Nutritional Sciences e-Newsletter - Summer 2012

American Society for Nutrition at EB 2012

The American Society for Nutrition meeting held at EB in San Diego, April 20-24, 2012, was a very successful meeting for the Department of Nutritional Sciences.

Specific highlights included:

  • 23 of our graduate students, fellows, and faculty gave 29 oral or poster presentations.
  • Michael Flock (graduate student, mentor Dr. Kris-Etherton) was awarded the 2012 Wrigley Science Institute Predoctoral Fellowship.
  • Kristina Harris (graduate student, mentor Dr. Kris-Etherton) was awarded the Emerging Clinical Investigator Award.
  • Young Ah Seo (graduate student, mentor Dr. Kelleher) was awarded the Robert Gunn Student Award for Cell and Molecular Physiology.
  • Huicui Meng (graduate student, mentor Dr. Rogers) was awarded 3rd place in the Nutritional Immunology Research Interest Section Poster Competition.
  • Dr. Leann Birch received the 2012 EV McCollum Award.
  • Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton received the 2012 David Kritchevsky Career Achievement Award.
  • Dr. Cathy Ross received the 2012 Nutrient-Gene Interaction Research Interest Section Outstanding Investigator award.
  • A terrific joint Penn State/Cornell Nutrition reception was attended by many alumni and friends of Penn State Nutritional Sciences.

Other recent faculty and student recognitions:

  • Marie Kamp, Director of our Dietetic Internship Program, was named the PADA Dietetic Educator of the Year.
  • Nicholas McCormick (graduate student, mentor Dr. Kelleher) received a prestigious Kligman Graduate Fellowship.
  • Michael Flock (graduate student, mentor Dr. Kris-Etherton) received the AOCS Smouse Memorial Fellowship (American Oil Chemists Society).
  • Penn State Graduate Research Exhibition – Michael Flock – 2nd place (mentor Dr. Kris-Etherton), Shawntawnee Collins – 2nd place (mentor Dr. Rogers), Julie Shkisky – 2nd place (mentor Dr. Nickols-Richardson), Katherine Balantekin – 3rd place (mentor Dr. Leann Birch).
  • The 2012 John E. Smith Outstanding Senior in Nutrition Award, which is sponsored by the Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Society, went to Ashley Rickard.
  • Emily Riddle served as student marshal for the College of Health and Human Development at the May 5, 2012 Undergraduate Commencement. She was escorted by faculty marshal Dr. Rebecca Corwin.
  • Carolyn DePuy served as student marshal for Nutritional Sciences at the May 5, 2012 Undergraduate Commencement.
  • Dr. Rebecca Corwin was promoted to professor of nutritional sciences effective July 1, 2012.
  • Dr. Jill Patterson was promoted to senior lecturer and teaching associate professor effective July 1, 2012.

Incoming graduate students for fall 2012:

  • Nicole Fearnbach, BS in Exercise Science from Florida State University
    • Received Graham Fellowship, College of Health & Human Development
  • Matthew Graziose, BS in Nutrition from University of Delaware
  • Kuan-Hsun (Neil) Huang, MS in Nutrition from Taipei Medical University, Taiwan
  • Laurel Kelly, MS in Nutrition from Meredith College
  • Yijun Lee, MS in Foods and Nutrition from Purdue University
  • Jacinda Li, BS in Marketing and Communications from University of Pennsylvania
    • Received University Graduate Fellowship, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Katelyn Scoular, BS in Biology from Lafayette College
    • Received Graham Fellowship, College of Health & Human Development
  • Wendy Stein, BS in Nutrition from Michigan State University

Researchers unveil new assessment for diagnosing malnutrition

A new systematic assessment of malnutrition, created by researchers at Penn State, will aid dietitians and other health care providers in diagnosis and treatment. Up to 50 percent of patients in hospitals and nursing facilities are estimated to be malnourished, according to Gordon Jensen, professor and head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State. See live.psu.edu/story/59573#nw4 for the full story.

Announcements / upcoming events

The annual Department of Nutritional Sciences Picnic will be held Sunday, August 26, 2012 at noon at the Spring Creek Park in State College, Pa.

Dr. Gordon Jensen will give the annual State-of-the-Department Address on August 27, 2012 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building.

The Fourth Annual Graduate Research Symposium and Recruiting Event will be held at the Chandlee Laboratory on the University Park campus on September 28 and 29, 2012.

