College of Health and Human Services
George Mason University
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George Mason University

Constance Gewa, PhD

Associate Professor

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Biography

Dr. Constance Gewa is an Associate Professor in the Department Nutrition and Food Studies. Gewa’s research focuses on nutritional status of mothers and children in low-income nations, especially those in Africa. She is a leading expert in estimation of dietary intake quantity and quality in African populations, sustainable food-based strategies aimed at improving food security and nutritional and health status of mothers and children populations in resource-poor settings in Africa and diet-related behavior change. Gewa joined George Mason University after completing her doctoral studies at the University of California Los Angeles. Prior to her graduate studies, Dr. Gewa worked as a nutrition team leader and a research project coordinator with a child nutrition research project in Kenya. A majority of her publications are based on primary data collected from multiple research studies in Kenya. However, she has also utilized secondary data collected from nationally sampled studies in Kenya, and other African nations to further explore nutrition-related factors among mothers and young children. Support for Gewa’s research work has come from multiple sources including the Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program (GL-CRSP), Soy Health Research Program, Virginia Department of Health, and George Mason University.

University Service

  • Program reviewer, Academic Program Review Committee, 2016-2017
  • Member, CHHS Celebration of Scholarship Committee, 2016-present
  • Member, CHHS Promotion and Tenure Committee, 2014-2015; 2016-2017

Community Service

  • Member, Fairfax Food Council Nutrition Literacy Work Group, 2014-Present.
  • External Member, Feed the Future Legume Innovation Lab Technical Management and Advisory Committee (TMAC), 2013-Present

Degrees

PhD, Public Health, University of California Los Angeles

MPH, Public Health, University of California Los Angeles

MS, Applied Human Nutrition, University of Nairobi

BS, Agriculture and Home-Economics, Egerton University

Research

Research Interests

  • Dietary Assessment Rural Kenya
  • Diet Quality Rural Kenya
  • Dietary Diversity Rural Kenya
  • Maternal Nutrition Rural Kenya
  • Exclusive Breast-Feeding Rural Kenya
  • Young Child Feeding Practices Kenya

Select Publications

Durairaj A., Gewa C.A., Komwa M. & Pawloski L. (2017). “Our turn to eat:” Shifting gender norms and food security in the Wakiso district of Uganda. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. (accepted manuscript)

Slavin M., Dong M., and Gewa C. (2016). Effect of clove extract pre-treatment and drying conditions on lipid oxidation and sensory discrimination of dried omena (Rastrineobola argentea) fish. International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 51, 2376-2385.

Gewa C.A. & Chepkemboi J. (2016). Maternal knowledge, outcome expectancies and normative beliefs as determinants of cessation of exclusive breastfeeding: a cross-sectional study in rural Kenya. BMC Public Health, 16, 243. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-2907-2

Gewa C.A. & Leslie T. (2015). Distribution and determinants of young child feeding practices in the East African region: demographic health survey data analysis from 2008-2011. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 34 (1),6. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41043-015-0008-y

Gewa C.A., Frankenfeld C.L., Slavin M., Omondi M. (2014). Fish-enhanced and soy-enhanced supplemental snacks are acceptable among pregnant women in rural Kenya. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 35 (4 suppl), S180-S187. 

Gewa C.A., Murphy S.P., Weiss R.E. & Neumann C.G. (2014): Determining minimum food intake amounts for diet diversity scores to maximize associations with nutrient adequacy: an analysis of schoolchildren's diets in rural Kenya. Public Health Nutrition, 17(12), 2667-2673. 

Wojtusiak J., Gewa C.A. & Pawloski L.R. (2011). Dietary assessment in Africa: integration with innovative technology. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 11(7), 5629-5645.

Gewa C.A., Weiss R.E., Bwibo N.O., Whaley S., Sigman M., Murphy S.P., … Neumann C.G. (2009). Dietary micronutrients are associated with higher cognitive function gains among primary school children in rural Kenya. British Journal of Nutrition, 101, 1378-1387. 

Gewa C.A., Murphy S.P. & Neumann C.G. (2009). A comparison of weighed and recalled intakes for school children and mothers in rural Kenya. Public Health Nutrition, 12(8), 1197-1204. 

Grants

Research

"Indigenous foods and food security in rural Kenya," George Mason University-Provost Multidisciplinary Research Initiative. 2016–2017. $25000.

"Increasing Animal Foods In Diets of HIV-infected Kenyan Women and Their Children," NIH sub-award (via Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis). 2014. $4458.

"Projects to Promote Healthy Eating, Active Living and Obesity Prevention," (In partnership with Fairfax County Department of Health: WIC program) Virginia Department of Health. 2012-2013. $25000.

"Breast-feeding knowledge, attitude and practices among mothers and community health workers in rural Kenya," Seed Grant Award-George Mason University Provost Office. 2012-2013. $4950.

"Development and acceptance of fish and soy-enhanced snacks among pregnant mothers in rural Kenya," Soy Health Research Program Incentive Award. 2011-2012. $10000.
                        
"Maternal HIV in Africa: impact on childcare quality and nutritional status," Seed Grant Award-George Mason University Provost Office. 2009-2010. $10000.     

Curriculum Development

"Curriculum Development Grant," George Mason University, Office of Scholarship, Creative 
Activities, and Research (OSCAR). 2015-present. $15000.

"Online Course Development Award," George Mason University, Provost office. 2013-2014. $4000

Honors & Awards

Top Public Health Graduating Student, 2007, School of Public Health, University of California Los Angeles

Expertise