Academy Foundation Blog

Honoring Sarah Wilder during Black History Month

By Foundation Admin posted 02-14-2022 04:32 PM


In honor of Black History Month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation celebrates pioneers who have made a lasting impact.

Sarah M. Wilder, PhD, RD, was a trailblazer within the Academy and the nutrition and dietetics profession.

Sarah M. Wilder, PhD, RD, was a trailblazer within the Academy and the nutrition and dietetics profession

As a founding member of the Academy’s National Organization of Blacks in Dietetics and Nutrition member interest group, she served as NOBIDAN’s executive director for 24 years. Wilder was one of the organizers and charter members of the Dietetic Technicians sub-unit within the Academy’s Dietetics in Health Care Communities dietetic practice group. She was a member of the Academy’s Nominating Committee from 1998 to 2000 and was research chair of the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition DPG from 1994 to 1996. Wilder received the Medallion Award in 1988 for her leadership and devotion to serving others in nutrition and dietetics.

In 1992, Wilder and her husband Nathaniel,, who was accompanied her to FNCE® each year, established the Foundation’s Sarah M. Wilder Scholarship Fund for Dietetic Technician Graduates to encourage and provide financial support for continued academic study, professional development and career mobility of two-year associate degree dietetics technicians. The scholarship emphasizes community involvement, especially among low-income people who live in urban settings. The Foundation is proud to honor Wilder’s legacy through her scholarship fund and to provide opportunities each year for deserving students such as the 2021 recipient, Katherine Ochs.

Katherine Ochs

Wilder earned her undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University, her master’s degree in public health nutrition from Case Western Reserve University and a PhD in community systems planning and development: health planning administration from The Pennsylvania State University. She was founder of Cuyahoga Community College’s Dietetic Technology Program and served as a mentor to many students. She owned two nutrition consulting companies, developed a two-year degree program in community nutrition for Barbados Community College and consulted with the World Health Organization and Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute in Barbados and Trinidad. In addition, she served as a nutrition consultant for the Cleveland Board of Education, the East Cleveland Board of Education and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

IDEA logo

In 2021, our Foundation created the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Fund to support rt initiatives, including scholarships, that expand opportunities for Academy students and members of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Please consider a making a gift today to our IDEA Fund in honor of Black History Month.

Our Foundation works with Academy members and organizations to develop named funds that align with their interests and the Foundation’s strategic priorities. These Funds make a difference in the lives of fellow Academy members for generations and recent commitments have emphasized inclusivity, diversity, equity and accessibility. We are grateful for these generous gifts and collaborations that show the tremendous trust and confidence Academy members and organizations have in our Foundation to carry out their wishes and work toward achieving mutual goals and address strategic priorities. If you would like more information on establishing a named fund dedicated to advancing IDEA within our profession, please contact the Foundation at

This article was updated on February 14, 2022