Molina wins AAHHE faculty award

Kristine Molina

Associate professor of psychological science recognized for excellence in research and teaching

Kristine M. Molina, associate professor of psychological science, has been awarded the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education’s 2022 University Faculty Award for demonstrated excellence in research and teaching and for providing significant contributions to her academic discipline. She officially will be recognized at AAHHE’s conference March 10 in Nevada.

“I am honored to receive this award from an organization that genuinely values Latinxs’ representation and varied contributions across different institutions,” Molina says. “It’s a full circle and humbling moment for me to be recognized by this organization because they have supported my educational journey and honored my achievements since my graduate school days — from being selected as an AAHHE Graduate Student Fellow (2007) to being chosen as the first-place recipient of their Kurt M. Landgraf Outstanding Dissertation Award (2012) to now being recognized for my achievements as a professor. As a faculty member at a research institution, this honor is especially valuable to me because it acknowledges my scholarly contributions to my field and teaching (and mentoring as part of my teaching) — two areas where I place an equally high value.”

Molina’s research addresses how different dimensions of inequality — existential and resource-based — are embodied at multiple levels to affect health across the life course and intergenerationaly. She investigates contexts of coping with and resisting inequities and injustices among Latinxs and other marginalized groups. Her research has implications for policies that address social determinants of health and programs that empower marginalized communities to transform social and institutional structures that perpetuate injustices in all its forms. 

Molina has published in interdisciplinary health journals, including Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Social Science & Medicine, and American Journal of Public Health, and co-authored chapters/encyclopedia entries on embodiment of inequality at the intersection of multiple marginalized structural identities. 

In 2015, she received the National Hispanic Science Network’s Award of Excellence by a New Investigator and was named a “Rising Star” by the Association for Psychological Science. 

Molina is passionate about providing equitable access to empowering high-quality mentorship/training to historically disenfranchised students through her Research on Equity and Advancement of Latinxs (REAL) Lab. Her research and mentoring-training activities have been funded by federal agencies, foundations, and institutional grants.

Molina has a B.A. in psychology from Smith College and an M.A. in psychology and a Ph.D. in psychology and women’s studies from the University of Michigan. She completed a National Institutes of Health-funded postdoctoral fellowship in health psychology/behavioral medicine at the University of Miami. Prior to joining UCI, she was an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Studying stress and obesity in Latinx community

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