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DR. JORGE RUIZ-MENJIVAR

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR


3025-C McCarty D

352 273-3529| jorgerm@ufl.edu

DR. JORGE RUIZ-MENJIVAR

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR


3025-C McCarty D

352 273-3529| jorgerm@ufl.edu

BIOGRAPHY


Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Family and Consumer Economics and State Specialist in Family Financial Management for the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. He earned his doctoral degree in Financial Planning, Housing, and Consumer Economics from the University of Georgia.

Research

My research program aims to examine socio-ecological factors (e.g., self-efficacy, financial knowledge and education, health status, community and support network, socio-cultural beliefs and norms, climate variability) that impact individuals’ financial decision-making and outcomes. Within this primary line of inquiry, my research branches into two main areas of focus: (a) the study of behavioral and psychological predictors of financial well-being among households, consumers, and farmers; and (b) the application of quantitative and qualitative social and behavioral research methodologies to the context of the adoption of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in agriculture. My work builds upon a range of economic, behavioral, and measurement theories, including Rational Choice Theory, Behavioral Economics frameworks, Theory of Planned Behavior, Socio-ecological model, Item Response Theory, and Rasch Measurement Theory. My research program has a geographical focus in the U.S., and emerging market economies in Latin America (i.e., Brazil), South and East Asia (i.e., China and Indonesia), Eurasia (i.e., Turkey), and Africa (i.e., South Africa). My research approach is transdisciplinary and system-oriented. Thus, I conduct much of my research as a member of multi-disciplinary teams with collaborators in agricultural and biological sciences.

My work contributes to the household economics literature by further expanding on the role of risk tolerance, financial education and socialization, and time perspective on financial well-being. Also, joint collaborations with scholars in the biological sciences provide a more holistic understanding of the social context, structures, and relationships that impede or foster the innovation process, adoption of sustainable technologies and behavior (e.g., use of low-carbon management practices, climate change mitigation and adaptation) in agricultural production and food systems in the U.S. and globally. I maintain an active research program, resulting in peer-reviewed publications in the leading first quartile journals in the field. My research work, presentations, and collaborations have been supported by U.S. federal agencies (e.g., U.S. Department of Agriculture-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, U.S. Agency for International Development, and National Science Foundation) and foreign government agencies (e.g., Colombia Ministry of Education and Brazilian Ministry of Education). 

Extension

I serve as a State Specialist in Financial Resource Management. I have developed two programs in collaboration with county faculty: Your Credit Matters (YCM) and My Financial Journey. The former is a 6-module curriculum designed to provide credit counseling, whether building credit, improving, or repairing the clients’ credit records. The curriculum covers topics, such as the importance of building and keeping a good credit record, understanding credit score models, using revolving and installment credit, preparing for a large purchase or debt obligation on credit (e.g., home mortgage, vehicle loan, student loans), and avoiding credit scams. My Financial Journey is a 6-module curriculum designed to provide emerging adults with information and encouragement about being financially successful. The curriculum covers topics ranging from goal setting, budgeting and saving, credit scores, and reports. The program is currently used by students in the First-Generation Student Success and Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars Programs. Finally, my background as a methodologist has allowed for cross-departmental and cross-college outreach and extension collaborations in sustainable agriculture and food systems. I serve as a Co-Investigator in two USDA-SARE grants, where I provide expertise in disseminating climate-resilient strategies and assessing needs and barriers to adopt sustainable principles and practices in agricultural production. 

Teaching 

My teaching appointment primarily includes an undergraduate level course on Personal and Family Financial Counseling (FYC 4003), offered every Spring semester. This class explores theories and counseling strategies and best practices for the delivery of financial education and advising of individuals and families. The class prepares students for the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) certification. In addition, I have taught two Research Methods graduate courses in the past, namely Construction and Evaluation of Measurement Instruments in Family, Youth and Community Sciences (FYC 6932) and Scientific Reasoning & Research Design-Online section (FYC 6800).

BIOGRAPHY


Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Family and Consumer Economics and State Specialist in Family Financial Management for the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. He earned his doctoral degree in Financial Planning, Housing, and Consumer Economics from the University of Georgia.

Research

My research program aims to examine socio-ecological factors (e.g., self-efficacy, financial knowledge and education, health status, community and support network, socio-cultural beliefs and norms, climate variability) that impact individuals’ financial decision-making and outcomes. Within this primary line of inquiry, my research branches into two main areas of focus: (a) the study of behavioral and psychological predictors of financial well-being among households, consumers, and farmers; and (b) the application of quantitative and qualitative social and behavioral research methodologies to the context of the adoption of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in agriculture. My work builds upon a range of economic, behavioral, and measurement theories, including Rational Choice Theory, Behavioral Economics frameworks, Theory of Planned Behavior, Socio-ecological model, Item Response Theory, and Rasch Measurement Theory. My research program has a geographical focus in the U.S., and emerging market economies in Latin America (i.e., Brazil), South and East Asia (i.e., China and Indonesia), Eurasia (i.e., Turkey), and Africa (i.e., South Africa). My research approach is transdisciplinary and system-oriented. Thus, I conduct much of my research as a member of multi-disciplinary teams with collaborators in agricultural and biological sciences.

My work contributes to the household economics literature by further expanding on the role of risk tolerance, financial education and socialization, and time perspective on financial well-being. Also, joint collaborations with scholars in the biological sciences provide a more holistic understanding of the social context, structures, and relationships that impede or foster the innovation process, adoption of sustainable technologies and behavior (e.g., use of low-carbon management practices, climate change mitigation and adaptation) in agricultural production and food systems in the U.S. and globally. I maintain an active research program, resulting in peer-reviewed publications in the leading first quartile journals in the field. My research work, presentations, and collaborations have been supported by U.S. federal agencies (e.g., U.S. Department of Agriculture-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, U.S. Agency for International Development, and National Science Foundation) and foreign government agencies (e.g., Colombia Ministry of Education and Brazilian Ministry of Education). 

Extension

I serve as a State Specialist in Financial Resource Management. I have developed two programs in collaboration with county faculty: Your Credit Matters (YCM) and My Financial Journey. The former is a 6-module curriculum designed to provide credit counseling, whether building credit, improving, or repairing the clients’ credit records. The curriculum covers topics, such as the importance of building and keeping a good credit record, understanding credit score models, using revolving and installment credit, preparing for a large purchase or debt obligation on credit (e.g., home mortgage, vehicle loan, student loans), and avoiding credit scams. My Financial Journey is a 6-module curriculum designed to provide emerging adults with information and encouragement about being financially successful. The curriculum covers topics ranging from goal setting, budgeting and saving, credit scores, and reports. The program is currently used by students in the First-Generation Student Success and Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars Programs. Finally, my background as a methodologist has allowed for cross-departmental and cross-college outreach and extension collaborations in sustainable agriculture and food systems. I serve as a Co-Investigator in two USDA-SARE grants, where I provide expertise in disseminating climate-resilient strategies and assessing needs and barriers to adopt sustainable principles and practices in agricultural production. 

Teaching 

My teaching appointment primarily includes an undergraduate level course on Personal and Family Financial Counseling (FYC 4003), offered every Spring semester. This class explores theories and counseling strategies and best practices for the delivery of financial education and advising of individuals and families. The class prepares students for the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) certification. In addition, I have taught two Research Methods graduate courses in the past, namely Construction and Evaluation of Measurement Instruments in Family, Youth and Community Sciences (FYC 6932) and Scientific Reasoning & Research Design-Online section (FYC 6800).