Nutrition & Dietetics: News

Ranked #1

This spring Marywood University's Nutrition Program was awarded the best school for a nutrition degree! Click here to check out more! Our small class size and hands on learning helped us achieve this goal! 

Katie Gallagher

Katie Gallagher, RDN

Katie is the RDN at ShopRite of Daleville, she works with customers to educate them about making healthy food choices while helping them meet their wellness goals. At ShopRite, she conducts individual nutrition counseling sessions and shares delicious recipes and tips on leading a healthy lifestyle.

Among other services, Katie is available to answer customer questions regarding their nutritional needs, educate shoppers about reading labels and assist them in making healthy food choices. She is also responsible for health and wellness education and outreach to ShopRite associates, customers and community partners through a variety of programs, such as supermarket tours, workshops, one-on-one consultations, and year-round culinary demos.

For more information, contact Katie directly at or call ShopRite of Daleville at (570) 842-7461. Customers can visit to see her full calendar of events. ShopRite of Daleville is open Monday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.

Austin Fernandez, RDN

After graduating from the DPD-Spanish emphasis program at Marywood, I started my dietetic internship and MS in clinical nutrition at NYU. I worked at a tech start up called Sage Project during my first semester of grad school. Their goal is to make nutrition data personalized and understandable. I helped on-board Whole Foods Market nutrition data and was even able to assist with food photography for the website. I never imagined that I would be able to use my degree working for a tech company! 

After my first academic semester at NYU, I started the onsite portion of my DI at New York Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. During my food service rotation, I was lucky enough to work on an interdisciplinary project with the Speech Pathology department. My classmate and I tested the patient food items and categorized them using the new International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI) guidelines. We were one of the first hospitals in the world to start implementing the new standards!

During my clinical rotations, I was able to work with an incredibly diverse patient population. I was surprised to learn that Half of all New Yorkers speak a language other than English at home. I used what I learned in my Social and Cultural foods class at Marywood when educating patients from a variety of different backgrounds. All of my practice in Spanish nutrition education during my study abroad experience in Costa Rica paid off! I found that I was speaking Spanish everyday.

I had a pediatric dental rotation at the NYU Dental School. I educated the children and their families about reducing sugar sweetened beverage intake and healthy childhood nutrition. I also learned about dental health from the dental residents. It was interesting to learn how nutrition effects dental health.

My last internship rotation was at Heritage Health and Housing in Harlem. I interned with their FNS program specifically for people with HIV/AIDS. I helped assess clients, provided nutrition counseling, and participated in group nutrition education classes. I was able to use foods from the community garden and from the food pantry to create practical, nutritious recipes for the clients to try at home.

After finishing my internship, I passed the RD exam (yay!) and was hired as a Clinical Dietitian at my internship site, NYP-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. I am happy to be back, working with the dietitians who mentored me through my clinical rotations. I cover the units for dietitians who are off, which means I get to cover every specialty from general medicine to critical care. My responsibilities include, assessing patients’ nutrition status including conducting a nutrition focused physical exam, diagnosing nutrition problems, recommending appropriate nutrition interventions, providing nutrition education, and communicating with all members of the medical team. I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of Clinical nutrition. Everyday there is something new to learn.

I have just 2 more classes to complete before I graduate with my MS this fall. I can’t wait to see what my career has in store. I am very thankful for everything that Marywood taught me. The Nutrition department always supported me, and encouraged my classmates and I to strive to become, not only skilled dietitians, but compassionate leaders in our field.

Laura Niederer

Laura is a January 2018 graduate and recently was accepted into Duke University Hospital’s Dietetic Internship Program! She is very involved not only within in the Nutrition programs but in the campus as a whole. She is deeply passionate about her major and what she wants to do post-graduation. A little background of Laura is that she has been the SAND (Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) President since her sophomore year at Marywood. In this role she created a relationship with the Lifelong Learners Institution that still exists today. During her presidency, the membership of this organization nearly doubled; partially because she incorporated a sense of community within the club. She has also stressed to those younger than her how important it is to be involved which also increased the attendance of the activities the club held, (e.g. cooking demos). Within her three years of presidency she also organized attendance at the PA annual conference which brought many networking opportunities not only for Laura, but also the club. Another initiative that helped Laura show her passion for nutrition and dietetics was the country-wide GetFruved project. This project’s aim is to raise awareness about living a healthy life. GetFruved started on the campus of Tennessee-Knoxville and branched out to six other campuses. It has now reached over 90 other campuses! She has succeeded with trying to make Marywood a more healthy and aware campus. Not only has she increased her knowledge about nutrition through her academic career, she also was able to intern with a pediatrics RDN in a private practice while learning about intuitive eating practices. Like other students, she also had other jobs that indirectly related to nutrition, but it gave her transferrable skills. Laura believes having knowledge from more than one field will make you a more successful person. She hopes everyone can find their passion and be able to work in their dream job. Because, she believes, working in a field you’re passionate about will make you more curious and happier. Lastly, Laura recently received an award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Laura is not afraid to challenge herself, which is evident in her time with our department.  


