Our Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Fellows are amazing individuals who are doing fascinating work for our profession and have a passion for what they do. Since the inception of our Fellowship program, our Foundation has collaborated with the Academy’s Research, International, and Scientific Affairs team and industry stakeholders to create and offer fellowship opportunities for dynamic Academy members at all career levels. Fellows hone their skills, knowledge, and expertise, while working on projects that align with Foundation and Academy strategic priorities that take on the greatest global food and nutrition challenges now and in the future.
Our Foundation has invested more than $1.2 million dollars in its fellows over the last nine years, and just recently added two new fellows who are tasked with incredible work that will empower Academy members and our profession to address these issues.
Betsy Anderson Steeves, PhD, RD, has been selected as our “Accelerating Food Security: Food Supply Chain Innovation” Fellow. In this role, Dr. Steeves will lead a new research project focused on evaluating innovative solutions that have increased the supply of nutritious food for food insecure individuals in rural, suburban, and urban communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This fellowship has been funded by the National Dairy Council.
Amanda Berhaupt-Glickstein, PhD, MS, has been selected to serve as our Grace L. Ostenso Nutrition and Public Policy Fellow. This fellowship is a collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In this role, Amanda will participate in the Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows Program, coordinated by AAAS, and spend one year working in Washington, DC beginning September 1, 2021 as a special assistant in a legislative area that will benefit from scientific and engineering input, serving on the staffs of Members of Congress or congressional committees. This Fellowship has been funded by the estate of Dr. Grace L. Osteno and Helen and Ed Hintz..
Our Foundation now has five current Fellows and a full roster of sixteen past Fellows who have done some unbelievable work. For example, Stephen Alajajian, collaborated with Maya Health Alliance/Wuqu’ Kawoq to evaluate the effects of adding home gardens to a community-based malnutrition treatment program. Both Stephen and the program were well received within the community, many of the families approached about the garden program eagerly agreed to participate and caregivers valued it as a sustainable way to feed their families healthy foods.
Results showed that children in the community who had home gardens plus the malnutrition treatment program had better growth than children in the community that received just the malnutrition treatment program. All our Fellowships include an assessment component and going forward, important considerations to improve implementation of home gardens in Guatemala include addressing access to water for irrigation, sustainable access to seeds, and gaps between what was grown in the gardens and what families actually ate.
Here, we see Steve (far right) helping families in the village of Chutiestancia construct gardens to address issues of malnourishment, which were monitored and studied throughout the fellowship and results compared to other local communities.
As Academy members, we can all be proud of our Foundation Fellowship Program and what these Fellows are able to accomplish on behalf of our profession. These Fellowships are fully supported by donations and stakeholder partnerships.