Spotlight

Allison Burns
Allison Burns (left) and Cameron Myers (right) are the first two recipients of the Charles W. Schiffert and Dolores S. Schiffert Scholarship.

HNFE junior Allison Burns is one of two recipients of the Charles W. Schiffert and Dolores S. Schiffert Scholarship award. Burns dreamed of becoming a physician as a child. “While the typical patient would cringe with terror each time they stepped foot into the monstrous hospital, I felt no fear,” said Burns, who frequented hospitals as a result of kidney reflux disease. “Lab coats, stethoscopes, test tubes: every inch of the building excited me. The copious time spent in doctors’ offices birthed a passion in me to be a pediatrician."


George Davis and Elena Serrano were awarded the 2017 Quality of Communication Award for their book, “Food and Nutrition Economics: Fundamentals for Health Sciences,” during the annual Agricultural and Applied Economics Association meetings held in Chicago in August.


A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by Elena Serrano and fomer graduate student Georgianna Mann. On the challenge of providing healthy snacks for kids, "We thought the legislation would have a profound effect and assumed there would be changes in snack behavior at school and at home." Instead, they discovered that while there were improvements in the nutritional value of snacks available to students, teens did not report making healthier choices.


Samantha Harden and group
David Dzewaltowski, Harden, Fabio Almeida, Russ Glasgow (founder of RE-AIM), and Paul Estabrooks.

Samantha Harden was a keynote speaker at the "Translating Effective Interventions into Practice: An Interactive, Pragmatic Workshop for T3-T4 Research" hosted by CENTRIC (Center for Patient, Family, and Community Engagement in Chronic Care Management), The Great Plains IDeA-CTR, and the College Of Public Health at University of Nebraska Medical Center.


Vivica Kraak: FDA Extends Deadline for Nutrition Label

Recognized expert in food and nutrition policies Vivica Kraak  discusses with NewsRadio WINA's Les Sinclair the revised nutrition labels and the FDA decision to push back the deadline for compliance.


diversity grant
(From left) Michele Deramo, Mike Bowers, Jill Sible, Debby Good, and Sarah Karpanty are project leads.

Debby Good is one of the project leads in a $1 million, five-year grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to engage all students studying science, especially students from diverse pathways, to be successful in its Inclusive Excellence initiative. The idea behind the grant is to help such institutions as Virginia Tech work with first-generation students and students transferring in from community colleges to guide them into STEM-related careers.

Virginia Family Nutrition Program: Looking for an easy family dinner idea? One-pot soup is a tasty solution! You can keep the costs low and still make a healthy, tasty soup. #BetterPantry

Hulver Bickel
Two authorities in lifestyle disease research — Matthew Hulver (left) and Warren Bickel will lead a new research center to understand and tackle the threat of diseases people often bring upon themselves.

A new research center to tackle the threat of lifestyle diseases — medical conditions such as obesity that are caused or aggravated by a person’s own behavior — will be established at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in the heart of the Roanoke Innovation District.

Scientists and clinicians throughout Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic will join forces at the new VTCRI Center for Transformative Research on Health Behaviors in a strategic effort to protect the health of people in Virginia and the United States. The initiative will be led by two authorities in lifestyle disease research — Warren Bickel, the Virginia Tech Carilion Behavioral Health Research Professor, and Matthew Hulver, the head of the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise.   Read more...

Recent honors & awards:

  • Samantha Harden received an "Early Career Investigator Invited Talk" award from the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. She was also an invited panelist to the "Rural Cancer Control: Challenges & Opportunities."
  • Recent graduating senior Jacob Long was honored  Ut Prosim Aspire! Award
  • George Davis and Elena Serrano received the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association’s prestigious Quality of Communication Award for "Food and Nutrition Economics: Fundamentals for Health Sciences."
  • Rising senior Seyi Olusina has been selected as the undergraduate student representative to the Board of Visitors next year.
  • Recent Internship graduate Jenny Dang was honored with the 2017 Cindy Reeser Undergraduate DPD/Dietetic Intern Award.
  • Heather Cox was selected as ACEND's Area 6 Outstanding Dietetic Educator in the Didactic Program in Dietetics category for 2017!
Brenda Davy
Congratulations to Brenda Davy, who received the 2017 Achievement Award at the 2017 Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition Symposium! Each year, SCAN recognizes a practitioner who has played a significant role in the evolution of SCAN through both outstanding service to the organization and professional accomplishments in the field. With Brenda are current and past students: Samantha Kostelnik, Katarina Smiljanec, Mary Elizabeth Baugh, Cortney Steele, Tanya Halliday, Lori Moore, Emily VanDerBrink, and Brittany Thorpe.
David Brown
Virginia Tech Associate Professor David Brown (center) worked with Ph.D. students Mitchell Allen (right) and Justin Perry on a research project that found dysfunction at the molecular level during heart failure. Understanding this abnormality could lead to new approaches for treating the No. 1 killer among men and women worldwide.

David Brown leads a team that examines molecular-level problems of heart disease. In a recent study, they teamed up with cardiologists and heart therapy scientists from across the U.S. and Europe and found that dysfunction at the molecular level is present in heart failure. Understanding this abnormality could lead to new approaches for treating the No. 1 killer among men and women worldwide.