The Nutrition Science and Dietetics in Falk College is pleased to recognize the outstanding work of its undergraduate and graduate students for excellence.
Cassie Graves, CAS ‘21
Outstanding Dietetic Intern – Director’s Award
The Outstanding Dietetic Intern – Director’s Award is given to a Dietetic Intern for outstanding accomplishments in the Dietetic Internship Program. This year’s awardee is deserving of this award for her assertiveness and relentless optimism. Cassie goes above and beyond to take advantage of opportunities to enrich her learning experience, works ahead of deadlines, and always follows through on responsibilities. She has taken the challenges of an internship during a pandemic with grace, making the most in every situation while smiling and sharing gratitude every step of the way!
April Pelkey, MA ‘21
Outstanding Graduate Assistant in Nutrition Science Award
The Outstanding Graduate Assistant in Nutrition Science Award is given to a graduate assistant who has provided exceptional service to the faculty. Faculty nominate worthy teaching or research candidates. This year’s awardee has worked with many faculty members in the Nutrition Science and Dietetics program during her undergraduate and graduate career. She is always willing to help and very approachable. As a teaching assistant, students often reach out to April with questions. She has also been a very diligent research assistant, working with Dr. Jessica Garay on several projects.
Grace Cesarini, MA ‘21
Outstanding Graduate Student in Nutrition Science Award
The Outstanding Graduate Student in Nutrition Science Award is given to a graduate student for outstanding accomplishment in leadership, citizenship, work ethic and professional promise. Faculty nominate a graduate student for this award considering their scholarship, citizenship, work ethic and professional promise. This year’s awardee has excelled academically, has demonstrated a passion for the field of nutrition inside and outside of the classroom, and has been a leader among the graduate students. Grace will be completing her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital in the fall. Grace was also selected to represent her graduate class as the Nutrition Science Graduate Marshal.
Mackenzie Swanson, BS ‘21
Faculty Award for Excellence in Nutrition Science
The Faculty Award for Excellence in Nutrition Science is given to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the field of Nutrition Science. This year’s awardee had the highest GPA in the Nutrition Science Program, has completed publication quality research on Vitamin B12 in Dr. Robert Doyle’s biochemistry lab, was selected as a Falk scholar, and has been accepted to medical School at the University of Buffalo.
Jessica Neidel, BS ‘21
Nutrition Science and Dietetics Research Award – Undergraduate
The Nutrition Science and Dietetics Research Award – Undergraduate is given to an undergraduate student for outstanding accomplishments in research. Undergraduate students in nutrition submit a one-page description of their research, an example of their research, an abstract and a letter of recommendation from their advisor. This year’s awardee has been working with Dr. Jessica Garay on research activities since her junior year. She assisted in data collection and analysis on a project involving collegiate female athletes, which led to presenting a poster abstract at a national nutrition conference. This year she received a grant from SOURCE to conduct her own study. Jessica’s research involves measuring energy availability among female adolescent gymnasts. Jessica has been accepted to PA school in Boston for next year.
Nicole Brennan, BS ‘21
The Selleck Award is given to a senior with exceptional personal qualities, significant service to the University and highest academic average for freshman, sophomore, and junior years. This year’s awardee has an exceptional work ethic, has excelled academically, is the President of the Nutrition Education and Promotion Association (NEPA), and will be pursuing physical therapy at Massachusetts General Hospital after graduation.
Felicia Showers, BS ‘21
Susan J Crockett Prize for Student Leadership
The Susan J Crockett Prize for Student Leadership is given to a student who has shown outstanding leadership qualities during their academic career. This year’s awardee serves our nation and SU’s ROTC program as a leader, in addition to her excellent academic work.
Caitlin Murphy, BS ’21 and Mackenzie Swanson, BS ‘21
Falk College Scholars represent undergraduate students in Falk College who display academic excellence, exceptional campus and community engagement, and personal integrity. Both young women are at the top of their graduating cohort of nutrition science students, serve on the SU Ambulance corps as EMTs, and are accepted to their first-choice medical schools (Boston University and University of Buffalo, respectively) in the Fall of 2021.
Akriti Shrestha, MS ‘22
Nutrition Science and Dietetics Research Award – Graduate
The Nutrition Science and Dietetics Research Award – Graduate is given to a graduate student for outstanding accomplishments in research. Graduate students in nutrition submit a one-page description of their research, an example of their research, an abstract and a letter of recommendation from their advisor. This year’s awardee works with Dr Latha Ramalingam and investigates the role of fish oil in paternal obesity using animal models. For being a first-year master’s student, she has already submitted a grant to the American Society of Nutrition and developed a research project by herself. She is extremely hard working and juggles research and classes very well.