Emily Renninger, RDN, LDN

"After completing my coordinated internship and earning my bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Marywood, I pursued a retail job as a registered dietitian for Weis Markets. I have a passion for providing nutrition expertise and innovation to our customers, as well as our community. Food is a powerful tool in weight management, chronic disease prevention and management, and overall health promotion. My motto is keeping it simple and mindful. Whether your goal is weight loss, fueling up for workouts, tailoring to food allergies, or managing chronic disease, I’ve got all your nutrition concerns covered! My menu of free nutrition services include consultations by appointment, personalized shopping, tasting events, store tours, wellness workshops, and kids’ events such as scavenger hunts, cooking classes, and healthy eating workshops. Outside of work, you can find me running, cooking new recipes, or fishing with my husband!

Stay healthy!


intern on pa live cooking

Intern Featured on PA Live

Jean Holmgren & Intern Marissa Bolsar from Maternal & Family Health Services join us in the kitchen to prepare roasted veggie & black bean tacos along with chunk peach salsa.

Read More on PA Live

Students at Physical Exam Workshop

Nutrition Focused Physical Exam Workshop

On April 21st, senior Nutrition and Dietetics students, and DI interns, participated in an interprofessional Nutrition Focused Physical Exam workshop with PA students. The workshop was facilitated by PA program faculty member Ms. Kathy Whitney MPAS, PA-C and PA students in the afternoon. Students and interns attended an interactive lecture in the morning and gained hands on practice in the afternoon.

Rachel FNCE

Rachel Pacala MS, RDN, LDN

Rachel received her master’s degree from Marywood University in 2017, and she is also an alumnus of Maywood’s Onsite Dietetic Internship (2015-2016). She is currently the Outpatient Dietitian for Metz Culinary Management at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation in Allentown, PA. Rachel facilitates Good Shepherd's Nutrition Wellness Program, where she provides individualized nutrition counseling sessions for children and adults.  The emphasis of the program is to maximize nutrition and aid in the recovery from illness or injury. Rachel sees a wide spectrum of diseases and disorders including, but not limited to, the following: traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, feeding and swallowing disorders, overweight/obesity, diabetes, tube feed management, and neurological disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, and Parkinson's disease. Her additional responsibilities include participation in many community events, like grocery store tours, Good Shepherd open houses, and health fairs/wellness events.  Further, Rachel often presents to Good Shepherd support groups (i.e. the Spinal Cord Injury Support Group and the Stroke Support Group).

Rachel had the honor of presenting my Master’s Thesis at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) this past year in Chicago, Illinois. Her research is titled "The Effects of Nutrition and Exercise-Related Education on Eating Attitudes, Body Dissatisfaction, and Exercise Dependence in Health-Reported Majors Compared with Non-health Related Majors". Her results showed that there are no significant differences in eating disorder risk, body dissatisfaction or exercise dependence between majors, indicating nutrition and exercise-related education does not predispose students to negative eating attitudes. However, weight gain prevention programs may be beneficial for students' health, as well as for decreasing risk for body dissatisfaction and disordered eating, because the results showed the overweight/obese students in all majors being at highest risk.

To her pleasant surprise, the recipe that she submitted to the Food & Nutrition Magazine through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics was featured in the March/April 2018 Edition in the "Lazy delicious! Pilfer Your Pantry And Make Something Out Of Nothing" section. Rachel wrote about one of her favorite go-to "non-recipes" of a sweet potato and egg hash.

"My love for this field is forever growing. There is something new to learn every day. I have begun to share my passion for nutrition and cooking with others through my personal food blog and Instagram account: @guac_nroll. My short-term career goals focus on the publication of my Master’s Thesis in a nutrition-based journal. After I accomplish this, my future initiatives are as large as my appetite aka endless!"

Photo of Christine and Colleague

A Bittersweet End

Christine Ovalle ended her MNT/Professional Practice rotation in the OR observing a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy with a fellow dietetic intern from Brooklyn College at Brookdale. She says the end came as bittersweet.

