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Carlin Rafie, PhD, MS, RD

Assistant Professor
  • Senior Extension Specialist
  • Focus area(s): Community based participatory methods for evaluation of community health knowledge, resources, and needs; development, dissemination and implementation of lifestyle management programs
A Virginia Tech HNFE faculty member sits inside a studio for a professional headshot.
338 Wallace
  • Graduate Program Track(s): Behavioral & Community Science


Ph.D., Dietetics and Nutrition, Florida International University, 2009

M.S., Food, Nutrition, and Institutional Administration, Oklahoma State University, 1986

B.S., Biology, Oklahoma State University, 1983


2015 – present: Assistant Professor/Extension Specialist, Virginia olytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

2009 – 2015: Director, Clinical Research Affiliates, Virginia Commonwealth University, Massey Cancer Center, Richmond, VA

2011 – 2013: Adjunct Faculty, Family and Consumer Sciences, Department of Agriculture, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA

2007 – 2008: Adjunct Faculty, Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, Florida International University, Miami, FL

2004 – 2008: Graduate Research Assistant, Dept of Dietetics and Nutrition, Florida International University, Miami, FL

2003 – 2008: Renal Dietitian, Kidney Treatment Center of South Florida, Miami, FL

2001 – 2005: Registered Dietitian, Integrated Health Services, Miami, FL

1987 – 2001: Owner and CEO of Nutri-Centro, dietetics consulting agency, Honduras, Central America

Selected Major Awards

  • November 2021 – National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Science, Communications Newsletters Award: 2nd Place National Winner. Title: “Buzz, Body & Bites newsletter”
  • August 2021 – Extension Foundation USDA-NIFA New Technology for Ag Extension (NTAE) Program Accelerator Award. Project Title: An Extension Implementation Toolkit for the Diabetes Prevention Program
  • May 2020 – Virginia Extension Association of Family and Consumer Science, Community Partnership Award: 2nd Place. Title: “Improving Diabetes Outcomes Through Lifestyle Management Education”
  • September 2020 – National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Science, Excellence in Multi State Collaboration Award category: 1st Place National Winner. Title: “Strengthening Cooperative Extension's Role in Diabetes Prevention”
  • February 2018 – Virginia Cooperative Extension Annual Conference, Extension Program Poster Competition: 2nd Place State Winner. Title: Decreasing Colorectal Cancer Through Prevention and Screening Awareness: Results of the VCE 80% by 2018 Initiative”
  • 2006-2008 – Recipient, NIH/NIDA Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award
  • 1986 – Mary Leidigh Scholarship, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

Program Focus

I have a 100% Extension appointment. As such, I apply my research to support Virginia Cooperative Extension activities promoting community health and well-being. My activities are envisioned and conducted within the context of state and national priority needs as identified through active engagements with state Extension leadership and program teams, and national Extension priorities and frameworks (i.e. The National Extension Framework for Health and Wellness).

I am expanding the adoption and implementation of lifestyle behavior change programs for the prevention of chronic disease, including the Diabetes Prevention Program and the Balanced Living with Diabetes Programs, by Cooperative Extension; I have implemented, evaluated, and disseminated the Stakeholder Engagement in Research Development Method (SEED) nationally and am applying it to the opioid epidemic within Virginia, and I developed the Colon Cancer Free Zone program and am disseminating it and other cancer prevention programs to the National Cooperative Extension System.

Program Focus

My research is focused in three primary areas: 1) dissemination and implementation of diabetes prevention and management programs within Cooperative Extension, 2) development and implementation of methods of community engagement to address community health issues, and 3) the effectiveness of community health workers in reach and impact of Cooperative Extension.

Reviewed Journals

  • Rafie C, Zimmerman E, Hargrove A, Biney-Amissay T, Lee S. Impacting community well-being through effective engagement using the SEED Method. Journal of Extension 2023; Accepted for publication May 19, 2023.
  • Rafie C, Johnson N, Jarvandi S, Berg AC, da Silva V, Morrisroe-Aman B, Welshons K. Distance learning for delivery of the Diabetes Prevention Program: Experiences of the Cooperative Extension National Diabetes Prevention Program Working Group (CE-NDPP). Journal of NEAFCS 2021; 116 – 121. 
  • Rafie C, Hosig K, Wenzel S, Jiles K*, Schlenker E. Implementation and outcomes of the Balanced Living with Diabetes program conducted by Cooperative Extension in rural communities in Virginia. Rural and Remote Health 2021;21:6620.
  • Zimmerman EB, Rafie CL, Moser DE,** Hargrove A,* Noe T,** Adams Mills C. ** Participatory action planning to address the opioid crisis in a rural Virginia community using the SEED Method. Journal of Participatory Research Methods. 2020b;1:1.
  • Rafie C, Hauser L, Michos J, Pinsky JH. Creating a Workplace Culture of Preventive Health: Process and outcomes of the Colon Cancer Free Zone at Virginia Cooperative Extension. Journal of Cancer Education. 2020; 35:1135–1140.
  • Rafie C, Zimmerman EB, Moser DE**, Cook S, Zarghami F*. A lung cancer research agenda that reflects the diverse perspectives of community stakeholders: process and outcomes of the SEED method. Research Involvement and Engagement. 2019;5:3.

Oral Presentations

  • Rafie C. Community perspectives on opioid misuse in rural America. Invited presentation during the World Non-Communicable Disease Congress, Toronto, Canada, June 26-30, 2023.
  • Rafie C, Zimmerman, E. Hosig K, Wenzel, S. A randomized controlled trial of community engagement approaches for addressing the opioid crisis. Presented at the XIV Annual Working Meeting of the International Collaborative for Participatory Health Research, Limerick, Ireland, June 17-18, 2023.
  • Rafie C, Bierne R, Dinh J, Green-August JA, Lillard C, Margheim L, Marshall S, Oakes T, Pourkhalili A*. Removing barriers to participation in the Virginia Cooperative Extension Diabetes Prevention Program through the action of community health workers: Process and preliminary outcomes. Presentation provided at the National Health Outreach Conference, Ithaca, NY, May 22 – 24, 2023.
  • Rafie C, Zimmerman E, Biney-Amissah T, Lee S. The SEED Method: An evidence-based method for engaging communities. Presentation provided at the National Health Outreach Conference, Kansas City, MO, May 4 – 6, 2022.