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Meet Our Graduate Students

Elizabeth Adams

eka5159@psu.edu

Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Savage-Williams

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
BS: (Exercise Science) University of Connecticut

Awards/honors/scholarships:
Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) Award (2015-2016);
Florida Academic Scholar Award (2009-2013);
2nd place in the 2016 Penn State Graduate Research Exhibition; Mentored Poster/Platform Presenter Award, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) (2018); Ruth L. Pike Nutritional Sciences Graduate Fellowship Award (2017-2018); 2ndPlace Oral Presentation at Penn State Life Sciences Symposium (2018)

Recent Publications:

  • 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 451: Nutrition Through the Life Cycle; NUTR 456: Community Nutrition and NUTR100: 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:
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.

Courses TAed:
NUTR 451: Nutrition Through the Life Cycle

Katherine McNitt, RD, LDN

Katherine McNitt

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 Taught:
TA for NUTR 456 Community Nutrition and NUTR 119 Elementary Foods

Cara Ruggiero, RD

Cara Ruggiero

cfr8@psu.edu

Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Savage-Williams

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

Awards/honors/scholarships:
The Pennsylvania Sara Clemen Parks Scholarship (2018); Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) Award: 2018 Spring Semester

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)
  • Nam CS, Ross A, Ruggiero CF, Ferguson M, Mui Y, Lee BY, & Gittelsohn J. Process evaluation and lessons learned from engaging local policymakers in the B'more healthy communities for kids trial. Health Education & Behavior: The Official Publication of the Society for Public Health Education. (2018), 1090198118778323. doi:10.1177/ 1090198118778323 [doi]
  • Seifu L, Ruggiero CF, Ferguson M, Mui Y, Lee B Y, & Gittelsohn J. Simulation modeling to assist with childhood obesity control: Perceptions of baltimore city policymakers. Journal of Public Health Policy. (2018), doi:10.1057/s41271-018-0125-0 [doi]
  • Gittelsohn J, Trude AC, Poirier L, Ross A, Ruggiero CF, Schwendler T, & Anderson Steeves E. The impact of a multi-level multi-component childhood obesity prevention intervention on healthy food availability, sales, and purchasing in a low-income urban area. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. (2017), 14(11), 10.3390/ijerph14111371. doi:E1371 [pii]
  • Complete list of publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/cara.ruggiero.1/bibliography/57116332/public/?sort=date&direction=ascending.

Courses Taught:
TA for NUTR 456 Community Nutrition