Elder Garcia Varela

Early Childhood
What I do: 
Elder is a doctoral candidate pursuing a Health and Human Performance degree with a concentration in Health Education and Behavior and a minor in Research and Evaluation Methodology at the University of Florida. Elder is a certified health education specialist (CHES) and research assistant in the Nutrition Education and Behavioral Science (NEBS) lab. Her research goal is to better understand the multiple influences on dietary behavior and to develop nutrition education and behavioral interventions to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes in vulnerable populations. Specifically, her research explores how children’s environments can be feasibly changed to promote healthy eating and nutrition security. Her dissertation focuses on informing the development of an evaluation tool to measure the impact of policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) approaches in early childhood settings.