in these areas.
“I am looking forward to leading the El Paso center, working with the community to support healthy eating and healthy lifestyles,” Racine said. “Texas A&M AgriLife has a wealth of expertise. We are well positioned to meet the challenges and needs of the region.”
Industry expertise on water, public health nutrition
Racine has served as a study manager with Westat, a corporation which provides research services to federal and state government agencies and foundations. She also served as a social science analyst with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Economic Research Service.
Racine earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston University, a master’s degree in nutrition from California State University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in public health from Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“I am so thrilled to start this new phase of my career in Texas,” she said. “My great-grandfather was a Texan, and through his writings I know quite a bit about his experience as a cowboy and railroad boomer in the late 1800s. He would be so proud to know that his great-granddaughter will serve the people of his beloved state.”