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 May 1stIf you have any questions, please contact PNPG Grants & Awards Committee Chair, Susan M. Gross, PhD, MPH, RD at

    2019 Award 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 conceptual 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.  The recipient will receive $1,200 to attend a pediatric nutrition conference and be recognized at the PNPG member meeting at FNCE. Click here to submit an application.  

Published Research Award

The award recognized 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 publication describing research applied to pediatric nutrition and/or maternal and child health, and (3) publication in a peer-reviewed journal during the previous calendar year.  The recipient will receive $500 and be recognized during the PNPG member meeting at FNCE. Click here to submit an application.

Research Grant Award

The PNPG Research Grant award will provide $10,000 to support research in the area of pediatric nutrition and encourage PNPG members to pursue research within their institutions. To be eligible for the grant, at least one of the investigators must be a member of PNPG. The project must be completed within one year of the award, and any manuscripts or materials resulting from the supported research will credit PNPG with the support provided. Members without research experience are encouraged to apply and receive mentoring through the PNPG Research Mentoring Committee. The funded project must be reviewed by an Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (if appropriate) or granted exempt status before funds will 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, (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). Click here to submit an application.

New - 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.  The recipient will receive a $500 award and will also receive reimbursement for up to $1,000 expense to attend FNCE, where he/she will be recognized at the annual PNPG Member Breakfast Meeting. 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 CADE-accredited internships or pre-professional practice programs.  The scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year is for those intending to pursue a career in pediatric nutrition after completion of their current training program, in the academic year of 2019-2020. The amount of the scholarship is $1000.  Qualifications: (1) Intent to pursue a career in pediatric nutrition after completion of the current program; (2) Maintain a grade point average of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.  Preference will be given to a candidate with pediatric experience. Click here to submit an application.

Grant and Award Recipients


Outstanding Member of the Year

PNPG is proud to announce our 2019 Outstanding Member of the Year, Holly A. Van Poots, RDN, CSP, FAND. Holly’s training of RDNs in the practice of nutrition focused physical examination in the assessment of the nutritional status of the pediatric patient population has been instrumental in moving this practice into the mainstream of practice for the pediatric dietitian. Holly has served PNPG in numerous leadership roles: PNPG Delegate, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ House of Delegates,  PNPG Chair, PNPG Building Block for Life Editor, and PNPG Post Editor. Her commitment to pediatric nutrition continues through her efforts to support the work of the PNPG malnutrition committee. In addition, Holly works to support specialty certification through her participation as Subject Matter Expert for Pediatric Specialty Exam Development and Review for the Commission on Dietetic Registration.  Congratulations Holly and thank you for all of your dedication and service to pediatric nutrition!

Pre-Professional Practice Scholarship

PNPG is proud to announce that the Pre-Professional Practice Scholarship was awarded to Simona Lourekas, CHES, MS.  Simona graduated with a Master of Science in Nutrition from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA in May 2018.  She is currently in her second year of her Brigham and Women's Hospital Dietetic Internship. Simona has had multiple pediatric nutrition practice work experiences. She worked as a pediatric nutritionist at the Baystate Children’s Hospital outpatient weight management treatment program (MIGHTY). She taught nutrition education classes, food demonstrations, planned events, created bulletin boards and handouts as well as meeting with families with the MIGHTY team. She created and texted families a “recipe of the week” and hosted a weekly taste test. Simona also served as a research assistant at the University of Massachusetts on a NIH funded longitudinal study examining peer influence mechanisms in weight related behaviors of adolescents (FAST study). She is interested in pursuing a career as a pediatric dietitian. Congratulations Simona!

Research Grant Award

Congratulations to Dr. Sina Gallo, PhD, RD, who was selected to receive the PNPG Research Grant Award for her project entitled “A Pilot Study of 3rd-Grade Children’s Dietary Recall Accuracy: Body Mass Index and Quantified vs. Non- Quantified Interviews." Accurate assessment of children’s dietary intake is critical to understand the relationship between dietary behaviors and health. Dr. Gallo will be conducting a pilot validity study of the effects of BMI and quantification for children in multiple grades to improve assessment of dietary intake of elementary school-aged children. The proposed project may advance understanding of dietary assessment of elementary school-aged children and alter methods used by national surveys and researchers to more accurately assess intake.  Dr. Gallo is an assistant professor in Food and Nutrition Studies at George Mason University and is trained in children’s bone health and clinical trials; and more recently she has focused on pediatric weight programs for ethnic minorities.  We congratulate Dr. Gallo on this award and look forward to seeing her results!

Recognized Neonatal RDN Award

Congratulations to Amy Sapsford, RD, CSP, LD, CNSC our inaugural recipient of PNPG’s Recognized Neonatal RDN Award. Amy’s focus for her entire career has been Neonatal Nutrition beginning at Dayton Children’s in 1983 and moving on to Cincinnati Children’s in 1990 until now.  She co-authored the first Nutritional Care for High Risk Newborns (blue) book in the mid 1980’s with her Ohio Neonatal Nutritionists colleagues and contributed multiple chapters to the 2 subsequent (Red Book) editions.  She went on to co-author the Enteral Nutrition chapter of the AND NICU Nutrition Handbook and she co-authored the first two AND Human Milk chapters for the Infant Feedings book.  Amy served as a Content Item Writing Specialist for the CSP exam for CDR for many years including conversion from the simulation exam to the computerized version. She also participated in the development of the practice surveys and content outlines using the Nutrition Care Process.  Amy has served PNPG as a member of the Ad Hoc Discharge Formula Preparation committee, PNPG Web Coordinator and as a reviewer for PNPG Building Blocks for Life. Congratulations Amy and thank you for all of your dedication and service to neonatal and pediatric nutrition!



Past PNPG's Recipients of Grants and Awards

Outstanding Member of the Year

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

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

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, RD and Beth Ogata, MS, RD

2012      Kristine Jordan, PhD, RD

  Ruth 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 

2019       Amy Sapsford, RD, CSP, LD, CNSC

Creative Nutrition Education Award

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

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)

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

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 with corrections/additions.