Wednesday, June 5, 2013 (Bronx, NY) - Each year, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade organization recognizes the work of outstanding individuals who make a positive difference in the community. This year, Hostos Community College is proud to announce that Professor Iris Mercado is one of this year’s honorees whose accomplishments were celebrated at the National Puerto Rican Day Parade’s Educational/Leadership Scholarship Awards Banquet held on May 16 at the Villa Barone Manor.
The theme of this year’s parade is “Salud: Celebrating Your Health,” and there might not be a better person to honor than Professor Mercado. And, during the marching of the 18th National Puerto Rican Day Parade down 5th Avenue on June 9, health and wellness experts will be on hand to educate people about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
She has been teaching Nutrition and Health courses as well as the benefits of a healthy lifestyle at Hostos for nine years. The former professional nutritionist and health consultant also recently launched a new bog, “Healthy Hostos,” that she hopes spreads the benefits of living healthy to even more people. The Healthy Hostos blog can be found at http://oit.hostos.cuny.edu/healthyhostos
Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, she moved to New York City in 1989, where she has spent 25 years promoting fitness and nutrition thought writing articles and lecturing, providing clinical nutrition counseling, and running weight management programs in various outpatient clinics in New York City.
Professor Mercado earned her Ed.D. in Health Education with a minor in Exercise Physiology from Columbia University and her M.S. in Nutrition and Public Health from the School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Puerto Rico and received a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management from the Commission of Dietetic Registration.
Bio: Iris Mercado Ed.D., CDN- Assistant Professor and Health Education Unit Coordinator, Hostos Community College.
Dr. Mercado was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico to Rosa María Cortes and Manuel Mercado. She attended grade school and college in Puerto Rico where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Puerto Rico and a M.S. in Nutrition and Public Health from the School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico. She received her Ed.D. in Health Education with a minor in Exercise Physiology from Columbia University, NYC and holds a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management from the Commission of Dietetic Registration (2002).
Prior to moving to New York City in 1989, Dr. Mercado worked in the Albergue Olympico, Salinas PR and in Comedores Escolares central office in San Juan, PR. She evolved professionally as a Nutritionist/Dietitian during her 25 years of practice throughout New York City as a clinical Nutritionist/Dietitian. She has worked as a bilingual/bicultural nutritionist consultant for many years providing nutritional assessment, counseling, health education trainings, weight management groups and workshops to various health centers and organizations through NYC but mostly in neighborhoods predominantly Puertorrican -Hispanic- such as East Harlem, South Bronx and Williamsburg. She came to Hostos Community College-CUNY in 2004 as a full time Assistant Professor where she mostly teaches Nutrition. At Hostos, she is the Health Education Unit Coordinator, started the “Hostos Healthy Weight” support group and the “Healthy Hostos” Blog. She is a member of the CUNY Campaign for Healthy Food (CUNY CHeF) Advisory Board, “Health Club” student advisor and a former member of the CUNY Campaign Against Diabetes where she started a Walking and a Use the Stairs campaigns.
Dr. Mercado is working on a weight management book for Latinos and continues updating her “HealthyHostos” Blog website regularly. Her areas of expertise are nutrition, weight management, fitness, health education, public health, health promotion, and prevention in regards to major chronic diseases and HIV/AIDS.
With over 25 years of experience as a health educator and nutritionist/dietitian, Dr. Mercado is committed to the belief that people can change behaviors and adopt healthy lifestyle with the appropriate support and motivation. She intends to continue motivating and positively affecting the lives of the students in a broader way by spreading health information through the Healthy Hostos blog and a weight management book for the Latino population. The book's main focus is to show people how to eat well and keep a healthy weight without giving up their rice and beans. Dr. Mercado practices what she preaches by staying in shape, playing tennis and maintaining healthy eating habits.
She has two children, Bianca Sanchez (29) and Daniel Ruiz (14), and one grandchild Kibian Rosario (3).
About Hostos Community College:
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of The City University of New York (CUNY) system, was founded in 1968. In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in the fall of 1970 to the spring 2012 enrollment of over 7,000 students. The college also serves an additional 10,000 students through its Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College, visit www.hostos.cuny.edu.
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