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Mayra Rodriguez, PhD, MPH

Mayra Rodriguez
Mayra Rodriguez, PhD, MPH
Discipline Chair for Epidemiology, Community and Public Health, and Preventive Medicine
Director for Diversity and Inclusion
Department/Discipline: Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Campus: Auburn
Office: 243
Fax: 334-442-4096
Email: Contact

Dr. Rodriguez is the discipline chair for epidemiology, preventive medicine, and public health curriculum for OMS I and OMSII at VCOM–Auburn. Her experience involves examining language as a mechanism of health behavior change (i.e., alcohol and substance use) among criminal justice offenders using motivational interviewing, a client-centered behavior change therapy among substance users involved in the criminal justice system. Currently, Dr. Rodriguez is focused in understanding how social determinants contribute to health disparities, specifically, how life stress and discrimination over the life course impact maternal and child health. Her goal is to contribute context of the health inequality and provide efficient and effective solutions to post-partum care and infant cognitive development.


Year University Degree
2014 University of North Texas Health Science Center PhD
2009 University of North Texas Health Science Center MPH
2005 University of North Texas Health Science Center Graduate Clinical Research Training
2001 University of Texas Brownsville BS

Research Interests

My research interests include exploring:

  1. Biological and social stressors
  2. Health inequalities
  3. Social determinants
  4. Health disparities
  5. Racism/Discrimination
  6. Life course perspective.
  7. Family dynamics
  8. Health policy
  9. Vulnerable populations.


  1. survey development
  2. Use of theory to frame research
  3. Study design
  4. Qualitative assessment and analysis
  5. Motivational interviewing


  • University of North Texas Health Science Center, President’s Hero Award, March 2015
  • Texas Public Health Association, Outstanding Research Paper Presentation, March 2014
  • University of North Texas Health Science Center, Rand Horseman Employee Scholarship, 2013
  • University of North Texas Health Science Center,Oral Presentation Award Research Appreciation Day, February 2009


  • Member, Association for Prevention Teaching and Research
  • Member, American Psychological Association
  • Member, American Public Health Association
  • Member, Society for Epidemiology Research

Selected Publications

Year Faculty Citation PMID
2024 Mayra Rodriguez

Ware KS, Lee AS, Rodriguez M, Williams CH. Perceptions to Overcoming Barriers to Prenatal Care in African American Women. Nurs Clin North Am. 2024 Mar;59(1):121-129. doi: 10.1016/j.cnur.2023.11.010. PMID: 38272578.

2024 Mayra Rodriguez

Stimpson JP, Park S, Rodriguez M, Cano MÁ, Ortega AN. Cancer fatalism, social media informational awareness, and education. Cancer Causes Control. 2024 Jun 29. doi: 10.1007/s10552-024-01896-y. Online ahead of print. PMID: 38951386.

2022 Mayra Rodriguez

Gold M, Johnson M, Mathis A, Mehrara S, Ruiz D, Houston C, Kalenisk J, Rodriguez M. Lingering COVID-19 Symptoms Among Young Adults. The Fast Track, American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians Resident and Student Organization Online Journal (ACOEP-RSO). 2022 Sep 26;Fall.

2020 David Stephen, Mayra Rodriguez

Stephen D, Rodriguez M. Chapter 10: Medical Education with Multicultural Perspectives: Cultivating Culturally Competent Physicians. In: Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education; Eds Octavia Tripp and Rhonda M. Collier. IGI Global: 2020:218-238.

2020 Mary Taylor, Mayra Rodriguez

Taylor MA, Neal AN., Schellinger J, Ostrowski S, White A, Rodriguez M, Meeham A, Tiller E. Examining Change in Student Anxiety and Depression After the First Year of a Professional Program Secondary to Perceived Stress: A Cross-Sectional Descriptive Study. Journal of Medical Education. 2020 Nov;19(4). doi: 10.5812/jme.103404.

2017 Mayra Rodriguez

Rodriguez M, Walters ST, Houck J, Ortiz JA, Taxman FS. The language of change among criminal justice clients: Counselor language, client language, and client substance use outcomes. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2017 Sep 22. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22534. PMID: 28940435.

2016 Mayra Rodriguez

Spohr SA, Taxman FS, Rodriguez M, Walters ST. Motivational interviewing fidelity in a community corrections setting: Treatment initiation and subsequent drug use. Journal of substance abuse treatment. 2016 Jun;65; 20-5. PMID: 26365536.


2015 Mayra Rodriguez

Hensel KL, Buchanan S, Brown SK, Rodriguez M, Cruiser A. Pregnancy Research on Osteopathic Manipulation Optimizing Treatment Effects: The PROMOTE Study. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2015 Jan;212(1):108. PMID: 25068560.

2015 Mayra Rodriguez

Taxman FS, Walters ST, Sloas LB, Lerch J, Rodriguez M. Motivational tools to improve probationer treatment outcomes. Contemporary Clinical Trials. 2015 July;43:120-8. 26009023.

2014 Mayra Rodriguez

Walters ST, Ondersma SJ, Ingersoll K, Rodriguez M, Lerch J, Rossheim ME, Taxman FS. MAPIT: Development of a web-based intervention targeting substance abuse treatment in the criminal justice system. Journal Substance Abuse Treatment. 2014 Jan;46(1):60-5. PMID: 23954392

2014 Mayra Rodriguez

Rossheim ME, Wilson F, Suzuki S, Rodriguez M, Walters S, Thombs DL. Associations between drug use and motorcycle helmet use in fatal crashes. Traffic Injury Prevention.  2015;15(7): 678-84. PMID: 24245609.