Mariana Beleche, M.S.
Research Data Manager
As a research data manager for Healthy Dining, Mariana designs and maintains databases and performs data entry, verification, and organization. She also analyzes qualitative data, prepares research surveys and questionnaires, and conducts literature reviews.
A Mexico-native, Mariana started her career in foods and nutrition when she became a food science technician at the age of 18 in her hometown of Tijuana.
Mariana has a master’s degree in nutritional sciences and an undergraduate degree in foods and nutrition, both from San Diego State University (SDSU), where she also completed the didactic program in dietetics.
During her time as a graduate student, Mariana volunteered in various research projects at SDSU, performing activities such as managing and analyzing data and translating different research materials into Spanish.
For her master’s degree research project, Mariana created a school garden in a public elementary school in Tijuana to evaluate the effect of the participation in the school edible garden on fruit and vegetable intake of sixth grade students. The results were significantly positive, and Mariana still volunteers in the school garden and other community gardens across Tijuana as a nutrition educator.
Mariana is also a private nutrition consultant, working to empower low-income populations to make healthy food choices and live healthier lifestyles. Her favorite hobby is working as a sommelier – arranging and conducting private wine tasting and guiding culinary tours in Tijuana and Ensenada. She also enjoys gardening, yoga and visiting ethnic grocery stores to try different foods.