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Irene van Woerden, PhD

Assistant Professor

Office: Reed Gym 242A


Brief Biography:
I am an applied statistician who studies health behaviors and outcomes. Among others, my research has indicated that the food insecurity measurement tools may not be working as expected among college students; shown similarities among friends diet and sleep behaviors; and shown peer selection and peer influence effects on BMI.


  • PhD (Exercise and Nutritional Sciences), Arizona State University
  • MS (Statistics), Arizona State University
  • MS (Statistics), University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • BS (Statistics and Chemistry), University of Waikato, New Zealand

Teaching Interests:

  • Statistics

Research Interests:

  • Health behaviors and outcomes; social networks; food insecurity; BMI; chemical exposure; nuclear energy

Selected publications:

  1. van Woerden, I., Schaefer, D., Hruschka, D., Vega-Lopez, S., Adams, A., & Bruening, M. (2019) Similarity in meal plan use among first-year roommates. Appetite.
  2. van Woerden, I., Bruening, M., Montresor-Lopez, J., & Payne-Sturges, D. (2019) Trends and Disparities in Urinary BPA Concentrations Among U.S. Young Adults. Environmental Research.
  3. van Woerden, I., Hruschka, D., Vega-Lopez, S., Schaefer, D., Adams, A., & Bruening, M. (2019) Food insecure college students and objective measurements of their unused meal plans. Nutrients.
  4. Bruening, M., van Woerden, I., Schaefer, D., Hruschka, D., Brewis, A., Whisner, C., Dunton, G.,   Todd, M., P, Ohri-Vachaspati., & Laska, M. (2018) Friendship as a social mechanism influencing body mass index (BMI) among emerging adults. PLoS ONE.
  5. van Woerden, I., Hruschka, D., & Bruening, M. (2018). Food insecurity negatively impacts academic performance. Journal of Public Affairs.

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