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The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing

Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.


Mary Lou de Leon Siantz is a professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis where she teaches and mentors students in leadership and policy, and conducts research in population health partnering with rural Latino agricultural communities. She is nationally recognized for her interdisciplinary efforts to prepare health professionals in leadership and health policy, and internationally respected for her research. De Leon Siantz’ funded studies focus on the impact of migration on the health and development of U.S. Latino migrant and immigrant infants, children, adolescents and their families.

Her current research is a binational migration study in partnership with the University of Guadalajara, in which she compares the migration experience of 14- to 17-year-old girls from the rural areas of Mexico to California and back, and its impact on their mental and reproductive health. The Health Initiative of the Americas UC Berkeley funded the story.

In 2013, de Leon Siantz was appointed director of the Center for Advancing Multicultural Perspectives on Science (CAMPOS), a center that builds on UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi’s vision to transform university culture and practices around recruitment, retention and promotion of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including social science, through an National Science Foundation-sponsored initiative the chancellor leads. The CAMPOS mission is to support the discovery of knowledge by promoting women, especially Latinas, to impact their respective disciplines in profound and enduring ways.

De Leon Siantz recently led the efforts for the school to gain membership to the Hispanic Serving Health Professional Schools (HSHPS) as the first Hispanic Serving Professional School of Nursing in the U.S. She is co-director of the Mentorship Core for the UC Davis Latino Research Resource Center (LARRC), one of seven national Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) funded by the National Institute on Aging. She is also an affiliated faculty member of the Migration and Health Research Center, a collaboration between the UC Davis and UC Berkeley campuses that is dedicated to conducting research to improve the health of migrant populations in California and around the globe.

Prior to joining the faculty at the School of Nursing, De Leon Siantz was the assistant dean of Diversity and Cultural Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, where she collaborated with faculty to develop a multicultural and global health minor focused on migration. At Georgetown University, she established a congressionally sponsored Center of Excellence in Migrant Health, “Milagros.” She is a founding member and former president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development from the University of Maryland College Park with a minor in bioethics. She earned a Master of Nursing in Child Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing and Community Mental Health from UCLA and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles.

De Leon Siantz’ academic awards and honors include the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Fellowship in Bioethics at Georgetown University, a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship and recognition as a Top Latina in Health and Science by Hispanic magazine. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and an expert panel member for the National Academy of Science Institute of Medicine, Health of Immigrant Children and Immigrant Children’s Health.

De Leon Siantz has published her research in both national and international journals, most recently in Global Advances in Health and Medicine, Pediatrics, Journal of Family Nursing, International Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health, the Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences, the Journal of Professional Nursing and Minority Nurse.

Contact information: Phone: (916) 734-7488 Email: deleonsiantz@ucdavis.edu