Intern Christine Ovalle

Everyday is a day closer #RD2be

Christine Ovalle is a Distance Dietetic Intern who recently had the opportunity to observe an MBS study performed in the OR.  

Interns at the FNCE Conference

FNCE 2017

Two distance interns enjoying the Ocean Spray Booth at the FNCE Conference. FNCE 2017 celebrated the ideologies of our founders while providing fresh perspectives on new opportunities within an ever-changing healthcare environment.

Nutrition student in Costa Rica

DPD/Spanish Emphasis Study Abroad in Costa Rica

Senior Spanish DPD student, Austin Fernandez, is currently in Costa Rica sharing his wealth of knowledge in nutrition with local residents. Austin conducted a nutrition education program at a senior center and focused on portion control of common Costa Rican vegetables, fruits, and grains. He has also been taking cooking lessons and has learned to make piacadillo de papas, zanahorias, and hand made tortillas.

Nutrition student at the Graduate Research Forum

Graduate Research Symposium

Graduate students from the MS in Nutrition and the MS in Sports Nutrition and Exercise Science programs presented their research at the Graduate Research Symposium held at Marywood University. Emma Shank presented her research titled "Determining Dietary Habits and Nutritional Deficits of Guatemalan Mothers of the Child Health and Nutrition Program of San Lucas, Toliman, Guatemala: Pilot Study", Lindsay Howard presented her research titled "Influence of Hydration Status on Cognitive Function and Skill Performance in Division III Collegiate Female Basketball Players", and Stacie Smith presented her research titled "Barriers to Participation in a Weight Management Program for College Freshman". 

Students at the Community Health Fair

Community Health Fair

Students from the Social and Cultural Aspects of Food course presented at a Community Health Fair held at Marywood University. They prepared a lentil recipe and talked about MyPlate, portion size, and the importance of measuring ingredients such as salt and oil when cooking for both children and adults.

Honor Society Honoree

Order of Mother Germaine O'Neil Honors Society

Dessy Bubaris was inducted into the Order of Mother Germaine O'Neil Honors Society. She will be graduating with a Citation in Honors.

Jess at training students in Guatemala

Guatemala Medical Mission and Research

Clinical Assistant Professor Jessica Bodzio and graduate student Emma Shank recently traveled to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala on November 8, 2016 to continue their research and mission work with the Health Promoters of San Lucas Toliman. They set up the Health Promoters’ (HP) electronic tablets with the REDCap mobile application that included a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) that was piloted and custom designed by Jessica Bodzio and Emma Shank for this population. During their time there, they conducted day-long, group, hands-on training sessions with several of the HPs to orient them to the REDCap app, the FFQ, and the food models used to demonstrate typical portion sizes. Their following days there, they observed several of the HPs train other HPs in a train-the-trainer fashion. They also witnessed the HPs administer the FFQ to mothers who have malnourished children in the Child Health and Nutrition Program coordinated through Stanford University.

The data garnered through the customized FFQ will allow them to determine the dietary habits of these mothers.  This, in turn, will allow them to identify areas of nutritional deficit in the mothers, particularly those that have the potential to affect the quality of life of their offspring (e.g. iron, B12 and folate). They hope to use these findings to garner additional funding to initiate the development of sustainable programs that empower Guatemalan mothers by continuing to utilize the train-the-trainer model with the HPs.

Student exhibiting at the MetLife Health Fair

MetLife's Nutrition and Wellness Fair

For National Nutrition Month, Marywood Nutrition and Dietetic DPD students presented at MetLife's Nutrition and Wellness Fair. The students provided samples, games, and information on five major food groups. The fair also consisted of Marywood Nursing students, who took blood pressure for the employees, Terra Preta, WOW, MetLife's Community Health Promotion Intern, and MetLife's corporate RDN.

Students exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting and Exhibition

Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting and Exhibition

Graduate student Stacie Smith presented her research titled "Barriers to Participation in a Weight Management Program for College Freshman" at the 2016 Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting and Exhibition.

KON Honor Society meeting

Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society

Congratulations to the 2015-2016 Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society inductees. Kappa Omicron Nu acknowledges undergraduate and graduate students who have shown outstanding dedication to their Nutrition and Dietetics course work. 

DPD student Rebecca Huber

New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station

Current DPD student, Rebecca Huber, was recently published in an article produced by Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. The article provides great advice for students who want to avoid unwanted weight gain in college. 

