PNPG Grants and Awards

Each year PNPG recognizes the outstanding practice and significant contributions its members make toward promotion of pediatric dietitians.

To nominate a fellow PNPG member, please review the following criteria and complete the application.

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN!

Materials for the awards listed below must be submitted by March 15th. (Dietetic Internship/Pre-Professional Scholarship deadline April 15th). If you have any questions, please contact the PNPG Grants & Awards Committee Chair at pnpgawards@gmail.com.

 

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2021 Award Winners
Past Winners

Outstanding Member of the Year
The Outstanding Member of the Year recognizes outstanding leadership contributions to pediatric nutrition and/or maternal and child health. The following are criteria for award selection: (1) PNPG membership for three or more years, and (2) outstanding service, accomplishments, and community outreach in pediatric nutrition or maternal and child health as exemplified by research, publication, or program development. Nominate a deserving colleague for this award. The nomination should include a cover letter stating why the person is deserving of the award and curriculum vitae or resume that outline the nominee’s accomplishments and commitment to pediatric nutrition. Click here to submit an application.

Published Research Award

The award recognizes outstanding research in pediatric nutrition and/or maternal and child health by a PNPG member published in a peer-reviewed journal. Selection criteria are as follows: (1) PNPG membership for at least two years, (2) being first author or having a primary role in the research and manuscript development of a peer-reviewed publication during the previous calendar year describing research applied to pediatric nutrition and/or maternal and child health. The recipient will receive $500 and be recognized during the PNPG member meeting at FNCE. Click here to submit an application.

Research Grant Award

Two PNPG Research Grant awards will provide $25,000 each to support research in the area of pediatric nutrition (one grant for clinical and one grant for community). Preference will be given to emerging researchers to encourage research within their institution. To be eligible for the grant, at least one of the investigators must be a member of PNPG. Data collection must be started within one year of the award. Any manuscripts or materials resulting from the supported research will credit PNPG with the support provided. Award recipients will be required to present a webinar to PNPG members and/or submit a report to Building Blocks for Life The funded project must receive Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects approval or granted exempt status before May 15th of the year of application in order for funds to be distributed. Click here to submit an application.

Creative Nutrition Education Award

Eligibility criteria for this award are as follow: (1) applicants must be PNPG members for at least two years prior to applying;(2) the educational approach is used in the practice where the applicant is affiliated or will be implemented within a year of receipt of award, (3) applicants may not win the award more than once in a three-year period; and (4) a commercial firm or a national organization may not have developed the education approach. To be considered for the award, the applicant should prepare a summary or outline of no more than two typewritten pages describing the project (objective, methods, budget, and effectiveness/evaluation). Applicants will be considered for this award based on originality, appropriateness, quality of content, pediatric nutrition application, effectiveness, learner participation, and aesthetics and technical quality (for tools only). The recipient will receive $500 and be recognized during the PNPG member meeting at FNCE. Click here to submit an application.

Recognized Neonatal RDN Award

The Recognized Neonatal RDN Award recognizes clinical, research, education, and service contributions to the area of neonatal nutrition. The following are criteria for award selection: (1) Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (2) Employment in a level 3 or 4 NICU setting equivalent to >10,000 hours. (3) PNPG member for at least program year of nomination. Prior recipients of this award are not eligible to apply. Nominate a deserving colleague for this award. The nomination should include a curriculum vitae or resume of the person you are nominating that outlines their accomplishments and commitment to neonatal nutrition. Nomination must also include a letter of sponsorship from the nominee’s institution from an RDN or professional contact outside the field of dietetics which includes specific examples of the nominee’s accomplishments. Self nominations are accepted. Click here to submit an application.

Dietetic Internship/Pre-Professional Scholarship

PNPG is again proud to offer the Dietetic Internship/Pre-Professional Scholarship to current members who are enrolled in an ACEND-accredited program (Dietetic Internship, Future Education Model Graduate Program, or Coordinated Master’s Program). The scholarship is for those intending to pursue a career in pediatric nutrition after completion of their current training program and will be awarded for the 2022-2023 academic year. The amount of the scholarship is $1000. Awardees will be connected with the PNPG mentoring committee to provide tools on how to seek out pediatric experience. Qualifications: (1) Intent to pursue a career in pediatric nutrition after completion of the current program; (2) Member of PNPG.  Preference will be given to a candidate with pediatric experience. Click here to submit an application.