Matthew Thornton, BS ‘23
Elizabeth L Reid Memorial Award
The Elizabeth L Reid Memorial Award was established by the New York State Federation of Home Bureaus in honor of Elizabeth L. Reid. It is presented to a student in Nutrition Science and Dietetics based on scholarship and need. To be eligible to receive this award a student must be full-time, planning to return to the program in the fall, with a minimum GPA of 2.85. The student must also be a resident of NYS within an organized county of Home Bureau. This year’s awardee is a non-traditional student who is motivated to improve the health outcomes in adults. He has excellent critical thinking skills and contributes to class discussion in interesting and practical ways.
Julia Langer, BS ‘23
Emily Gere Coon Award
The Emily Gere Coon Award was established in 1952 by Harold Coon in memory of his wife, a faculty member in the College for Human Development, who was also a member of the first graduating class in 1922. The award is presented to the sophomore with the highest academic average in Nutrition in their freshman year. This year’s awardee is completing 2 minors, Exercise Science and Public Communication Studies, and will a Shaw Center Intern next year. She is also the Volunteer Coordinator for NEPA and recently completed an education session for the Cicero Fire Department.
Yael Larios, BS ‘22
Marjorie V Dibble Scholarship Award
The Marjorie V Dibble Scholarship Award was established in 1977 in recognition of Professor Dibble’s 25th Anniversary with the College for Human Development. The award provides scholarship to a full-time sophomore or junior in the Nutrition Science and Dietetics program, with good academic standing, who is interested in a career in this field. This year’s awardee is completing a Minor in Public Health and plans to apply to dietetics internships next year to eventually become a registered dietitian.
Samantha Jezak, BS ‘22
Peer Leader in Nutrition Science and Dietetics Award
The Peer Leader in Nutrition Science and Dietetics Award is given in recognition of leadership. The recipient is nominated by their peers. This year’s awardee has emerged as a leader in our program. Sam is currently the President of Slow Food SU, a student organization dedicated to the promotion of sustainable and local foods. Through Sam’s efforts, Slow Food organized a CSA drop-off on campus this past fall semester to support a local farm. Sam is a strong student in Nutrition Science and the Honors Program and is currently conducting a SOURCE grant-funded study involving a 3-month vegetarian diet intervention.
Taylor Fein, BS ‘22
Ruth Tolley Award
The Ruth Tolley Award was established by the Women of the University Community in honor of Ruth Tolley. It is presented to a female student, completing their junior year, who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and clearly stated career goals consistent with the field of Nutrition. This year’s awardee is in the Renee Crown Honors Program and is completing pre-med requirements and a minor in Psychology.
Olivia Templeton, BS’ 22
Vershann Icem-Wright Professional Promise in Nutrition Science and Dietetics Award
The Vershann Icem-Wright Professional Promise in Nutrition Science and Dietetics Award is given to a student who has a well-rounded record of contribution toward the field of nutrition and exhibited personal development as a future professional. This year’s awardee is very well-rounded. Olivia is a junior Nutrition major who is also in the Honors Program, serves as Vice-President of Slow Food SU, and has received a SOURCE grant for a research study on benefits of a 3-month vegetarian diet intervention. Olivia is completing a Minor in Sustainable Food Enterprises and plans to pursue a dietetic internship after graduation.
Julia Fickenscher, BS ‘22
Victoria F Thiele Scholarship Award
The Victoria F Thiele Scholarship Award was established in 1981 in memory of Dr. Victoria F Thiele, in recognition of her contributions to the College for Human Development. The award is presented to full-time sophomore or junior students majoring in Nutrition. This year’s awardee shows great promise in the field of nutrition. She is an Honors student and will be conducting research in the areas of diet culture and body positivity within the Greek Community.
Hailey Bitters, BS ‘23
Victoria F Thiele Scholarship Award
The Victoria F Thiele Scholarship Award was established in 1981 in memory of Dr. Victoria F Thiele, in recognition of her contributions to the College for Human Development. The award is presented to full-time sophomore or junior students majoring in Nutrition. This year’s awardee is an exceptional student and student athlete. As a member of the field hockey team, she has a busy travel schedule yet manages to be fully engaged in class, produce high quality work, and earn the highest exam and quiz grades.
Madison Baker, BS ‘22
Victoria Li Scholarship Award
The Victoria Li Scholarship Award is given to a junior or senior Nutrition major, a pillar and leader, working with the community to improve an individual’s or groups’ nutrition knowledge and/or dietary intake. The award recipient exemplifies some of Tori’s best qualities: compassion (generous with time and energy), positivity and humility. This year’s awardee displays exceptional leadership potential through her work on campus and in the Syracuse community. Over the past year, she has worked diligently with the Shaw Center transitioning nutrition education content to virtual for the Syracuse City School District and is currently developing a new nutrition program to be implemented through the Shaw Center for her Honors Thesis project. Maddy is a Falk College Admissions Ambassador, and she serves as the Treasurer for the Nutrition Education and Promotion Association (NEPA).