I grew up in Florida and Tennessee and completed training to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in April 2009. I began practicing in long-term care and continued with most of her focus being in the geriatric population for seven years. During this time, I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology and Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics to pursue my love of all things food and nutrition. After completing my dietetic undergraduate work, I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee to begin graduate studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. My work as a graduate research assistant on a USDA multi-state, multi-year adolescent obesity prevention project shaped much of my graduate career. I also was trained in health care policy to become a better advocate for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and insurance reimbursement. I completed her Doctor of Philosophy in Nutrition Science with a focus on Community Nutrition in 2019 and met all requirements through the dietetic internship to become a Registered Dietitian.
I primarily research issues related to adolescent and college-aged obesity prevention, particularly those involving food environments and food access. I also frequently partner with community agencies, such as the Second Harvest Food Bank and local schools, to provide students with additional internship and research opportunities.
I came to Maryville College in August 2016 as an adjunct faculty member, teaching nutrition and other health courses. Over the past three years, I have grown to love the tight knit campus community and ability to individually mentor students in the classroom. I have found that the relationships I develop with students in and out of the classroom are the most rewarding part of my job. I also enjoy the flexibility of being able to teach in small classrooms and introducing interactive, dynamic ways to teach health with students.
Though my background in primarily in nutrition, my training in many health issues has allowed me to teach many health-related classes as well as develop new courses with our program expansion. These courses include:
- Principles of Human Nutrition – EXS 219
- Health Issues in Education – PHR 236
- Community Health – PHR 336
- Nutrition Across the Life Span – EXS 221
When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two sons, and mini-dachshunds exploring the local area. I also am an avid reader and lover of all things Disney.
For more information on my background, see my curriculum vitae. Please contact me if you have any further questions.