Public Health & Health Services Administration

Christine Leistner, Ph.D

Christine Leistner, PhD is a relationship health scientist and assistant professor in the Department of Health and Community Services at CSU- Chico. Her background is in community development and health promotion with a focus on sexual and relational health. She is particularly interested in the ways in which couples with children maintain their romantic relationships. Additionally, Dr. Leistner is passionate about conducting research that focuses on the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on adult parent romantic relationships and parent-child relationships.

Dr. Leistner has been working in a community health setting since 2005 when she began designing and implementing cooking classes at a local homeless shelter in Appalachian Ohio. She earned an MA in International Community Development (public health focus) from Ohio University in 2010 and began working at the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger as a volunteer coordinator. She was also involved in a community production of the Vagina Monologues in Philadelphia where she discovered her passion for sexual and relationship health. Dr. Leistner completed her PhD in Health Education from the University of Kentucky with a focus on sexual health among women with children. She also worked as a staff advisor in the Center for Community Outreach helping students develop service-focused community initiatives. In 2014, she developed an immersive service program called UK Service Corps promoting resilience among local youth through positive relationship development with committed college student volunteers. As a component of this program, she developed a service-learning course to train student leaders on the social issues impacting local, vulnerable youth (e.g., poverty, education disparities, health disparities, racial disparities).

As an instructor, Dr. Leistner utilizes an experiential learning and student-centered approach. She has taught courses in sexuality education and civic engagement at the University of Kentucky and currently teaches research methods and sexual health in the department of Health and Community Services at CSU-Chico.

Portrait of Christine Leistner, Ph.D