Fellowships2018-11-14T12:33:57+00:00

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Fellowship Program



The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation is excited to be collaborating with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Research, International, and Scientific Affairs team and other stakeholders and partners to create and offer fellowship opportunities for current and future credentialed food and nutrition practitioners at all career levels that advance fellow skills, knowledge, and visibility, hone the fellow’s expertise, and advance the Foundation and Academy strategic plans.

The Foundation’s successful fellowship model is currently being scaled to:

  • Accelerate improvements in the health of the public, including prevention and well-being, health care and health systems, and food and nutrition safety and security
  • Create unique educational opportunities for credentialed and future practitioners at all levels
  • Expand practitioner expertise, including leadership skills
  • Demonstrate the value of credentialed practitioners and nutrition interventions in a variety of settings and areas of practice, both in the U.S. and globally

Currently, there are no open fellowship opportunities, but please check back as new opportunities are posted regularly.

Current Fellows

Applied Global Nutrition Research Fellow:
Stephen Alajajian, RDN

Project: Maya Health Alliance/Wuqu’ Kawoq

Funded by: The Academy Foundation Nutrition Education for the Public Fund

Stephen Alajajian is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion for serving culturally and linguistically diverse people. Through his fellowship, he is currently working with Maya Health Alliance/Wuqu’ Kawoq in Tecpán, Guatemala. In this role, he is overseeing the implementation research and quality improvement aspects of a garden research project and participating in nutrition-related efforts for the organization. Prior to this fellowship year, he served as a Foundation Fellow with Gardens for Health International in Rwanda as Senior Nutrition Technical Adviser. He completed his undergraduate degree in dietetics at University of Vermont and his dietetic internship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Previously, he worked as a nutrition consultant for the Clinica Sanjuanerita in Guatemala and as a maternal-child nutritionist at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.

PNPG Pediatric Malnutrition Clinical Characteristics Study Fellow:
Courtney Bliss, MS, RDN, CNSC

Project: Malnutrition Clinical Characteristics and Staffing Optimization Study – Pediatric Emphasis

Funded by: Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group

Courtney Bliss is a registered dietitian nutritionist who enjoys the challenge of ensuring growth and good nutritional status during metabolically stressed states. In her fellowship, she is working with primary investigators to plan, execute, and publish research conducted for the Malnutrition Clinical Characteristics and Staffing Optimization Study specific to the pediatric population. She completed her undergraduate work at Simmons College and completed both her dietetic internship and Master’s degree in nutrition at Arizona State University. She has prior experience as a PICU dietitian, Cardiac Transplant dietitian, and Research Coordinator at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in critical care.

Duke Center for International Development Malnutrition Fellow:
Alice Figueroa, MPH, RDN

Project: Central America Malnutrition – Policy Perspective

Funded by: Wimpfheimer-Guggenheim Fund for International Exchange in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Management

Alice Figueroa is a registered dietitian nutritionist who is passionate about promoting universal access to nutrition support, health services, and wholesome foods for all. Through her fellowship, Alice is conducting research to address chronic malnutrition and stunting in Central America. Her research focuses on identifying gaps in nutrition services in Central America and vulnerable indigenous populations in Guatemala who are at increased risk for malnutrition and stunting. She earned a Master’s in Public Health from New York University, where she also completed her dietetic internship. She holds an honors degree in International Relations with a focus on healthcare policy from Tulane University and is a CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program Certified Lifestyle Coach. She is also a James Beard Foundation National Scholar Award Recipient and a Natural Foods Chef.

PNPG Pediatric Malnutrition Clinical Characteristics Study Fellow:
Julie Long, MS, MPH, RDN

Project: Malnutrition Clinical Characteristics and Staffing Optimization Study – Pediatric Emphasis

Funded by: Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group

Julie Long is a registered dietitian nutritionist who is interested in improving the lives of children through helping provide access and resources to adequate and appropriate nutrition. In her fellowship, she is working with primary investigators to plan, execute, and publish research conducted for the Malnutrition Clinical Characteristics and Staffing Optimization Study specific to the pediatric population. Prior to beginning the fellowship, she was the Project Manager of a research study assessing micronutrient absorption of young children at risk for environmental enteric dysfunction in Bangladesh. She obtained her Bachelor’s in Nutrition from California Polytechnic State University and completed her dietetic internship, MS in Nutrition and Wellness, and MPH from Benedictine University.

Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems Fellow:
Marie Spiker, MSPH, RDN

Project: Foundation Future of Food Program

Funded by: National Dairy Council

Marie Spiker is a registered dietitian nutritionist who advocates for expanding the role of credentialed food and nutrition practitioners in shaping healthy and sustainable food systems. Through her fellowship, she is working to empower future food and nutrition professionals to be leaders in sustainable food systems, food and nutrition security, and global malnutrition. She has conducted a wide range of food systems research related to urban agriculture in Baltimore, food loss and waste in the United States, and vegetable supply chains and food security in India. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Public Health and her Bachelor of Arts in Medical Anthropology from the University of Washington. She also completed her dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and her MSPH in Human Nutrition at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Human Nutrition at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has received the Abell Award in Urban Policy, served as the Gordis Teaching Fellow at John Hopkins University, and received multi-disciplinary training in public health nutrition, systems science, and medical anthropology.

