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Wdowik named 2014 Outstanding Dietetic Educator

April 30, 2014

Melissa Wdowik, director of the Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center and assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, received the 2014 Outstanding Dietetic Educator of the year award from the Colorado Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Elizabeth Tilak, left, president of the Colorado Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, presented the Outstanding Dietetic Educator of the Year Award to CSU's Melissa Wdowik.She was presented with the award on April 19, during the annual CAND conference in Denver. 

Wdowik has been part of the CSU community since 1993 when she began work on her doctoral degree in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. During that time, she also worked as a graduate teaching assistant and a CSU college health dietitian in Athletics and Student Health Services. 

After completing her doctorate, Wdowik worked at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte's Departments of Health Promotion, Kinesiology, and Nursing before returning to CSU as an assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition in 2006.

She became the director of the Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center in 2008 and designed and implemented a number of successful outreach programs for the community including Dining with Diabetes and the Healthy You Weight Management Program.

Major contributions to the department

Wdowik has made a number of major contributions to the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition during her tenure, but most notable is her profound impact on her students.

"Dr. Wdowik makes it clear through both words and deeds how truly invested she is in her students' futures, and how much she cares about us as students as well as future professionals," shares Renae Addington, one of Wdowik's practicum students.
Shelby Chandler, the research assistant for the Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center, has decided to become a nutrition counselor after taking a class with Wdowik and credits her for encouraging her to pursue a career as a dietitian.

"Her reputation as a strong mentor and encouraging professor is widely recognized across the department," says Chandler. "Where she makes the most profound impact is in her dedication to the subject and her students. She has personally made it a priority to help me improve my skills as a counselor, and has given me multiple opportunities for growth as a registered dietitian."

Experiential, creative lessons

Wdowik is known for her experiential, creative lessons, which have inspired her students to share their knowledge with the community. She hosts a number of outreach and community efforts through the Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center, which she implemented upon her appointment in 2008. These include 100 supermarket tours for CSU undergraduates, development of nutrition programs for not-for-profit organizations such as ChildSafe and Crossroad Safehouse, and worksite programs for organizations such as Leprino Foods, Xcel Energy, and the Firestone Fire Department. 

"It is rare to observe someone who possesses the combination of passion, skill, and creativity, inherent in Melissa's approach to teaching," explains Mike Pagliassotti, Ph.D. and head of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

"It is an honor to be nominated and such a privilege to receive this award. I do what I do because I love working with students," says Wdowik. "They inspire me to keep current on topics and skills that are important in serving the public, and they reward me daily with their enthusiasm and desire to learn as well as the potential they show to be wonderful nutrition educators."


Contact: Gretchen Gerding
E-mail: Gretchen.Gerding@colostate.edu
Phone: 970.491.5182