• HNFE Outstanding Senior Award for 2011: Jordan Bergloff, who was also named  one of Virginia Tech’s 2010-2011 recipients for of the “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Award."  Jordan will be nominated for the CALS Outstanding Senior award, and will be given the HNFE Outstanding Senior Awards at our Awards Banquet on April 8th.


  • Brenda Davy's Research Featured in Cosmopolitan
  • Janet Rankin is co-author on the most-read article on the Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins online journal platform in 2010—a paper that received 50,996 full-text views.  The article is entitled, Appropriate Physical Activity Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Regain for Adults and was a position stand of the American College of Sports Medicine.
  • Fitness and Nutrition Club (FAN Club) Continue to Volunteer for Micah's Backpack
  • The FAN Club became involved with this program a few years ago as a service learning site for community nutrition. During Fall 2010, a food drive was held and raised over 2,300 items. Students who qualify for the elementary school's free-lunch program are eligible, and the program provides enough food for an entire weekend for the child.


  • Susan Clark named Engaged Scholar of the Month by the Virginia Tech Office of Outreach and International Affairs. Susan was recognized for her leadership of the annual Heifer International alternative spring break program, which began in 2008.  She has been instrumental in developing and implementing a new minor in civic agriculture and food systems, which translates knowledge into practical and sustainable solutions for economic viability, food security, and health.
  • Susan Clark was also recently the recipient of Sigma Alpha’s 2011 Ag Women of the Year Award, an award for remarkable interest and dedication to disciplines dealing with agriculture.
  • Spring break in Honduras: as part of the new minor, Civic Agriculture and Food Systems, funded by the USDA’s Higher Education Challenge Grant, Susan Clark, ten students, and one other faculty member spent spring break in Honduras with Heifer International, a worldwide NGO/humanitarian organization that uses everything from livestock to greenery to alleviate poverty and hunger while caring for the environment. 
  • HNFE Student Rachel Cornett has been awarded the Virginia Dietetic Association's Margaret MacDonald Memorial Scholarship.


  • 50th Anniversary 5K results: Over 170 registered runners raised $2500 to be shared between The Forrest W. Thye Scholarship and the Michael Houston Memorial Scholarship Award.


  • Janet Rankin elected 56th President of American College of Sports Medicine. Janet’s term as President-Elect begins in early June.  
  • Renee Eaton and Dr. Cindy Wood (Animal Poultry Sciences) received a $2,000 grant from CIDER for their project: "Comparison of First Year Experience Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences" which will evaluate differences in existing first year seminars and the grant-funded "College of Agriculture First Year Experience" course in Fall 2011. 
  • Kris Osterberg was quoted in a blog entitled “High Fructose Corn Syrup: Dangerous drug or just misunderstood?"
  • Fabio Almeida was invited to speak at the “2° Simpósio de Pesquisa e Extensão em Atenção à Saúde” (2nd Conference on Healthcare Research and Extension Programs) in Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil. He delivered a guest lecture, served an expert panel, and was a judge for the poster presentation at the meeting. The title of the talk was “Pensar, fazer e publicar saúde: The RE-AIM perspective."
  • Samantha Downey received the 2011 Sebolt Fitness Award based on her successful participation at the Society of Behavioral Medicine. She presented a poster on providing a fitness program intervention for pregnant women.
  • Hepler Summer 2011 Fellowship Awardees: Jennifer Bonner, Laura Denko, Mordecai Harvey, Ashley Zanko


  • Matt Hulver and Young Ju were promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.


  • Jamie Zoellner (PI), Yvonnes Chen, Paul Estabrooks, Brenda Davy, and Wendy You received funding for a grant proposal ‘SIPsmartER: A nutrition literacy approach to reducing sugar-sweetened beverages’ in response to the National Institutes of Health Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy (R01).  Funded by the National Cancer Institute, the purpose of this grant is to test interventions to reduce the intake of sugar sweetened beverages among adults with low literacy who reside in southwest Virginia.  These community-based interventions will be delivered using in-person, small-group communication channels, and automated self-monitoring through Interactive Voice Response technology.


