Dr. Rei Serafica is a tenured associate professor in the School of Nursing. His research trajectory centers on acculturation as it relates to chronic disease of immigrants. His research has lead to develop a new concept: dietary biculturalism, where he explores the phenomenon of unhealthy traditional food consumption by immigrants that elevates their risk of developing food-related chronic illnesses as much as when they consume an unhealthy Western diet during the post-migration phase.
Rei’s concept of dietary biculturalism has extended previous discovery in the field of acculturation toward a new shift in terms of direction and application of food assessment in immigrants. The four areas that comprise his research are (1) changes in food patterns after immigrating to the United States (i.e., dietary acculturation), (2) prevalence of dietary biculturalism, (3) the use of technology to track dietary intake patterns of immigrants and, (4) other stressors such as acculturative stress that may influence food intake.
He has contributed to science by publishing in peer-reviewed journal articles and presented in national and international conferences. He also implemented a viable and relevant research agenda that involves an interdisciplinary approach and mentorship for graduate students.
His collaborative research team is assessing and analyzing food practices/food patterns in immigrants with cardiometabolic risk, which will be used in future interventions for educating patients and their primary care providers.
Dr. Serafica earned his undergraduate and graduate studies in nursing from Gardner-Webb University and his Ph.D. in Nursing (Research and Education) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is also a Certified Nurse Educator and teaches in the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral courses in the SON.
Dr. Serafica serves as an associate editor to the Journal of Transcultural Nursing, and he is currently the President-Elect of the Asian American Pacific Islander Nurses Association (AAPINA) of Nevada. He also chairs the Faculty Search Committee for the SON.