Academy Foundation Blog

May 2023 Monthly Message

By Foundation Admin posted 05-15-2023 04:07 PM


In my humble opinion, OUR Academy Foundation ROCKS!

During this past year I’ve had the honor and privilege to serve as Chair of our Academy Foundation. In this role, I have also had the golden opportunity to serve on the Academy Board of Directors under the leadership of our current Academy President, Ellen R. Shanley, MBA, RDN, CDN, FAND. Last year, Ellen, as Academy President-elect, served on our Foundation board and this year, Lauri Y. Wright, PhD, RDN, LD/N, FAND, Academy President-Elect, served on our Foundation board. In addition, the Academy treasurer is also treasurer of the Foundation. Having these volunteers serve across the Foundation and Academy contributes to cross fertilization and optimized communication between both arms of the Academy. 

At this point, I’ve served on our Foundation’s board since 2018 and will serve one more year in the role as Foundation past chair. With each year on the Foundation Board, I’ve grown increasingly knowledgeable about and impressed by the work of our Foundation. Our Foundation has an increasingly robust portfolio of activities, from support of numerous Fellowships, to support for research that continues to build the evidence for the broad role of food and nutrition for us as food and nutrition professionals; to the meaningful work to support an ever-expanding number of scholarships to financially assist the next generation of an increasingly diversified cadre of food and nutrition professionals. And there’s much more…

During 2022-2023, our Foundation has had a banner year, here are a few highlights: 

  • FNCE 2023: After roughly three long years we were once again in person in Orlando for FNCE 2023. Our Foundation formally kicked off our new three year Make It a Million Scholarship Campaign with our aim to raise $1 million in new dollars by 2025 so the Foundation may award $1 million in scholarships annually, forever. I was delighted to speak with so many Academy members and leaders to define this campaign and its goals as well as the ongoing work of our Foundation.
    • Academy leaders and members are stepping up and contributing to this landmark campaign that will have an impact on generations of food and nutrition professionals to come.
    • Drumroll! We are more than 20% towards our $1M goal. I want to thank everyone who has donated already! Here’s a link to our Donor List
  • More on Make It a Million: If you have made a contribution, thank you! If you’ve not yet made a contribution to our Make It a Million Scholarship Campaign, I encourage you to take the opportunity to do so as soon as possible. Your contribution does not have to be large to be impactful. A goal of mine this year has been to increase the NUMBER of Academy members who REGULARLY contribute to the Foundation. It warms my heart (and will continue to) to see more of our younger and new to the profession members set up a quarterly or annual contribution where you give to the Foundation over many years of your career. You may make your contribution through our online contribution form or fill out a pledge form for a larger gift that can be paid out over three years.
  • Approved addition of “Distanced Traveled” to Scholarship Applications: With our lens chronically and intentionally focused on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) and meeting the needs of future food and nutrition professionals, this year the Foundation board added the concept of “Distanced Traveled” to the scholarship application. This concept serves to address aspects not already addressed within the other Foundation scholarship scoring categories. It reflects how an applicant’s background and life experiences have shaped and challenged them to grow as an individual to pursue an education in nutrition and dietetics. 
    Trialing the addition of “Distanced Travelled” this year, the scholarship committee identified 10 applicants who experienced homelessness, 20 who experienced food insecurity, 20 who immigrated to the United States, and 70 first-generation college students. After analyzing results, the Foundation board approved adding “Distanced Traveled” to our scholarship application.
  • Awarded record amount of scholarship funding: For the 2022-2023 academic year, the Foundation proudly awarded over $860,000 in scholarships to support the educational advancement of more than 30 students and dietetic interns. Roughly 65% of this funding was awarded to students and dietetic interns of diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Introduced our Dollar by Dollar, Scholar by Scholar profiles: These profiles highlight current Foundation scholarship recipients and encourages Academy members to help us meet more of the demand for scholarships in the future by contributing to our Make It a Million Scholarship Campaign.
Dollar by Dollar Scholar by Scholar - Christina Armendariz, MS
To learn more about the Foundation’s current work, particularly, about Fellowships and Scholarships, check out Academy President Ellen Shanley’s April 2023 President’s Page in the April issue of JAND.


I opened this message saying, OUR Academy Foundation ROCKS! I hope you agree and if you are not acquainted with the work of our Foundation, please take time to learn more. You may even find a Fellowship or scholarship that you want to apply for.

The work of our Foundation is done by our small, but mighty and stellar (in so many ways), staff. I thank each of them for their supporting my work this year and for their tireless dedication to the mission and vision of our Foundation and for always thinking of ways to raise and expand our impact. 

Speaking of staff, a special thank you to the CEO of both the Academy and the Foundation, Patricia M. Babjak, MLIS. As you likely realize, Pat will retire at the end of July 2023. She has always been a champion for the work of our Foundation. We wish her only the best in her well-deserved retirement! 

As Pat leaves the CEO post, we warmly welcome Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE, into this position. I know the Foundation Board and staff look forward to working closely with Wylecia to further advance our Foundation’s work.

Last but certainly not least, I want to thank our volunteer board members who continue, some after many years of service to the Academy as volunteer leaders; give of their time, expertise and dollars, to our Foundation. We could not have accomplished our great work this year without them. A particular thanks to board members who will rotate off our Foundation Board after May 31 who I have noted with an asterisk. 

  • Susan Laramee, MS, RDN, FADA, FAND; Chair-Elect
  • Becky Dorner, RDN, LD, FAND; Past-Chair*
  • Marcia Kyle RDN, CDCES, LD, FAND; Secretary
  • Lauri Y. Wright, PhD, RDN, LD/N, FAND; Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President-Elect
  • Deanne S. Brandstetter, MBA, RDN, CDN, FAND; Treasurer
  • Mary Lee Chin, MS, RD; Director
  • Catherine W. Christie, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND; Director
  • Karen P. Lacey, MS, RDN, CD, FAND; Director
  • Cynthia Wolfram, RDN, LD, FAND; Director
  • Tina Sergi, MS, RD, CPT, LD; 30 and Under Director
  • Laurence Langholz, JD, MBA; Public Member*
  • Sylvia Rowe, MA; Public Member
  • Patricia M. Babjak, MLIS (Ex-Officio); Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Foundation Chief Executive Officer

I have no doubts that our Foundation will be in excellent hands with the incoming Foundation Chair, Susan Laramee, MS, RDN, FADA, FAND. Susan is a past president of the Academy and has held numerous positions over the years. She offers many leadership attributes to bring to our Foundation as chair during 2023-2024. She has my full support as I move into the role of past chair. 

Finally, thanks to our donors, advocates and volunteers who drive progress in advancing the mission and vision of our Foundation. Our work is made possible through your generosity and passion for our profession. 

Thank you again for the honor and privilege to serve as our Foundation chair this year!


2022-2023 Chair, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation thanks Academy President, Ellen Shanley and Foundation Chair, Hope Warshaw for their year of service and dedication to our Academy and Foundation!

Click Here to Make a Tribute Gift to Ellen and Hope

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