Grant and Award Recipients

2021 Award Winners

Research Grant Awards

Congratulations Lori Bechard, PhD, M.Ed., RDN for being awarded the PNPG Research Grant Award for the project Muscle Catabolism and Its Impact on Functional Outcomes in Children Following Cardiac Surgery! Lori and her team will identify changes in quadriceps muscle length thickness using muscle ultrasound in children undergoing complex cardiac surgery and examine the relationship to functional status. This work in characterizing changes in protein catabolism and changes in LBM will aid in the future design of intervention studies. Dr. Bechard is the clinical research manager of the Pediatric Critical Care Nutrition program at Boston Children’s Hospital. She mentors students and faculty in pediatric nutrition and has published over 45 peer-reviewed journal articles. We look forward to seeing the results of this innovative study.


Congratulations Jessica Garay, PhD, RDN, FAND, CSCS for being awarded the PNPG Research Grant Awards for the project the Mitigating Effects of Nutrition on Pediatric Inflammation via DNA Methylation! Jessica and her team will identify the nutritional effects on inflammation and oxidative stress in 4-year old children living in poverty in New York. Results of this study will help dietitians to better understand the link between diet and inflammation among young children. Dr. Garay is an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at Syracuse University. She is a regular presenter at conferences and is an active leader in nutrition and dietetics. She has a successful record of grant funding for her research as well as student projects. We look forward to learning more about the relationship between diet status and DNA methylation.

 

Creative Nutrition Education Award

Congratulations to Megan Dougherty on receiving the Creative Nutrition Education Award for the Formula Mixing and Human Milk Fortification Demonstration Kit! This inventive kit provides caregivers with supplies, videos, pictures, and customized instructions on how to properly mix and store formula. This education tool facilitates administering appropriate formulas for several infants discharged on modified formulas. Megan is a clinical nutrition manager at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She continuously delivers pediatric nutrition education to her staff, students, dietitians, and other healthcare workers.

 

Published Research Award

Congratulations Kirstie Ducharme-Smith on receiving the PNPG Published Research Award for your paper, Exposure to Baby-Friendly Hospital Practices and Breastfeeding Outcomes of WIC Participants in Maryland. Kirstie Ducharme-Smith is a doctoral candidate in the Program in Human Nutrition at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The results of this study found women participating in Women, Infants, and Children who delivered in Baby-Friend Hospitals were more likely to exclusively breastfeed. This article provides evidence to support Baby-Friendly Hospitals. Thank you for your hard work and contribution to pediatric research!

 

Recognized Neonatal RDN

Congratulations Laura Gollins for receiving the PNPG Recognized Neonatal RDN Award! Laura is the Clinical Program Coordinator for the Neonatal Nutrition Program at Texas Children’s Hospital. Laura actively participates in research and is currently involved in several studies evaluating intestinal failure, lipid injectable emulsions, and human milk fortification. She participates in writing clinical guidelines at her institution and has created over 30 abstracts for professional conferences and has shared her work in neonatal nutrition with over 15 professional audiences. Laura unselfishly mentors others and volunteers her time to national nutrition organizations. She served as the PNPG Member Support Chair and the PNPG Infant Nutrition, Breastfeeding, and Neonatology Chair. Laura is a past member of the Academy’s House of Delegates and past Secretary of the Academy Foundation’s Board of Directors. She also volunteered as an item-writer and content expert for the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Thank you Laura for your strong contribution to neonatal nutrition!

 

Pre-Professional Scholarships

Congratulations to Alexis Guttilla for receiving the PNPG Pre-professional Scholarship! Alexis recently graduated from University of Michigan with a Master in Public Health in Nutritional Sciences and will be completing the Children’s Hospital Colorado Dietetic Internship Pediatric Concentration. She was involved with several different organizations for children including Sprouting Chefs and the Summer Food Service Program during COVID. She is excited to lead a fulfilling career in dietetics that supports the recovery, health, and flourishing of children and adolescents.

