Welcome back to the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at the University of Florida for the 2022-2023 academic year! We look forward to sharing many incredible adventures in research, academics, special events, and more. Read on to learn about an impactful new summer program in the department as well as exciting events taking place this upcoming year!
New Faces in the Department
This fall, we have two new members of our FSHN family: Dr. Cora Best and Kellie Pike-DeLamerens took time out of their busy schedules to introduce themselves.
I grew up in Hannibal, Missouri. Prior to moving to Gainesville, I lived in Seattle where I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington.
My special expertise is in vitamin D and mineral metabolism and, more broadly, in renal nutrition and nutritional influences on bone health. As a doctoral student and postdoc, I studied vitamin D disposition (i.e., vitamin D absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) in humans and how this is influenced by clinical and genetic factors. This research included metabolic studies using stable isotope-labeled vitamin D compounds in individuals with altered vitamin D metabolism, either physiologic (pregnancy) or pathophysiologic (chronic kidney disease).
I am currently investigating clinical and genetic influences on vitamin D pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics within a large vitamin D supplementation trial. One of my first goals for my research group is to characterize vitamin D disposition in individuals with severe obesity so that clinicians can more effectively manage vitamin D status in these patients. Taking a longer view, I am establishing a program focused on nutrition for (1) chronic kidney disease and (2) musculoskeletal health. Vitamin D is a particularly important nutrient in both areas so I will continue to study vitamin D as part of the larger program. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist, and my research program is designed to meet key research needs for better nutrition care and policy.
The first class I will teach is the graduate-level proteins and amino acids in human nutrition course, which will be offered every other fall semester beginning in 2023.
I will work with Dr. Sue Percival and Dr. Beth Gankofskie to create an online degree program. I just graduated from UF by completing most of my courses online, so I believe I have experienced what we hope to create. My coursework was online due to the pandemic, but our plan is to make it permanently available on-demand to a specific type of learner.
I have had a variety of nutrition-related jobs. I completed my dietetics internship at Walt Disney World Co. Inc. and Pasco County Public Health Unit, to prepare me to pass the R.D. exam. After that, I taught at my local community college and worked in public health, home health, and pharmaceutical sales. I also owned and was the administrator for a medical office, in addition to becoming a mother of two. I hope that each of my experiences will have prepared me to bring something professional and creative to the course development process.
Taste x UF Experiential Program Supports Student Entrepreneurship
This past July, the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department held its inaugural Taste x UF Experiential Program. In partnership with Taste of Immokalee, an innovative entrepreneurship program for high school students in the second poorest community in Florida, this educational three-day program is designed to introduce underprivileged youth to careers in food science. Participants learned about career opportunities in the fast-growing field of food science by engaging in activities such as:
- Learning about the process of developing a product;
- Studying the science and method of coffee roasting;
- Touring the UF campus;
- Visiting the campus food service operation;
- Discovering careers in food science and related fields;
- Observing a 3D food-printing demonstration;
- Discussing marketing and entrepreneurship in food science;
- Touring the renowned UF/FSHN Pilot Plant.
We’re Looking Forward to Food Week, 2022!
Food Week is an event that showcases the Food Science and Human Nutrition department programs, innovative research, and associated professional opportunities. During this event, we provide opportunities to explore majors in Dietetics, Food Science, and Nutritional Sciences. Join us to sample free foods and beverages while learning about the science behind them. You will also enjoy social events and a student organization fair, and you’ll even have the chance to show off your culinary skills in our annual Master Chef competition.
Highlights of Food Week 2022 include:
- Learning all about coffee at our coffee roasting demonstration and free coffee bar;
- Discovering the secrets of kombucha brewing with free samples;
- Tasting Gator Bubbly, a refreshing drink;
- Joining a food panel;
- Meeting new friends at our ice cream social;
- Finding your next passion at the student organization fair.