Category Archives: Announcements

Students honored at program celebration

A day for celebrating

Students pictured left to right: Sam Vinci, Jeani Hunt-Gibbon, Caity Robinson, Samantha Tengs, Jess Wolf, Rochelle Adriano, Madie Delmendo, Tucker Reiley, Mary Heid, Kelsey Schmidt, Casey McCoy, Jenny Goodyear, Lindsay Beck, Imashi Fernando.

On Friday, August 23, we gathered to celebrate the work and achievements of students who will graduate in 2019 from our PhD, master’s, and Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics programs.

Poster sessions were presented by candidates who completed concentrations in Medical Nutrition Therapy or Public Health, and students were also individually recognized by faculty, staff and program advisers for their work.

The event also honored this year’s recipients of the Outstanding Preceptor Award, an honor given by the graduating class to practice partners who have been exemplary educators and mentors to our students.

Congratulations to all of our students and honorees for 2019.

2019 Outstanding Preceptor Awards

  • Cheryl Davis RD, CD, CNSC, Seattle Children’s Hospital
  • Hailey Wilson MS, RD, CS, CNSC, University of Washington Medical Center
  • HMC Inpatient Clinical Nutrition Team, Harborview Medical Center
  • Kiersten Israel-Ballard DrPH, PATH
  • Kimberly Mansen MSPH, RDN, PATH
  • Kris Marsh MS, RDN, CD, SNS, Highline Public Schools
  • Lauren Rice MPH, RDN, CD, Seattle Children’s Hospital
  • Leah Isaacson MS, RD, University of Washington Medical Center
  • Lisa Johnson MS, RD, SNS, Highline Public Schools
  • Tena Bonilla RD, Eating Recovery Center

Doctor of Philosophy Candidate

Kelsey Schmidt*

Dissertation: The Impact of Low-Fat and Full-Fat Dairy Consumption on Glucose Homeostasis: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Committee: Mario Kratz, Michael Rosenfeld, Sarah Holte, Kristina Utzschneider, and Kerryn Reding

Master of Public Health Candidates

Rochelle Adriano*

Thesis: Physical Activity Levels, Physical Health, and Mental Health in Early Childcare Education (ECE) Providers and Their Relationships to Physical Activity Policy and Practices Within ECE Centers
Committee: Liz Kirk and Pooja Tandon

Lindsay Beck*

Thesis: Low-Income Workers’ Perceptions of Wages, Food Acquisition, and Wellbeing
Committee: Jennifer Otten and Emilee Quinn

Casey McCoy*

Thesis: A Systematic Review Characterizing Farm Direct Marketing Challenges, Strategies, and Opportunities
Committee: Jennifer Otten and Lina Walkinshaw

Caity Robinson*

Capstone: Challenges and Opportunities of School Meal Programs in Five South King County School Districts
Faculty Advisor: Mary Podrabsky
Capstone Mentors: Kate Ortiz and Elizabeth Kimball

Sam Vinci*

Thesis: Associations Between Neighborhood Characteristics and Presence of Food Store Beverage Marketing in Seattle, WA
Committee: Jessica Jones-Smith and Vanessa Oddo

Jess Wolf*

Thesis: Dietary Quality of Providers and Children in Early Childhood Education: A Cross-Sectional Analysis
Committee: Jennifer Otten and Katherine Getts

Alicia Yang

Thesis: Have Inequities in BMI Widened for a Nationally Representative Cohort of Kindergarteners?
Committee: Jessica Jones-Smith and Shirley Beresford

Master of Science Candidates

Madie Delmendo*

Thesis: Exploring the State of U.S. Soil Health Legislation: A Qualitative Policy Analysis
Committee: Jennifer Otten and Yona Sipos

Imashi Fernando*

Thesis: Impact of Dairy Consumption on Symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Committee: Mario Kratz and Thomas Vaughan

Jenny Goodyear*

Capstone: Methods for Updating and Major Changes to the First Steps Education Modules
Faculty Advisor: Michelle Averill
Capstone Mentor: Beth Ogata

