The University of Texas at Austin Latino Research Initiative

Research Staff

Laura Delfausse

Laura A. Delfausse
Health Educator, Latino Research Institute
ldelfausse@austin.utexas.edu (512) 471-4117 | GWB 1.132

Laura Delfausse is the Health Educator for the Healthy Frio Project at The University of Texas at Austin. She has experience in community nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and clinical research. She holds a M.S. from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA and a B.A. from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL. Her graduate school research focused on childhood obesity and she just completed a dairy and blood pressure research project in the Kinesiology and Health Education Department at The University of Texas at Austin. Laura is a registered and licensed dietitian, and believes that a balanced lifestyle is the key to achieving lifelong health.


Vanessa Errisuriz

Vanessa Errisuriz
Research Associate, Latino Research Institute
vlerrisuriz@austin.utexas.edu (512) 232-6890 | GWB 2.316

Vanessa Errisuriz is a Research Associate with the Latino Research Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Errisuriz’s research focuses on using a socioecological-based approach to identify significant contributors to child obesity, rural health disparities, and program implementation. She has extensive training in the assessment of physical activity and dietary behaviors as well as a broad background in psychology, with knowledge to assess theoretically-related constructs associated with health behaviors and program implementation. Currently, Dr. Errisuriz serves as project coordinator for two, NIH-funded R01s entitled. “Healthy Frio: A Rural Partnership to Advance Latino Obesity Research” and “¡Miranos! Look at Us, We are Healthy”, both of which focus on providing theoretically-based, culturally competent health interventions to Latino families. She received her Ph.D. in Health Behavior and Health Education from The University of Texas at Austin, a M.A. in Health Psychology from Texas State University - San Marcos, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Laura Esparza

Laura Esparza
Assistant Director, Latino Research Institute
laura.esparza@austin.utexas.edu (512) 232-6887 GWB 2.304

Laura Esparza is the Assistant Director of the Latino Research Institute. Ms. Esparza has more than twenty years of experience in business and project management, including ten years in public health research. Her research and training focus on using participatory research methods to design, implement and evaluate community interventions to promote healthy lifestyles for women, youth, and families. From 2009–16, Ms. Esparza served as project coordinator for multiple research studies at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She also served in a leadership role for multiple community health initiatives on behalf of the IHPR and developed strategic partnerships to advance the IHPR’s research and training programs. Ms. Esparza holds an M.S. in health and kinesiology from The University of Texas at San Antonio and a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Trinity University in San Antonio. She maintains two professional certifications: Physical Activity and Public Health Specialist and Master Certified Health Education Specialist.


Eva Gonzalez Villanueva

Eva González Villanueva
Graduate Research Assistant, Latino Research Institute
evagonvill@austin.utexas.edu (512) 232-6910 GWB 1.110

Eva González Villanueva is a Research Associate with the Latino Research Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. Eva was born in Monterrey, México and immigrated to the United States in 2010. In 2018, Eva graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Psychology, a minor in Health Communication, and a certificate in Intervention and Vulnerable Children. Eva joins the LRI with two years of undergraduate research experience from six different university laboratories and/or projects. Her current research interests include: Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Virtual Learning and Interventions, and Health Communication. In her spare time, Eva enjoys brewing a good cup of coffee and reading, particularly anything written by Isabel Allende.


Marisol McDaniel
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Latino Research Institute
marisol.d.mcdaniel@austin.utexas.edu SW 3.212CC

Marisol McDaniel is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (T32) at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin promoting equity in cardiovascular disease research. Her research interests include the built environment, water and food access, and health equity. She has experience with implementing and evaluating family healthy lifestyle interventions and managing eHealth applications, and is involved in several of the Latino Research Institute’s projects, including Health4Kids, ELCIR, and Healthy Frio. Dr. McDaniel graduated with a Dr.P.H. in Community Health Practice from the UT School of Public Health. She holds a M.P.H. degree from the UT School of Public Health and a B.A. from Rice University. She is interested in how the built environment and the perception of the built environment may lead to health disparities among ethnic minorities and ways to implement sustainable positive changes in the built environment through community-based participatory strategies.