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Doctoral and Masters Recipients

S. Nicole Fearnbach

Nicole is a PhD candidate in Nutritional Sciences and USDA Childhood Obesity Prevention Training Fellow. She graduated with a B.S. in Exercise Science from Florida State University in 2012, and has since been working as a graduate research assistant in the Children’s Eating Behavior Lab. Her primary research interests are in the neurological and physiological control of appetite and food intake in children. She is also interested in the interaction between exercise and eating behavior.

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Laural Kelly English

Laural Kelly English holds a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from Allegheny College, where she focused on prenatal and neonatal risk factors of schizophrenia. Laural earned her Master of Science in Nutrition from Meredith College and is co-author of the Color Me Healthy for SNAP-Ed nutrition curriculum for preschoolers. Laural previously oversaw nutrition education programming for the state of North Carolina before returning to Penn State. Her research interests include the role of food cues and underlying neural mechanisms in eating behavior of children and mothers.

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Shana Adise

Shana Adise received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (cognitive neuroscience) from the City College of New York. A third year graduate student, Shana holds a fellowship from the USDA Childhood Obesity Prevention Training Program. She came to Penn State with an interest in using fMRI to understand the neural correlates of food selection. Since then, her interests have expanded (or narrowed) to understand how inhibitory control and reward sensitivity differences apply to food-based decisions. Shana is interested in exploring how these decisions differ amongst healthy and overweight children. Her future goals are to continue conducting research in an academic environment.

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Catherine ShehanCatherine Shehan

Catherine obtained her Master’s degree in Food Science (2014) while working in our laboratory. She was co-advised by Dr. Keller and Dr. John Hayes. She received a B.S. in Food Science from Purdue University in May 2012. She is interested in the intersection of Food Science and Nutrition as it applies to public health and policy. Her thesis work focused on the effects of various family factors on the relationship between food liking and intake in preschoolers.

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Lizz CarneyLizz Carney

Lizz started working in the Metabolic Kitchen and Children’s Eating Behavior Laboratory in 2013. She is currently enrolled at Penn State in the Integrated Undergraduate Graduate program through the Schreyer Honors College. She will graduate in 2017 with her Master’s degree in Food Science and Bachelor’s degrees in Food Science and Nutritional Sciences. She has contributed significantly to many projects in the laboratory, but is currently in charge of the Children’s Taste Study. This project investigates flavor preferences and vegetable intake in preschool-aged children. After graduation, Lizz plans to pursue a Ph.D. to continue her research on prenatal taste development, flavor exposure, and the influence of early feeding practices on lifelong eating habits.

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Wendy SteinWendy Stein

Wendy Stein obtained her Master’s degree in in Nutritional Sciences, minoring in Human Development and Family Studies (2015), while working in our laboratory. She earned her BS in Nutritional Sciences and Psychology from Michigan State University in 2012. Wendy is interested in the influence of food marketing on children’s food choices and intake, and strategies to increase children’s consumption of vegetables. Wendy hopes to work within industry and apply her research skills at a natural and organic food company.

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Juliana Fritts

Juliana is a Master’s student in Food Science from Atlanta, Georgia. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Food Science from the University of Georgia in 2016. Juliana is the project lead for the “Spice it Up” project. This cafeteria intervention study is looking at the impact of herbs and spices on vegetable liking and intake in a local middle and high school lunch program. After developing new recipes using herbs and spices, the team conducted taste tests with the students to fine-tune the recipes. The team is now adding the recipes to the school lunch line to test whether the spices do improve vegetable favorability. After her Master’s, Juliana hopes to work as a food scientist in product development focused on improving the palatability of healthy foods for children and families.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Marielle AustenMarielle Austen

Emma Beidler

Maria BermudezMaria Bermudez

Rachel BloomRachel Bloom

Arimani CaprioArimani Caprio

Lauren Cherry

Alexandra CloseAlex Close

Morgan DevineMorgan Devine

Lauren FirettoLauren Firetto

Sara HarrisSara Harris

Megan LaskoMegan Lasko

Ella Lundquist

Haley SchlecterHaley Schlecter

Ariel WeidlerAriel Weidler

Visiting Scientists

Elenore Brian

Ellie Brian

Eleanor Brian was an undergraduate student at Loughborough University, UK, working towards a BSc (Hons) Human Biology degree in 2015/2016. She was a fellow in Dr Kathleen Keller's laboratory for 1 year to gain nutrition research experience.

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Marlou Lasschuijt

Marlou P. Lasschuijt was a visiting scientist in our lab during the Summer of 2014. At the time she was pursuing a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Health from the University of Wageningen, the Netherlands. She was a great member of our team! Currently works on a PhD project that aims to elucidate the neurocognitive mechanisms controlling satiation at Wageningen University.

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Odile Piettre

Visiting Scholars

Odile was a visiting scientist who worked in our lab during the summer of 2014. She was graduate student at the Paris Institute of Technology for Life, Food and Environmental Sciences in France. We would love to have her visit again!

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Johannes Rehrl

Johannes Rehrl

Johannes visited us In the Fall of 2014 and Spring of 2015, travelling from the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan. He was an undergraduate student studying Food Science and has decided he would like to become a registered Food scientist after graduating. He helped us with our Dairy and Decision Making studies. His Internship at PSU gave him a wider view of human food intake behavior and the nutritional aspect of food science.

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