Mary Heid*

Capstone: Prenatal Hand Expression of Breast Milk for Women with Low Risk of Pregnancy Complications
Faculty Advisor: Michelle Averill
Capstone Mentor: Ginna Wall

Jeani Hunt-Gibbon*

Capstone: The Nutrition Care Process for Infertility
Faculty Advisor: Michelle Averill
Capstone Mentor: Judy Simon

Tucker Reiley*

Thesis: An Examination of Healthy Eating Index Scores and Sleep Pattern Characteristics Among Students in a Circadian Biology Class
Committee: Horacio de la Iglesia and Marian Neuhouser

Samantha Tengs*

Thesis: Body Mass Index and Breast Cancer Risk Among Pre- and Postmenopausal BRCA1/2 Mutation Carriers
Committee: Liz Kirk and Kate Ueland

* Completed RD training program

Jennifer Otten joins national committee that will examine food waste in the U.S.

Jennifer Otten, an associate professor in environmental and occupational health sciences and nutritional sciences in the UW School of Public Health has joined a new committee formed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), which will conduct a systematic review of consumer food waste and reduction efforts in the United States, and form recommendations and strategies for reduction.

The committee, formed by the Board on Environmental Change and Society (BECS), includes members from the social and behavioral sciences, and experts like Otten who study food systems, and the complex issues we face with food security, access and sustainability of the food supply.

Specifically, the committee will review consumer food waste in the United States at the individual consumer level at home and away from home.

“This committee’s focus is important because researchers, policy makers, activists, practitioners, and the general public will read, use, and reference this report in efforts to reduce consumer food waste,” Otten said.

Otten’s area of research tackles many issues facing our food system, often at a local, state, and agency level.  Otten examined local government strategies for helping to manage food waste, working with the City of Seattle. She also recently managed a project aimed at preventing, recovering, and reducing wasted food in school cafeterias in a Washington state school district.


Jeani Hunt-Gibbon named Outstanding Student in Women’s Health

Jeani Hunt-GibbonJeani Hunt-Gibbon, a graduate student in the Nutritional Sciences Program has been named Outstanding Student in Women’s Health for 2019 by Women’s Health, a Dietetic Practice Group (WH DPG) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The recognition honors Hunt-Gibbon’s work in producing a lecture on nutrition and fertility for her MS Capstone project.  She partnered with WH DPG to promote the online lecture she produced on this emerging women’s health topic, a focus area where few resources exist for dietitians.

Her faculty mentor and Capstone preceptor, Judy Simon encouraged her to submit her name to be considered for the award.  Simon is a core faculty member in the Nutritional Sciences Program and a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified health educator with the University of Washington Medical Center.

Hunt-Gibbon is a University of Washington Top Scholar Award recipient in Nutrition.  She is earning her MS in Nutritional Sciences in combination with our Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics (GCPD) so she may complete coursework and practice experiences necessary to become a registered dietitian while earning her degree.

She is motivated by helping clients overcome barriers to better health, and plans to eventually open her own business dedicated to women’s health after she graduates.

Hunt-Gibbon will accept her award at the upcoming Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) to be held in Philadelphia this coming October.

Ivory Loh receives Husky Seed Fund for cookbook project

Ivory Loh
MPH student Ivory Loh receives 2019 Husky Seed Fund award to produce a Husky Cookbook

Ivory Loh, a graduate student in the Nutritional Sciences Program has been awarded the 2019 Husky Seed Fund to produce a Husky Cookbook, a collection of recipes gathered from UW students, staff and faculty. The project aims to unite members across the broader UW community through food and their stories told through food.

Loh’s hope for the project goes beyond the recipes.  She envisions the cookbook will showcase the diversity of students, staff, and faculty across all UW campuses, as well as encourage individuals to dialogue and connect around how our identities are shaped by food traditions and culture.  She also hopes the project will promote cooking and sharing of meals.

The Husky Seed Fund supports innovative ideas by students that are inclusive, impactful, and inventive to the UW.

