Dawn Contreras, PhD

Dawn Contreras

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Senior Extension Specialist
Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture




Dawn Contreras, Ph.D. is a Senior Extension Specialist with the MSU Extension Health and Nutrition Institute. She is currently the PI or Co-PI on seven health grants including projects related to substance misuse prevention among older adults, sleep interventions, caregiver self-care, falls prevention education, rural health and resiliency, and immunizations. She is a primary author/co-author on 34 articles published in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Contreras started her career with MSU Extension in 1981 as an Extension Home Economist; serving in Sanilac and Tuscola Counties from 1981 to 1984 and in Clinton County from 1984 to 1994. In 1994 Dawn took a position on campus as a Program Leader within Children, Youth, and Family Programs and became an adjunct faculty member for the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. By 2009 Dawn had received senior status and became a Senior Specialist within the unit. Between 2010 and 2018 Dr. Contreras served as Director of the Health and Nutrition Institute. All three of Dawn’s degrees are from Michigan State University. Her most recent degree was a Ph.D. earned in 2000 from the Department of Family and Child Ecology. She is also a 2014 graduate of the MSU Program in Public Health certificate program.