Welcome to the UF Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, 2022 Edition!

Student roasting coffe with steam rising above machine.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.

Dr. Best smiling at the cameraDr. Cora Best:

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.

Kellie Pike-DeLamerens:

Kellie wearing a blue shirt and smiling for the cameraI 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.

Go Gators!

Taste x UF Experiential Program Supports Student Entrepreneurship
Students standing outside in a line and doing the gator chomp.
4H youth and Taste of Immokalee students doing the gator chomp during the Taste x UF Experiential Program.

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:

3D printer beginning to print.
3D printing demonstration.
  • 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.

Read more about the program here, and support these exceptional underserved students by giving here!

We’re Looking Forward to Food Week, 2022!

The FSHN Department and the FSHN Student Organization at the University of Florida invite you to join us for Food Week 2022, taking place October 17 – 21.

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.

Students gathered around a metal table topped with food on white plates.
Master Chef competitors gather around the dishes created for the 2021 competition.
White and blue sign advertising for the taste panel.
Sign directing visitors to the taste panel at Food Week 2021.

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.

Check out the Food Week schedule and follow our events at @UF_FSHN #FoodWeek2022 #FoodScience #Dietetics #NutritionalSciences #JOBS

What are you most looking forward to this year? Comment below!

Jessie Erwin, Nutrition Communications Consultant for the UF/IFAS FSHN department.
Posted: August 22, 2022

Category: Food Science & Human Nutrition
Tags: Dietetics Major, Dr. Cora Best, Food Science And Human Nutrition, Food Science Major, Food Week, Food Week 2022, FSHN Food Week, Kellie Pike-DeLamerens, Nutritional Sciences Major, Taste Of Immokalee, Taste X UF, Taste X UF Experiential Program, UF/FSHN Department Updates, UF/IFAS Food Week, Welcome

Subscribe For More Great Content

IFAS Blogs Categories