Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences

nutrfacultyLast fall, the Ford Foundation Fellow and Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences Professor and Dietetic Internship Director Dr. Michelle Neyman Morris organized and co-chaired the Inaugural Senior Ford Fellows Conference (SFFC). The SFFC was coordinated with events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Ford Foundation Fellowship Program (FFFP), which aims to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.  

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) began managing the FFFP in 1980, and since its inception, over 5,000 Ford Foundation Fellowships have been awarded at the postdoctoral, dissertation and pre-doctoral level. This has led to a cohort of senior fellows across disciplines who hold tenured faculty and administrative positions at public and private universities and colleges throughout the nation. The inaugural SFFC convened over 110 senior fellows and other leading scholars to share expertise and strategies for continuing to diversify the academy at all levels in order to meet global and domestic challenges. Conference evaluation data reflect consensus on the value of the meeting, and the NAS has committed to support its continuation on a biannual basis. Following the conference, Dr. Neyman Morris was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Ford Foundation as co-PI to publish this historic meeting in a conference proceedings volume so that those unable to attend, as well as future scholars of color, may benefit. More information on the Ford Foundation Fellowship Program can be found at

The full SFFC program and report can be found at

Faculty within the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences are excited to be offering a new general education class that satisfies the Individual and Society component of the Health and Wellness Pathway. NFSC 200, Health at Every Size: A Non-Diet Approach to Wellness was offered for the first time fall 2012 and received rave reviews from students. Dr. Dawn Clifford, RD, taught the inaugural semester and designed the course to cover the following topics: size discrimination, cultural influence on body dissatisfaction, and the adoption of enjoyable physical activity and mindful eating. She recruited many talented guest speakers who are instructors, dietitians, and therapists who promote size acceptance and mindful eating and activity within the Chico community. Dr. Michelle Morris, RD, and Deb McCafferty, RD, are teaching future sections of the course. The course is a U.S. Diversity course; students explore cultural differences that influence body image as well as strategies to promote size diversity within a community. Students have the opportunity to not only learn about nondiet approaches to wellness but also how to share the information with others via a service-learning project that utilizes social media. As a result of this course, a new student club is under development that allows students the opportunity to continue their advocacy skills long after the class is over.


Outstanding Faculty Scholarship 2012–13

  • Dr. Keiko Goto selected Outstanding Professor
  • Dr. Cindy Wolff – TEDx Chico

Grant-Funded Projects
Agricultural Research Institute “Right to know:  Is our food safe?” Stephanie Bianco-Simeral, Keiko Goto. USDA/National Institute of Food and Agriculture, “Marketing food safety: Expanding capacity to support local food system development in rural Northern California,” Stephanie Bianco-Simeral, Keiko Goto. CELT Learning Enhancement Grant, “Electronic data collection devices for nutrition and food sciences,” Maria Giovanni. Research Foundation Scholars, “The impact of age-related changes in taste and smell on dietary quality and satisfaction of older adults,” Maria Giovanni.

Undergraduate Award for Research and Creativity 2012–13
Crystal Vasquez (fall $500 and summer $2,000) for “Effects of parental food attitudes and restrictions during childhood on young adult college students' eating behaviors” and “Teaching Health at Every Size® in a fat-phobic world,” which she presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Office of Graduate Studies Grant
Angela Harter ($500) for “Impact of an integrated nutrition education intervention on elementary school students’ knowledge and attitudes.”

Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Lauren Humphrey ($500 scholarship) to attend annual conference

PhD Programs
Jenny Chen – University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Erin Green – Cornell University

High Placement in Dietetic Internships
15 of 23 students placed (65% match rate, compared to 50% nationally)