“What drew me to this university and what I ultimately want to leave here with is meaningful connections with the diverse members of our UW community,” says Loh.  “That is ultimately the purpose of the Husky Cookbook.”

Loh is currently forming a project team and expects to begin promoting the project some time in fall 2019.   The cookbook is expected to be available in both print and digital formats in spring 2020.

Ivory Loh is pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) with the Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics (GCPD) at the UW School of Public Health (SPH).  Other SPH students connected with the project include: Emahlea Jackson (MPH, GCPD), and Erin McDonnel (MS, GCDP). Anne-Marie Gloster, a core faculty member in the Nutritional Sciences Program and lecturer in epidemiology with the UW School of Public Health is serving as project mentor.

Nutritional sciences student and staff members recognized for excellence

Congratulations to Lindsay Beck, Kristin Elko, and Emahlea Jackson who were honored May 15 at the 2019 School of Public Health Excellence Awards.  Each year, the School recognizes and celebrates the outstanding achievement of students, faculty and staff throughout the School of Public Health departments and programs.

2019 SPH Excellence Award Recipients for Nutritional Sciences

  • Lindsay Beck, Outstanding Master’s Student – Nutritional Sciences
  • Kristin Elko, Outstanding Staff – Interdisciplinary Programs
  • Emahlea Jackson, Outstanding TA
School of Public Health Excellence Award Winners for Nutritional Sciences 2019
From left to right: Lindsay Beck, Kristin Elko, Emahlea Jackson

Lindsay Beck is a graduate student in our Master of Public Health and Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics and was recognized for her work marshalling an impressively large qualitative dataset in a very short timeframe to prepare a manuscript for inclusion in a special food security issue of Translational Behavioral Medicine.

Kristin Elko is the undergraduate adviser for nutritional sciences, providing support for students in our undergraduate programs. Since joining the Nutritional Sciences team in 2014, Elko has made a significant contribution in helping facilitate the growth of our undergraduate programs, including the new major in Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health which began enrolling students earlier this year.

Emahlea Jackson a Master of Public Health student, is a teaching assistant for Anne-Marie Gloster’s course NUTR 241: Culinary Nutrition Science and is recognized for her excellent classroom management skills, proficiency with learning technologies, and for her ability to grade with fairness.

Join us in congratulating Lindsay, Kristin, and Emahlea!

King County small and mid-sized farms could benefit with direct marketing support, according to report

Identifying Direct Market Opportunities and Challenges for King County Farm Businesses: A Strategic Initiative of King Conservation District
Read the full PDF report: Identifying Direct Market Opportunities and Challenges for King County Farm Businesses: A Strategic Initiative of King Conservation District

King County farmers who sell direct to consumers, restaurants, and institutions could benefit by receiving support for direct marketing resources, according to a new report [PDF] published last week by the University of Washington Center for Public Health Nutrition (CPHN).

The study was sponsored by King Conservation District (KCD), a natural resources assistance agency authorized by Washington State, and aimed to understand the current state of King County’s direct market farm economy, and the perceived challenges and areas of opportunities where farmers could use support in relation to direct marketing.

The study found that most King County farmers wanted to expand their direct market customer base and sales and that on-farm sales, farmers markets, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) comprised the greatest percent of sales for farmers. Farmers appreciated these markets for the relationships they create between customers, the community, and farmers and because they can return greater profit margins, however farmers felt they could do better with more marketing and advertising support and better consumer education about the value of their products.

Lina Pinero Walkinshaw, a research scientist on the project says, “People who have seen the report thus far have been excited to hear the results, and feel the report resonates with what they’ve experienced and have heard in the community.”  So far, the project team has heard from KCD, representatives at King County, and other farm and agricultural stakeholders.

UW researchers surveyed King County farmers in 2018 as part of this project to determine their specific market needs and challenges and to identify strategies farmers could use to scale up their businesses and establish sustainable business models.

