Melani Duffrin, PhD

Duffrin, Melani – PhD
Northern Illinois University
Interdisciplinary Health Professions
Current SEPA Project

I have been a Registered Dietitian for 19 years with early career experience as a Clinical-Consultant Dietitian and Weight Loss Counselor. For the past 15 years I have worked in higher education with 10 years of funded school and community-based nutrition education research experience. My primary teaching responsibilities are food science, community nutrition, nutrition counseling, as well as directing graduate student projects. Successful completion of NIH and USDA funded projects totaling 2.5 million dollars has afforded over 20 graduate and 40 undergraduate students the opportunity to engage in scholarly projects. Three of the students are currently employed as university assistant professors, one is a family medicine physician, five are working towards or have completed PhDs, and the others are practicing healthcare professionals. The currently funded NIH SEPA FoodMASTER Initiative is an approach that uses food as a tool to teach mathematics and science. The approach has been described as the ‰ÛÏTrojan Horse‰Û of nutrition education as it gains access to formal and informal education learning environment by focusing on mathematics and science academic achievement. Academic success in the subject areas of mathematics and science is a foundational component of accurate understanding nutrition science in the context of healthy living. Educating children in formal and informal learning environments is also a gateway to impacting families, communities, and future generations.

Associated SEPA Project(s)