Nutrition and the microbiome in health and disease

The Department of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State invites applications for an open rank tenure/tenure-track position that will focus upon the role of the microbiome in health and disease. Preference will be given to candidates with laboratory analytic and/or computational skills for assessment of the microbiome through “omics” (genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) based approaches. Potential topics of interest include but are not limited to obesity, diabetes, cancer, malnutrition, oral health, inflammatory bowel disease, microbial metabolites of dietary components, modification of the microbiome through dietary and other interventions including pre- and probiotics, and peri-natal acquisition of microflora in relation to epigenetics and fetal programming.

Interested candidates should submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and a personal statement addressing interests and vision regarding research and teaching; along with the names, titles and email addresses of three professional references who may be contacted. Please address materials to: Microbiome Search Committee, c/o Julie Brenneman, Department of Nutritional Sciences, College of Health & Human Development, 110 Chandlee Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802. Email: jqk7@psu.edu . Please indicate “Microbiome search” in the subject line of email correspondence. See www.hhdev.psu.edu/hr/careers/36693.

Supporting the Department - A New Initiative

Several years ago, under the leadership of President Paula Leuenberger ‘76, the Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Society (NDAS) Board endorsed a very special effort to raise funds to honor faculty member Dr. Helen Wright by creating a Trustee Scholarship. Since that successful effort was achieved, 16 scholarship awards have been made to undergraduate students, and new awards are being made now that will benefit nutrition students in 2012/2013. The Department of Nutritional Sciences is grateful to the NDAS Board and to all who made gifts to create the scholarship, which will benefit nutrition students forever.

What proved to be successful in this achievement was the endorsement and priority that the very special group of Nutrition alumni gave to the effort. Their enthusiasm, as volunteers representing all nutrition graduates, created positive momentum and awareness of the need for help and of the opportunity to get involved. Many gifts were received as a result of the publicity they gave to the project. Each and every donor who made a gift of any size should be very proud of the part he or she played in successfully achieving such an important goal.

Today, the Department of Nutritional Sciences is again grateful to the leaders of its Alumni Society. At its April luncheon meeting, NDAS President Sandra Schlicker Renfro ’65, ’67g, announced that the board had generously pledged 100 percent participation and support for a project to brighten and enhance the lobby area in Chandlee Laboratory, the new home of the department, as well as to enhance the appearance of the conference rooms that are often used by visitors from external audiences.

The current appearance of the Chandlee lobby does not match the positive energy and spirit of all who study, teach, and perform research within the building. Needless to say, the lobby would benefit enormously from a bit of a “facelift.” By raising financial support to purchase some furnishings and decorative accents, a more welcoming “front door” for the home of this dynamic academic unit could easily be achieved.

While the college will join this effort by providing some additional financial support (at a time when budgets are challenged to provide just the core necessities), your help and private support are needed and hoped for to collectively upgrade what is a first impression for visitors, corporate guests, students, parents, staff, and alumni.

This is a project-specific effort, and all gifts designated to the Chandlee Lobby Effort will be used only for that purpose. All gifts will be acknowledged and all donors will receive appropriate recognition for his or her participation. In the months to come and in future updates, we’ll be proud to list the names of those who are helping to secure funds, and we’ll keep everyone posted on progress and results.

It’s easy to make a gift.

By check/mail

Send a check, payable to “Penn State” to HHD Development Office, 201 Henderson Building, University Park, PA 16802. Include a notation that your designation is to the “CHANDLEE/NUTRITION ALUMNI PROJECT”;

Online

Visit www.giveto.psu.edu, select “other” from the drop down menu, and add “CHANDLEE/NUTRITION ALUMNI PROJECT” on the “additional information” line;

By credit card or pledge

Make a gift online using a credit card or make a pledge over a period of time; or

Or Call

Speak personally with Maggie Crispell, director of development, 814-865-1064, or email her at mac1@psu.edu and have any questions answered about how you can become involved.

The Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Society Board and friends hope these modest renovations and improvements can be accomplished quickly -- so please make a gift today!

Report from the Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Society

It was great seeing and meeting many of you at the annual NDAS brunch on April 1. The NDAS Board is aware that some of you were disappointed with the brevity of the program and we plan to rectify that next year at our annual brunch on April 14, 2013. We have been “feeling our way through” not only how to structure an annual event for alumni but how to also connect with and support alumni. All of your suggestions are most appreciated. Please contact us by joining LinkedIn at linkedin.com and searching for “The Pennsylvania State University Nutrition & Dietetics Alumni Society” or through the NDAS website at www.hhdev.psu.edu/alumni/apg/ndas.

At the brunch, the NDAS Board announced that we have endorsed the creation of a “Nutrition Lobby Project” to raise funds to furnish an inviting lobby area in the Chandlee Building where the Department of Nutritional Sciences is housed. Please see the article above for information about how to make a gift toward this effort.