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Elizabeth Defending her Dissertation on May 21, 2019
Our Graduate Students Shine at CCOR

Meet Our Graduate Students

Elizabeth Adams, Phd

eka5159@psu.edu

Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Savage-Williams

Dissertation: "Exploring Patterns of Parental Soothing Strategies on Sleep and Feeding during Infancy"

Research interests:

The development and dissemination of multidisciplinary, family-based childhood obesity prevention interventions, designed to optimize healthy behavior changes across multiple factors (i.e. physical activity, eating behaviors, sleep patterns, psychosocial health) that influence energy balance.

Education:

  • BS: (Exercise Science) University of Florida
  • MS: (Exercise Science) University of Connecticut
  • PhD:(Nutritional Sciences) The Pennsylvania State University

Awards/honors/scholarships:

  • 2nd place in the 34th Annual Penn State Graduate Research Exhibition (2019)
  • Awarded a General Education Microgrant teaching award for the Spring semester of her NUTR 100 course. With these funds, 17 students received a blood glucose and lipid research assessment done at the Center for Fitness and Wellness at Penn State (2019)
  • Awarded $1,500 from the Mary Frances Picciano Endowment to travel to the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity conference in Prague, Czech Republic (2019)
  • Mentored Poster/Platform Presenter Award, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) (2018)
  • 2nd Place Oral Presentation at Penn State Life Sciences Symposium (2018)
  • Ruth L. Pike Nutritional Sciences Graduate Fellowship Award (2017-2018)
  • 2nd place in the 31st Annual Penn State Graduate Research Exhibition (2016)
  • Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) Award (2015-2016)
  • Florida Academic Scholar Award (2009-2013)

Recent Publications:

  • Adams EL, Marini ME, Leonard KS, Symons Downs D, Paul IM, Kraschnewski JL, Kjerulff KH, Savage JS. Patterns of gestational weight gain and large-for-gestational age across consecutive pregnancies. Women's Health Issues. (2018), pii: S1049-3867(18)30288-3, doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2018.10.008.
  • Pattison K, Kraschnewski JL, Lehman EB, Savage JS, Symons Downs D, Leonard KS, Adams EL, Paul IM, Kjerulff KH. Breastfeeding Initiation and Duration and Child Health Outcomes in the First Baby Study. Preventive Medicine. (2018), 118:1-6, doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.09.020.
  • Balantekin KN, Hohman EE, Adams EL, Marini ME, Ventura AK, Birch LL, Savage JS. More rapid increase in BMI from age 5-15 is associated with elevated weight status at age 24 among non-Hispanic white females. Eating Behaviors. (2018), 31:12-17, doi: 10.1016/ j.eatbeh. 2018.07.007.
  • Adams EL,Marini ME, Stokes J, Birch LL, Paul IM, Savage JS. INSIGHT responsive parenting intervention reduces infant’s screen time and television exposure. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. (2018), 15(1):24, doi: 10.1186/s12966-018-0657-5.
  • Adams EL, Savage JS. From the children’s perspective: What are candy, snacks, and meals? Appetite. (2017), 116:215-222, doi: 10.1016/j.appet. 2017.04.034.

Courses TAed:

  • NUTR 456: Community Nutrition
  • NUTR 451: Nutrition Through the Life Cycle
  • NUTR 100: Contemporary Nutrition Concerns

Courses Taught:

  • NUTR 100: Contemporary Nutrition Concerns

Sally Grace Eagleton

Sally Grace Eagleton

sge5@psu.edu

Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Savage-Williams

Research interests:

The influence of family factors commonly associated with poverty such as food insecurity on child eating behaviors and the development of obesity.

Education:

  • BS (Psychology) The University of Tampa
  • MS (Human Development and Family Science) Oklahoma State University

Awards/honors/scholarships/fellowships/grants:

  • The Pennsylvania State University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute TL1 Development Training Fellow (2018-2019)
  • Awarded $1,500 from the Mary Frances Picciano Endowment to support travel to Winston-Salem, NC to complete a clinical internship at a tertiary pediatric weight management clinic (2019)
  • Oklahoma State University Mildred H. and John W. Skinner Graduate Fellowship (2015)

Recent Publications:

  • Eagleton SG, Hohman EE, Verdiglione BS, Birch LL, Paul IM, Savage JS. INSIGHT Study Maternal Return to Work and Infant Weight Outcomes. Academic Pediatrics. (2018), pii: S1876-2859(18)30560-6, doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2018.08.008.
  • Arlinghaus KR, Hernandez DC, Eagleton SG, Chen T, Power TG, Hughes SO. Exploratory factor analysis of The Comprehensive Feeding Practices Questionnaire (CFPQ) in a low-income Hispanic sample of preschool aged children. Appetite;2019, 140, 82-90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2019.04.029

Courses TAed:

  • NUTR 451: Nutrition Through the Life Cycle

Katherine McNitt, RD, LDN

kmm6054@psu.edu

Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Savage-Williams

Research interests:

Developing effective childhood obesity prevention interventions, with a focus on the first few years of life, in disadvantaged rural populations.

Education:

  • BS (Nutritional Sciences) The Pennsylvania State University
  • RD (Dietetic Internship, Medical Nutrition Therapy) University of Houston

Awards/honors/scholarships:

  • Best Oral Presentation Award (Student/Staff Level), “Programming Effect of the Intrauterine Environment on Fetal Growth: Study Methods and Protocol,” Hershey, USA, 2016

Recent Publications:

  • Symons Downs D, Savage JS, Rivera DE, Collins, LM, Smyth J, Rolls B, Hohman EE, McNitt KM, Kunselman A, Stetter C, Pauley AM, Leonard KS, Guo P. Individually-Tailored, Adaptive Intervention to manage gestational weight gain: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial in Overweight and Obese Women. JMIR Research Protocols. (2018), 7(6):e150, doi: 10.2196/resprot.9220.

Courses TAed:

  • NUTR 456: Community Nutrition
  • NUTR 119 Elementary Foods

Cara Ruggiero, MS, RD

Cara Ruggiero

cfr8@psu.edu

Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Savage-Williams

Master's Thesis: “INSIGHT Responsive Parenting Intervention in Firstborns and the Association with Secondborn Infant Feeding Practices”

Research interests:

Mixed methods research to design family-based interventions to prevent and mange childhood obesity in low income communities, focusing on child feeding and growth during the first few years of life.

Education:

  • BS (Dietetics) University of Delaware
  • RD (Dietetic Internship) University of Maryland Medical Center
  • MS (Nutritional Sciences) The Pennsylvania State University

Awards/honors/scholarships:

  • The Pennsylvania State University CTSI TL1 Translational Research Training Award: 2019 Fall Semester - 2020 Spring Semester
  • The Pennsylvania Sara Clemen Parks Scholarship (2018)
  • Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) Award: Spring Semester (2018)

Recent Publications:

  • Ruggiero CF, Poirier L, Trude ACB, Yang T, Schwendler T, Gunen B, & Gittelsohn J. Implementation of B’More Healthy Communities for Kids: process evaluation of a multi-level, multi-component obesity prevention intervention. Health education research. (2018)
  • Complete list of publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/cara.ruggiero.1/bibliography/57116332/public/?sort=date&direction=ascending.

Courses TAed:

  • NUTR 456: Community Nutrition