Student with clients in Guatemala

Guatemala Medical Mission Trip

On March 6, 2016, along with an interprofessional team of students, Emma Shank (graduate student in the Nutrition & Dietetics Department) and Mrs. Jessica Bodzio (Clinical Assistant Professor in the Nutrition & Dietetics Department and faculty adviser) traveled to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala for a medical mission. During the week, Emma trained a team of community Health Promoters to administer a customized Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) with Guatemalan mothers for the first stage of their research. After the training, Emma and Jessica visited with Guatemalan mothers to test the questionnaire. The purpose of this phase of the research was to assess and improve the questionnaire's effectiveness. The Health Promoters did an excellent job and provided much helpful feedback. Emma and Jessica are looking forward to furthering their research and continuing their work in the upcoming months.

Students at Scranton University Health and Wellness Fair

Scranton University Health and Wellness Fair

SAND participated in the Scranton University Health and Wellness Fair. Students presented "Breakfast On-The-Go", a topic which featured quick and healthy options for the most important meal of the day. Participants were able to build their own parfait with either Greek or Traditional low-fat yogurt and a variety of toppings, all having amazing nutritional benefits. 

Laura Niederer and Katharine Tebbetts

Soar Program-Sugar in Popular Drinks

At Fun Friday SAND members Laura Niederer and Katharine Tebbetts presented on sugar hidden in popular drinks to students in the Soar Program. 

Students at Tobyhanna Army Depot  Prevention Fair

2016 DPD Program Students Volunteer

Senior DPD students volunteered at Tobyhanna Army Depot for the Sept.16th Prevention Fair. The theme of the table and nutrition education provided was "Healthy Eating on the Go" which included informational handouts as well as recipe cards for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Salad shakers and samples of healthy snacks were given to Tobyhanna employees to enjoy.

Students at the Wright Center Health Fair

Wright Center Health Fair 2016

SAND members attended the 2016 Wright Center Health Fair and 5K on October 16th. The event presented many opportunities for participants to check their blood sugar and learn about nutrition, exercise, yoga, and a variety of different therapies. Participants were provided healthy salads, warm apple cider, and opportunities to win prizes. Students Desire Wentzell, Anetta Pool, Katerina Nye, and Logan Ellis spent time connecting with the participants offering protein energy bites, 24 hour food intake analysis, and encouraging local residents to take advantage of the nutrition counseling services of local professionals.

Students at the YMCA Health Fair

YMCA Health Fair 2016

On October 20th, SAND members attended the YMCA Senior Health Fair. Vendors included senior home care facilities and companies that provide activities for seniors to enjoy during their leisure time. Members had a table set up offering nutritional advice, specifically regarding fiber intake, and answered any questions the community had.

Students at Kidstuff


Nutrition and Dietetics students participated in Kidstuff at Marywood University. Students provided children of different age groups with information on proper hydration by having them guess how many glasses of water they should be drinking and providing them with hydration facts.

Nutriion students teach SOAR students about fruits and vegetagles

Soar Program-Fruits and Vegetables

Students from Marywood Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SAND) visited SOAR students to make Fun Friday even more Fun with Vegetable and Fruit Bingo!

Student at the FNCE Conference

FNCE 2016

The Nutrition and Dietetics Department had a strong presence at FNCE 2016. Multiple members of the department presented their research at the poster sessions. Alumni Despina Bubaris, RDN, presented her undergraduate research: Relationship Between Nutrition Education and Dietetics Students' Disordered Eating Attitudes and Behaviors. Professor Diane DellaValle, PhD, RDN, LDN presented her research: What is the relationship between dietary intake, vitamin D status and systolic blood pressure in a cohort of children with metabolic syndrome? Lastly, alumni Lauren Razawich, MS, RDN, LDN presented her graduate research: Assessment of Dietary Intake of Individuals with Celiac Disease on a Gluten-Free Diet.

Kristen Hendrix on PA Live

PA Live: Intern In the Kitchen

Laurie Waskovich was joined by her summer graduate dietetic intern, Kristen Hendrix, on PA Live: In the Kitchen who helped make the wraps and discussed the nutritional benefits of all the veggies they used.

Despina Bubaris displays her research

Undergraduate Research Forum

Senior Nutrition and Dietetics student, Despina Bubaris, presented her research titled "Relationship Between Nutrition Education and Dietetics Students' Disordered Eating Attitude Eating and Behaviors" at the Undergraduate Research Forum at Marywood University. 

Breakfast Demonstration

Build a Better Breakfast

Students participated in a Build a Better Breakfast Food Demo to prepare for professional practice in Community Nutrition. Students chose a few nutritious and balanced breakfast recipes to prepare and serve to their audience, The Lifelong Learners Club. The audience was pleased with how the recipes tasted and were interested in preparing some on their own! One member even complimented the students on their teamwork!