 

Congratulations to Krissi Thomopoulos for receiving the PNPG Pre-Professional Scholarship! Krissi is a second-year PhD student at Drexel University where she investigates relationships between the brain (specifically dopaminergic pathways), food, and dietary behaviors. She has exhibited a strong interest in pediatric nutrition research as she served as part of a research team for a study involving individuals with cystic fibrosis at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). While at CHOP, she also served as the 2020 Leadership in Education and Adolescent Health (LEAH) Nutrition Fellow. Krissi is now a part-time clinical dietitian at The Cancer Institute at St. Francis Hospital in New York. Overall, Krissi aims to inspire others to specialize in clinical research to advance the specialty of pediatric nutrition and the dietetics profession overall.

 

Congratulations to Lauren Hopkin for receiving the PNPG Pre-Professional Scholarship! Lauren recently graduated from Brigham Young University and will be starting her dietetic internship at Rush University Fall 2021. Lauren’s passion for pediatric nutrition is evidenced by her work as a NICU technician and a research assistant in pediatric malnutrition. She significantly contributed to the publication of Changes in Handgrip Strength in Children with Cystic Fibrosis Compared to Children without Cystic Fibrosis in Clinical Nutrition ESPEN. She desires to continue working in clinical pediatrics and promoting pediatric nutrition research.


Past PNPG's Recipients of Grants and Awards

Outstanding Member of the Year

2020

Dr. Lori Bechard, PhD, MEd, RDN

2019

Holly A. Van Poots, RDN, CSP, FAND

2018

Patricia Becker, MS, RDN, CSP, LD, CNSC

2017

Susan Konek, MA, RD, CSP, LD,  FAND

2016

Linda Heller, MS, RD, CSP, CLC, FAND

2015

Elizabeth Yakes Jimenez, PhD, RDN

2014

Liesje Carney, RD, CSP, LDN

2013

Beverly Henry, PhD, RD

2012

Mimi Kaufman, MPH, RD, LD

2011

Deb Hutsler, MS, RD, LD

2010

Aida Miles, MMSc, RD, CSP, LD, CNSD

2009

Virginia H. Carney, RD, LD, IBCLC

2008

Nancy Nevin-Folino, MEd, RD, CSP, LD, FADA

2007

Josephine Cialone, MS, RD

2006

Robyn Wong, MPH, RD, CSP

2005

Ellen Bowser, MS, RD, CSP, LD, RN

2004

Leila T. Beker, PhD, RD, LD

2003

Sandra T. Robbins, RD, CSP, LDN

1998

Barbara Emison Gaffield, MS, RD

Published Research Award

2021

Kirstie Ducharme-Smith, MS, RD, LDN

2020

Kristi Thaete, MS, RD, LD, CNSC

2018

Susan M. Gross, PhD, MPH, RD

2017

Jennifer Carvalho-Salemi, MPH, RDN, LD, CNSC

2016

Kayla Bridges, MS, RD-AP, CSP, CNSC, FAND

2015

Diane Stadler, PhD, RDN

2014

Constantina Papoutsakis, PhD, RD

2013

Shelby Wilson, MPH

2012

Teresa Johnson, DCN, RD, LD

2011

Irene E. Olsen Shingara, PhD, RD, LD

2010

Sandy Van Calcar, PhD, RD

"Articles of Distinction" Recognition given to:

Susan M. Gross, PhD, MPH, RD, LDN
Amy K. Resnik, MS, RD, CSP, IBCLC, LDN
Irene E. Olsen Shingara, PhD, RD, LDN
Jamie Stang, PhD, MPH, RD