  • Rob Grange became assistant department head
  • Student abstract accepted: students who participated in the Heifer International Honduras Study Abroad trip this past spring semester had the abstract "Heifer Honduras: A Transformative Education Experience centered around Global Hunger and Poverty" accepted to the Sustainable Agriculture Education Associations 4th National Conference in August. The students (Ashley Holmes, Chelsea Graves, Caitlin Miller, Aneela Mousam, and Carmen Byker) produced a video as their presentation, now posted at the VT YouTube channel
  • Hao Jiang and Joseph Mazzei are recipients of the Celeste Reynolds Scholarship for 2011-2012, based on outstanding academic achievement.


  • Elena Serrano, Mary McFerren, and Jennie Fisher (Temple University) received a 5-year, $3.7 million grant from USDA AFRI NIFA for their proposal "Environmental and Behavioral Portion Size Strategies to Help low-Income Mothers Reduce their Preschoolers' Intakes of Solid Fat and Added Sugar." The goal is to prevent obesity in low-income preschoolers, which will be accomplished by teaching mothers strategies for promoting age-appropriate food portions by reducing the size of eating implements (e.g. cups, bowls, plates, spoons). Temple's press release.


  • Debby Good, George Davis (AAEC), and Mary Prater (VCOM) received a $15,000 award from the Intergenerational Obesity Initiative. This will fund a pilot study designed to understand the role and effects of food choice on offspring born to mothers exposed to either a high-fat or low-fat diet. Their winning proposal is titled "Maternal Nutrition and Offspring Predisposition to Development of Metabolic Disease: Mitigating or Exacerbating the Effects of Fetal Programming Through the Choice Environment."
  • Mary McFerren, Paul Estabrooks, and HNFE students Erin Smith and Serena Parks presented at the Weight of the State Conference, held October 4-5.
  • Kacie Allen Selected for 2011 Institute on Teaching and Mentoring
    Recipients are sponsored through the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology/Maximizing Access to Research Careers Programs. Each year, the Compact for Faculty Diversity sponsors the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, a four-day conference that has become the largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars in the country. The Institute focuses on mentoring and teaching preparation, community insights, and scholar networking. If a scholar is selected, their mentor also has the opportunity to be sponsored to attend, along with his/her scholar. Allen is a doctoral student under Drs. Estabrooks and Zoellner.
  • Eight HNFE undergraduate and graduate students staffed a booth at the Mind and Body Check Fair on Oct. 20th: Cook Counseling Center collaborated with Schiffert Health Center - Health Education, Recreational Sports, and HNFE for the event. The students are involved in the Nutrition Counseling Service integrated with HNFE 4134: Experiential Approach to Nutrition Therapy. Ninety-two clients signed up for the service this semester.


  • Dietetics wins Exemplary Department/Program Award for 2011
  • Elena Serrano was selected to the USDA Nutrition and Health Committee for Planning and Guidance committee for a three-year term.
  • Brenda Davy was recognized as the Office of the Vice President for Research's Scholar of the Week for November 14th


  • HNF alumni  Mary Hopkins and Ellen Coale were honored for their 50 years as registered dietitians and to thank them for their service to the department and the profession. Iva Mary Hopkins has worked hard in advocacy for nutrition and health issues both at the state and federal level and most recently worked as a renal dietitian.  Ellen has served as a preceptor for the dietetic iternship program and has participated in the intern election committee in recent years. She has also received the "Friends of HNFE" award.
  • Brenda Davy quoted in article in The Sunday Mail (Australia) "Five ways water boosts health"
  • Paul Estabrooks was selected as the University of Victoria 2011-2012 Lansdowne Visiting Scholar. He was nominated by Dr. Rick Bell, the Director of School of Exercise Science, Physical, and Health Education. He will be on campus February 6th-8th and during his visit, he will provide a lecture for the general public and one for the research community.
  • HNFE student Josh Bostic has been selected to give one of the plenary presentations for the National Collegiate Research Conference 2012. He is one of 12 applicants (out of over 130 received this year) to present.