King County farmers who sell directly to consumers include markets such as:  farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), pick-your-own operations, on-farm sales, and roadside stands. The report also examines King County farmers’ experience selling directly to schools, hospitals, grocery stores, and restaurants.

Jennifer Otten, associate professor and principal investigator for the project, anticipates King County, the City of Seattle, as well as other agricultural stakeholders in the region, including state and local farmers market groups will find this report useful. Otten has also found that there is increased recognition that these markets could help some farmers survive, succeed, and grow in a risky and competitive business environment.

Researchers expect the findings will be used to inform future grant initiatives and strategic initiatives, as well as to support KCD in brainstorming with partners how to best support farmers to grow a strong direct market economy.

Authors contributing to this report include Lina Pinero Walkinshaw, a research scientist with the Center for Public Health Nutrition, Emilee Quinn, a research coordinator with Center for Public Health Nutrition, and Jennifer Otten, a researcher with the University of Washington Center for Public Health Nutrition, and an associate professor in environmental and occupational health sciences and nutritional sciences.

Learn more about the project and read the report

Position opening for assistant professor in Food Systems

The Nutritional Sciences Program within the School of Public Health at the University of Washington (UW) invites applications for one full-time (100% FTE) faculty position at the rank of assistant professor without tenure (WOT) with an anticipated start date of October 2019 or later by negotiation.

This position will be a member of the core instructional team for the Program’s recently launched Bachelor of Arts degree in Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health major. It is anticipated that the successful candidate will teach a required food systems modeling course (NUTR 402) and participate in curriculum development and instruction in research methods or other areas to support the major. At the graduate level, this position is expected to regularly mentor MS and MPH thesis projects and may participate in developing food systems curricula for graduate students.

The successful applicant will be appointed to the faculty in a School of Public Health department, either Epidemiology or Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.

Sarah Forrest awarded 2019 Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Sarah Forrest
Sarah Forrest, a Public Health—Global Health Major and Nutrition Minor, has been awarded a 2019 Bonderman Travel Fellowship.  The Fellowship funds an eight-month solo trip for Forrest which must include travel to at least two regions and six countries around the world.

Through this fellowship, Forrest hopes to travel to Brazil, Peru, Chile, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and China to explore foods across different countries and the role of food within cultures and religions.

She hopes to develop more globalized—and less western-centered—knowledge and beliefs surrounding food, nutrition, and health.  Specifically, she aims to explore multicultural perspectives and approaches to understanding and attaining health in different regions of the world.

Forrest is one of eighteen Bonderman Travel Fellows selected.  Each year a select group of UW students are provided a rare opportunity to independently travel the world as Bonderman Fellows.  David Bonderman, a UW alumnus, created the Bonderman Fellowship in 1995, which has funded life-changing global journeys for more than 280 students.

After completing her travels and working for a few years, Forrest plans to earn a master’s degree in Public Health and pursue a career in the global health field.


Learn more about the 2019 Bonderman Travel Fellowship recipients

Story edited: July 3, 2019

Position opening for full time lecturer

The Nutritional Sciences Program invites applications for one full-time position at the rank of lecturer or senior lecturer (non-tenure track, 12-month renewable appointment) with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2019. The successful applicant will be appointed to the faculty in the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and the rank will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Diet drinks linked to high risk of stroke, heart attacks

Diet drinks, such as Diet Coke and diet fruit juice, are linked to an increased risk for stroke, and are particularly associated with blood clots of the small arteries, according to a new study published today in Stroke.

The study was co-authored by Shirley Beresford, senior associate dean and professor of epidemiology and a core faculty member in nutritional sciences at the University of Washington School of Public Health. It was led by researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.

Researchers looked at 81,715 women ages 50 to 79, who enrolled at 40 clinical sites across the United States between 1994 and 1998. The study found that compared with those who never or rarely drank diet beverages, women who drank two or more artificially sweetened drinks a day had a 31 percent increased risk of ischemic stroke, which occurs when a vessel supplying blood to the brain is blocked.

Continue reading:  Full story available on the UW School of Public Health website.