2008

Christine M. Hardy Framson, PhD, RD

2007

Constantina Papoutsakis, PhD, RD

2006

Lynn S. Brann, PhD, RD

2005

Peggy Papathakis, MS, RD

2004

Barb Kuzma O'Reilly, MA, RD, LD

1998

Leila Beker

Research Grant Award

2021

Lori Bechard, PhD, M.Ed., RDN
Jessica Garay, PhD, RDN, FAND, CSCS

2020

Dr. Stephanie Garis Harshman, PhD, RD, LDd

2019

Dr. Sina Gallo, PhD, RD

2017

Natasha Chong Cole, MPH, RD

Joyanna Hansen, PhD, RD, LD

Nida I. Shaikh, PhD, RD

Diane Vizthum, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN

2015

Dena Herman Mendes, PhD, RDN

2014

Diane Stadler, PhD, RD

2013

Melissa Edwards, RDBeth Ogata, MS, RD

2012

Kristine Jordan, PhD, RDRuth Williams, EdD, MS, RD

2011

Melanie Gillingham, PhD, RD

2008

Patricia A. Esposito, MS, RD, CDN, CNSD

2006

Melanie Gillingham, PhD, RD

2004

Cheryl S. Lair, RD, CSP, LD, CNSD

Recognized Neonatal RDN Award

2021

Laura Gollins, MBA, RD, LD, CNSC

2020

Dena L. Goldberg, PhD, RD

2019

Amy Sapsford, RD, CSP, LD, CNSC

Creative Nutrition Education Award

2021

Megan Dougherty, MA, RD, CSP, LDN, CNSC

2018

Ruth Williams-Hooker MS, RD, CSP, LD

2017

Amy E. Reed, MS, RD, CSP, LD

2014

Laurie Bernstein, MS, RD, FADA

2013

Teresie Mosby, EdD, RD, CSP, LDN, IBCLC

2012

Mary Barnes, MS, RD

2011

Melissa Pflugh Prescott, MS, RD, CDN

2009

Barbara Baron, MS, RD, CDN

2008

Laurie Bernstein, MS, RD, FADA

2007

Verna Baker, MS, RD, LD

2005

Laurie Bernstein, MS, RD, FADA

2004

Beth Zupic-Kania, RD, CD

2003

Cathy McCarroll, MPH, RD, LD

Dietetic Internship/Pre-professional Scholarship

2021

Alexis Guttilla
Krissi Thomopoulos, MS, RDN, ACSM-CPT
Lauren Hopkin

2020

Gale Nelson

2019

Simona Lourekas, CHES, MS

2018

Irma Madrigal Campos

2017

Nichole Bencie

2016

Ashley Hobar

2015

Kaitlyn Elizabeth Philipps

2014

Perrin Tamblyn

2012

Lindsay Raub

2010

Deonna Hughes

2009

Deonna Hughes

2008

Lauren Rose Cavanaugh June

2007

Alizabeth Neu, BS

2006

Jennifer Jerles, BS

2005

Aimee Morin, BS, BA

2004

Melissa Metz, BS

2003

Jennifer Bott, BS

ADA/ANDF Glenda Bible Memorial Scholarship

(awarded in spring for next academic year)

2021

Doretta Leung, MS, RD, LDN

2016

Deborah E Salvatore, MS, CDN

2015

Rachael Patusco, MS, RD, CSP

2014

Rosanna P. Watowicz

2013

Beth Conlon, MS, RD

2012

Lori Bechard, MEd, RD, LDN

2011

Meredith M. Bruening, MPH, RD

2010

Meredith M. Bruening, MPH, RD

2009

Chandra D. Hughes

2008

Brittani R. Padellford

2007

Jillian B. Cooper

2006

Katherine J. Irwin

2005

Shira B. Feldman, RD

2004

Michelle P. Judge, RD

2002

Keecha Harris, DRPH

2001

Lynn Brann, PhD, RD, FAND

1999

Ruth Williams-Hooker, MS, RD, FAND

1998

Melanie Desapri, MS, RD, LD, CNSD

1996

Sharon Groh-Wargo, RD

1994

Pamela T. Price, MS, RD

1993

Rebecca L. Biga, MS, RD

1992

Elizabeth Adams, PhD

1990

Rachel Johnson, PhD, MPH, RD

1989

Linda Nebeling, PhD, MPH, RD, FADA, FAND

1988

Maureen Murtaugh, PhD, RDN

1987

Colleen Mathews, RD

ADA/ANDF Diversity Scholarship

(awarded in spring for next academic year)

2021

Maria Jerianne Cusipag

Dayanna Fair

     

     

     

Note: members whose names vary from Academy and PNPG membership information may have been unintentionally excluded from this list. If you have historical knowledge of past PNPG grant and award winners, please contact the Website Monitor at inquiriespnpg@gmail.com with corrections/additions.