Voices of UF/IFAS: Karla P Shelnutt, PhD, RD
Name: Karla P Shelnutt, PhD, RD
Position: Associate Professor and Extension Nutrition Specialist in FYCS; UF/IFAS Extension Nutrition Program Leader
Hometown: Coral Springs, FL
Years at UF/IFAS: 18
Describe your role at UF/IFAS?
As an extension specialist, most of my job involves leading our two nutrition education programs: the Family Nutrition Program and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, which both support limited-resource families in Florida to make better food and physical activity decisions. I also conduct research in food insecurity/access and work with students on this research. As Nutrition Program Leader I also support other nutrition programming across the state.
How did your background/experiences shape your interest in your current field?
My aunt is a dietitian, and she is the one who inspired me to pursue this field. Once I entered the UF program, I fell in love with the classes…especially the metabolism classes.
Who do you admire?
I admire my parents. They just celebrated 50 years of marriage and have always supported me in my schooling and career.
What inspires you?
The passion of the people I work with on both nutrition programs. They love what they do and do amazing work helping families, which inspires me to be a better leader in supporting them.
What are your hobbies?
My main hobby is working out at the gym. I started some Olympic lifting, and it’s been challenging and fun!
What’s your favorite on-the-go healthy snack?
What motivates you to choose healthy foods?
To fuel my body for my workouts!