Faculty Spotlight

Nutrition Professor Receives Award from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation

The Simmons academic campus in Spring, 2024.  The construction of the new Living Learning Center is visible.
Photograph by Ashley Purvis.

“I was very excited to receive the 2024 Margene Wagstaff Award for Innovation in Dietetics Education on behalf of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation (ANDF),” shared Assistant Professor of Nutrition Jacqueline Beatty, PhD, RDN, ACSM-CPT. The ANDF is the only charitable organization devoted exclusively to advancing the profession of nutrition and dietetics. The Margene Wagstaff Award recognizes individuals “who inspire entry-level dietetics professionals to pursue professional values.”

As this year’s recipient, Dr. Beatty will receive $3,000 in research funds. The ANDF also invites her to publish new scholarship in one of its signature publications (namely the Nutrition and Dietetics Educators and Preceptors (NDEP)-Line Newsletter or the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). For her project, Dr. Beatty will examine the critical role the dietitian plays within the healthcare team, as well as the increased demand for nutrition education to prevent and treat chronic disease related to lifestyle factors. “The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of a novel digital tool in the college classroom as part of interdisciplinary training of nutrition and exercise science students. The digital tool is new to the industry of personal training and nutrition, and provides specific coaching guidance for clients. In our classes, we introduce case studies on which the students work together and apply the use of the tool with feedback,” she explains.

“I am deeply grateful to my esteemed colleague in Exercise Science, Assistant Professor of Practice Tim Hanway, for partnering with me to create this opportunity for our students. Tim and I believe in the value of interdisciplinary collaboration,” says Dr. Beatty. We intend to evaluate experiential knowledge of the roles of team members as well as increase self-confidence in working with peers from another discipline.”

The interdisciplinarity that Dr. Beatty cultivates in the classroom can enhance students’ knowledge and health outcomes. “I believe in the value of interprofessional education (IPE) for nutrition and dietetics students, and this award demonstrates the ANDF’s commitment to supporting the role of IPE as an important component of innovation in dietetics education,” she says.

Moreover, Dr. Beatty’s dedication to advancing pedagogy and fostering collaboration embodies the spirit of Margene A. Wagstaff MS, RD (1921–2107), after whom the award is named. Wagstaff was a groundbreaking researcher and clinical practitioner in dietetics who also served as a longstanding editor of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (renamed the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2012).

“Margene Wagstaff has been an incredible inspiration to our profession,” says Dr. Beatty. “She is remembered for encouraging her students to take risks and seek opportunities that would lead to growth and success in their professional endeavors.”

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Kathryn Dickason