Leadership Team



Yumary Ruiz
Associate Professor of
Public Health

Dr. Ruiz joined the faculty at Purdue University in 2014 as an Assistant Professor in Health and Kinesiology and transitioned in 2019 to the newly formed Department of Public Health that combined faculty from both Department of Health and Kinesiology and the Department of Consumer Science. 

Dr. Ruiz's research focuses on reducing health disparities and identifying factors that enable youth to overcome adversity. Focusing on Latino youth, Dr. Ruiz uses quantitative and qualitative methodologies to understand how cognitive processes (e.g., attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge) interact with social factors (e.g., migration) to impact health. Her work also identifies health-promoting mechanisms in the form of social support (e.g., parents and mentors) and individual characteristics (e.g., resilience and coping strategies) that can mitigate the harmful effects of socioeconomic and health disadvantages. The overarching goal of Dr. Ruiz’s research is to develop innovative and empirically based interventions (e.g., use of mentors, provider–parent collaborations, and community health workers) to reduce health disparities among youth.


Jesus Romero

Jesus Romero
Coordinator for Leadership Development

I am originally from California but I have been in the Midwest for the past 6 years.  Spanish was my first language and it was the only language spoken at home so I didn’t pick up English until I started school.  Despite attending a predominantly Latino school district, I didn’t really think much about my racial identity until college.  In college, through my involvement in MECha and my major courses in Ethnic Studies, I finally began to see myself as Latino and not just someone of Mexican descent.  This prompted me to understand the importance of community and the need to address issues of access and retention in higher education, particularly for communities of color.  After earning my Masters in Educational Leadership,  I was looking for an opportunity to engage with students in authentic ways where we can discuss how our multiple social identities influence the way we lead.  I really enjoy deconstructing the ways in which we have traditionally thought of leadership in order for students to understand that leadership is something that can be learned and it is best practiced collectively.  Through courses, workshops, and retreats, students also come to understand how everyone has something to contribute to the leadership process.

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