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Faculty News

Jensen elected the vice president elect of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN)

Gordon JensenGordon Jensen, professor and head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences, has been elected the vice president elect of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN). He will assume the post immediately and will transition through the roles of vice president and president before finishing his four-year tenure with the title of past president. Founded in 1928, the ASN is a non-profit organization of more than 4,000 members dedicated to bringing together the world’s top researchers, clinical nutritionists, and industry representatives to advance knowledge and application of nutrition for the sake of humans and animals.

Birch serves as chair of Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee

Leann Birch, Distinguished Professor of Human Development, served as the chair of an Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee that released a landmark consensus report on Obesity Prevention Policies for Young Children.

Kelleher receives appointment in College of Medicine

Shannon Kelleher has been appointed associate professor of cellular and molecular physiology and surgery at the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine in recognition of her growing collaborative research initiatives in nutrition and cancer.

Faculty promotions effective July 2011

  • Shannon Kelleher – Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences with tenure.
  • Terry Hartman – Professor of Nutritional Sciences
  • Shelly Nickols-Richardson – Professor of Nutritional Sciences

Fosmire retirement reception

Gary Fosmire, a member of the Penn State faculty for 33 years, retired as an associate professor of nutritional sciences in the College of Health and Human Development (HHD) effective June 30. In addition to being an associate professor, Fosmire also was the professor-in-charge of the nutrition undergraduate program.

Fosmire receptionA dessert reception was held on Wednesday, June 8 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in his honor to celebrate the momentous occasion. Helen Wright, Mike Green, and Roland Leach spoke at the reception and shared some of their favorite memories of Gary. With several hobbies and interests, we are certain that Gary will remain very active in retirement. We all wish him the best as he starts this next phase of his life. View photos from the reception.

Department mourns the loss of professor emerita Ruth Pike

View the Ruth Pike obituary at:

Graduate Student News

Graduate Students complete degrees

Completing their graduate degrees in nutritional sciences May or August 2011:

  • Blatt, Alexandra, Ph.D., May 2011, Adviser:Barbara Rolls
  • Skulas-Ray, Ann, Ph.D., May 2011, Adviser:Penny Kris-Etherton
  • Roussell, Michael, Ph.D., May 2011, Adviser:Penny Kris-Etherton
  • Meengs, Jennifer, M.S., August 2011, Adviser:Barbara Rolls
  • Park, Hyunjin (Grace) Ph.D., May 2011, Adviser: Michael Green
  • Piehowski, Kathryn, Ph.D., August 2011, Adviser: Shelly Nickols-Richardson
  • Spill, Maureen, Ph.D. August 2011, Adviser:Barbara Rolls
  • Velasquez, Vanessa, M.S., August 2011, Adviser:Shannon Kelleher
  • Zhang, Yao, Ph.D., August 2011, Adviser:Catharine Ross

Graduate student recognition

  • Nick McCormick and Joe Ashmore are serving on the College of Health and Human Development’s Graduate Student Council during the 2011-2013 academic years.
  • Pao Ying Hsiao will serve as the student representative on the Executive Committee for the Nutritional Sciences Council of the American Society for Nutrition.

Upcoming events

  • State of the Department of Nutritional Sciences Colloquium
  • “State of the Department of Nutritional Sciences Colloquium” with Gordon Jensen, Monday, September 12, 2011, 4:00-5:00 p.m. in the Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building, University Park, Pa.
  • Department of Nutritional Sciences Graduate Research Forum and Recruitment Event
  • “Department of Nutritional Sciences Graduate Research Forum and Recruitment Event,” a two-day event for prospective graduate students, October 21-22, Chandlee Laboratory, University Park, Pa.
  • Joint meeting of ANDP and CFSA
  • National joint meeting of the Association of Nutrition Departments and Programs (ANDP) and the Council of Food Science Administrators (CFSA), November 8-10, 2011, the Nittany Lion Inn, University Park, Pa.

Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Society (NDAS) News

Outstanding Alumni Award

NDAS has selected Dr. Mark McCamish as this year’s Outstanding Alumni. McCamish, who received his Ph.D. degree in nutrition in 1980 went on to complete his M.D. degree in 1985 at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has held a variety of positions related to drug and biologics development and is currently Global Head of Biopharmaceutical Development at Sandoz International. McCamish and his family reside in Germany, but he will be on campus September 9-10 to receive his award and to present a special colloquium for faculty members, students and friends of the department.

Alumni in the Classroom

Karen Weisen, MS, RD, LD, along with McCamish, will take part in the NDAS Alumni in the Classroom program this fall semester. Weisen serves as a renal dietitian at the Barnes Jewish Dialysis Center, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She is a 1977 graduate.

Get Involved

All nutrition alumni are members of NDAS, and board members encourage alumni to follow the NDAS activities through its website The board also encourages alumni to provide their current contact information and to suggest activities and ways to enhance the alumni network. Students are looking for work experience and mentoring opportunities, and the board works to facilitate these interactions. Let us know your interests!

Support the Department of Nutritional Sciences through your Estate Plan

Gift planning can allow you to make a gift of surprising significance to the Department of Nutrition and support your personal and philanthropic objectives – often with increased tax benefits or a current income stream. At the same time, you can enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that your gift will provide vital future support for our students, facilities, or programs.

To learn more about securing the future of Department of Nutritional Sciences – as well as the benefits to you, your heirs, and your estate – please visit the Penn State Office of Gift Planning website at or contact Maggie Crispell, director of development, at 814-865-1064 or