CSU, Chico News

Professor Selected for Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award

Date: 04-08-2015

Zach Phillips
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico nutrition and food science professor Michelle Morris has received the regional Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a national organization.

The award recognizes faculty who demonstrate excellence in teaching, mentoring and leadership in the field of dietetics. One educator is selected from four program types in each of the academy’s seven geographic areas. Nutrition and Dietetic Educators (NDEP) Area 1 includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

Morris has been a part of CSU, Chico’s Department of Nutrition and Food Science since 2000. She has served as the department’s graduate coordinator for more than four years and as the director of the dietetic internship program for a decade.

As the director of the dietetic internship program, Morris is responsible for connecting nutritional science students with internship opportunities across the North State, an often-challenging task in rural regions. Morris is also responsible for restoring a graduate student association for the master’s in nutritional science program, as well as creating a mentoring program for first-semester graduate students to connect with senior-level students.

In addition to her work with the Department of Nutritional and Food Sciences, Morris is also a national leader in faculty diversity. She is a regular attendee and presenter at the Ford Foundation Conference of Fellows, and she was named chairperson of the inaugural Senior Ford Fellow Conference held in September 2012. In the fall 2014, she was appointed as a CSU, Chico faculty diversity officer by President Paul Zingg. In that role, she focuses much of her attention on issues of size diversity and ending weight-based discrimination.

Kathryn Silliman, chair of the Department Nutritional and Food Science, noted Morris contributes to both students and her fellow professors.

“I have worked alongside Dr. Morris since she was first hired and I feel so fortunate to have such a competent and intelligent woman and truly lovely human being to call my colleague,” Silliman said. “Dr. Morris sets high standards for her students. She challenges them to think of the world beyond Chico State. She wants them to care about their communities and become engaged citizens. She is passionate about creating a culture of inclusion in her classes and in the Chico State community.”

Morris holds a doctorate degree in nutrition from the University of California, Davis.