Hunger Free Communities Fellow:
Lee Unangst, MS, RDN

Project: Hunger Free Communities

Funded by: General Mills Foundation

Lee Unangst is currently a consultant in nutrition and informatics, providing services in the areas standardized terminology, application and tool development, and nutrition counseling. In his role as a fellow and as part of the Foundation’s Hunger Free Communities project, he is working closely with the Academy’s Research team to plan, execute, and publish a modification to Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Health Informatics Infrastructure so that ANDHII can be used for public health nutrition projects. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Maryland and his Master’s degree in Information Systems at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

CDR Adult Malnutrition Clinical Characteristics Study Fellow:
Lindsay Woodcock, MS, RD, LDN

Project: Malnutrition Clinical Characteristics and Staffing Optimization Study – Adult Emphasis

Funded by: Commission on Dietetics Registration

Lindsay Woodcock is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a background in clinical research. In her fellowship, she is working with primary investigators to plan, execute, and publish research conducted for the Malnutrition Clinical Characteristics and Staffing Optimization Study specific to the adult population. Lindsay completed her Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics and Religious studies at Lafayette College, her dietetic internship at Wellness Workdays, and her Masters of Science in Human Nutrition from Drexel University in 2013. Prior to her fellowship, she worked at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she worked on a number of studies and diet trials related to the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Past Fellows

Jenica Abram, MPH, RDN

Project: GENIE Development and Validation

Funded by: ConAgra Foods Foundation

In her role as the ConAgra Foods Foundation Nutrition Education Research Fellow at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Jenica Abram worked as a primary member of the project team responsible for the design and validation of the Guide for Effective Nutrition Interventions and Education.

Lauren Au, PhD, RD

Project: Grace L. Ostenso Nutrition and Public Policy Fellowship

Funded by: The Academy Foundation Ostenso Fund

Lauren Au is an Assistant Researcher at University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nutrition Policy Institute. The Foundation fellowship provided her the opportunity to serve one year as a Congressional fellow in Washington, D.C.

Sandra Carpenter, MS, RDN

Project: Simulation Area Identification and Development

Funded by: Funded by the Commission on Dietetics Registration

Sandra Carpenter served as Simulation Research Fellow at Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Greater Pittsburgh Area Health, Wellness and Fitness. As a registered dietitian specializing in diabetes management, nutrition support, cardiovascular health and food service management, she is a passionate educator and worksite wellness professional who leads by example.

Lindsey Field, MS, RDN

Project: Malnutrition Clinical Characteristics Pilot Trial

Funded by: Abbott Nutrition

Lindsey Field is a registered and licensed dietitian who holds a Master’s of Science degree in Nutrition from Texas A&M University. She served as the Abbott Nutrition Malnutrition Research Fellow from 2014-2015. During the fellowship, she served as project coordinator for the Malnutrition Clinical Characteristics Validation Pilot Study. She assisted with data extraction and analysis and communicated regularly with dietitian participants at three study sites.

Leigh A. Gantner, PhD, RD

Project: Grace L. Ostenso Nutrition and Public Policy Fellowship

Funded by: The Academy Foundation Ostenso Fund

Leigh Gantner is an analyst at USDA in the Washington D.C. Metro Area. She completed a PhD in nutritional sciences from Cornell University, where her dissertation was entitled, “Building environments to promote healthy weights among childbearing women.” The Foundation fellowship provided her the opportunity to serve one year as a Congressional fellow in Washington, D.C.

Janice Giddens, MS, RDN

Project: Gardens for Health International

Funded by: The Academy Foundation Nutrition Education for the Public Fund

Janice Giddens was the first Gardens for Health International Fellow in Rwanda. During her fellowship, she developed and implemented an antenatal nutrition pilot curriculum reaching hundreds of women and families and participated in Ministry of Health Technical Nutrition meetings.

Elizabeth Yakes Jimenez, PhD, RDN

Project: Hunger Free Communities

Funded by: General Mills Foundation

Elizabeth Yakes Jimenez is currently a research associate professor at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, NM. She also serves as the Director of the Dietetics Practice Based Research Network at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During her time as a fellow, she developed and validated a food and nutrition security facilitation guide and tools to assist communities with identifying and prioritizing appropriate interventions to address hunger.

Chris Vogliano, MS, RDN

Project: Agriculture, Food and Health Consensus Conference & Food Waste

Funded by: The Academy Foundation Research Endowment

Chris Vogliano is a registered dietitian with a passion for creating a sustainable and waste-free food system that is healthy for both people and the planet. During his fellowship, he was the primary member of a team that hosted an Agriculture, Nutrition and Health consensus conference at the Academy headquarters with nearly two dozen thought leaders and experts. Following the conference, he authored a proceedings paper that was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as a proceedings paper for the Foundation’s 2015 FNCE Symposium, “The RDNs’ Guide to Plentiful, Nutrient-Dense Food for the World.”