Get to know the 2019-2020 TRANSCEND Trainee Alumni!
Carina Liddicoat is a Masters in Nutritional Science student and dietetic intern. She received undergraduate degrees in Nutrition (Dietetics) and Finance at Arizona State University. Her thesis is examining which school lunch menu items students are wasting and consuming most frequently in Arizona elementary, middle, and high schools.
Clinton Stevens is a Master's student and dietetic intern at Arizona State University. He received his BS in Nutrition/Dietetics at ASU and currently works under Dr. Punam Ohri-Vachaspati as part of ASU's Food Policy and Environment Research Group. Clinton received the distinction of Outstanding Dietetic Student for Arizona in 2018. His thesis research surrounds the impacts of community food environments on child food consumption behaviors and his professional interests include community nutrition and public policy, particularly surrounding maternal and child health.
Erinn Cutright is a first year Masters student, and will be completing her dietetic internship next year. She earned her Bachelor's degrees at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she was a double major in Dietetics and Spanish. Her research involves a parenting intervention program which aims to reduce obesity and substance abuse among Latino adolescents near Phoenix.
Madison Schmucker is a 1st year Masters student, dietetic intern, and 1st year Maternal and Child Health trainee working under Dr. Meg Bruening in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University. She received her BS in Dietetics from Indiana University and interned at the University of Notre Dame on the Wellbeing at Work research project, looking at resilience and burnout in clergy and physicians. Madison’s MS thesis research will incorporate the SPARC study, a longitudinal study of nutrition and weight outcomes among college freshman. She is specifically analyzing the impact of romantic relationships on eating out habits and alcohol consumption in freshman students at Arizona State University.
Molly Jepson is a first year Master's student and dietetic intern studying Nutritional Science through the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University. She received her Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics from the University of Arizona Honors College in 2019. Molly has a great interest in the role of nutrition and eating behaviors in preventing poor health outcomes for youths. During her undergraduate education, she completed a thesis which investigated food demonstrations as a potential intervention to promote healthy eating behaviors in childhood cancer survivors. Currently, Molly is completing her Master's thesis under Dr. Meg Bruening, and seeks to understand through her research if rural vs. urban school status is associated with differences in students' fruit and vegetable consumption during school lunch.
Raevyn Xavier is a first-year Master's candidate pursuing a degree in Nutritional Sciences at Arizona State University and a first-year Maternal Child Health trainee working under Dr. Meg Bruening. She began her nutrition studies at Arizona State University, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Dietetics with a minor in Integrative Health and an additional degree from Barrett the Honors College. She completed an undergraduate honors thesis on nutrition marketing in K-12 school cafeterias and is exploring this topic further in her Master's thesis. She currently works for Arizona State University's College of Health Solutions as a study coordinator and hopes to continue working in research and impacting the field of nutrition and public health from a systems-level perspective.
Samantha Toffoli is a first year Master’s student in Nutritional Science and a dietetic intern. She received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Florida. Her thesis examines associations between the infant microbiome and rapid infant weight gain. Samantha’s research interests include nutritional epidemiology and the role of the gut microbiome in maternal and child health outcomes related to obesity.
Get to know the 2018-2019 TRANSCEND Trainee Alumni!
Armando Peña is a 3rd year doctoral student and 2nd year Maternal and Child Health trainee working under Dr. Gabriel Shaibi in the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Arizona State University. Armando received his Bachelor's degree from Arizona State in Kinesiology and Master's degree from Northern Arizona University in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology. Currently, his research focuses on understanding the underpinning biological mechanisms of diabetes prevention through lifestyle interventions among high-risk youth.
Emily Masek is a first-year Master’s degree student and dietetic intern. She began her nutrition studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, earning a Bachelor’s in nutrition sciences with a minor in kinesiology, and has helped publish two papers about the role of dietary polyphenols in inflammatory diseases. Her MS thesis research will involve a pilot study about the effects of a parenting education intervention on the diet quality of Hispanic and Latino adolescents in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jose Rosales Chavez is a PhD Candidate in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. Jose was granted funding to participate in the MCH Nutrition Leadership Training Program by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Western MCH Nutrition Partners. His research interests focus on the food environment, social determinants of health, access to food, dietary intake and health outcomes. His dissertation looks at the availability, density, and distribution of street food stands in Mexico City and whether food and beverage availability and variety vary across income levels. Jose will start a tenured track position at the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University in fall 2020.
Kiley Vander Wyst is a doctorate student who will graduate in May 2019 with a degree in Nutritional Sciences. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2009 and her Master of Public Health degree from Boston University in 2011. Upon completing her Masters education she worked as a Research Associate Senior at the Center of Urban Population in Milwaukee, WI and currently works as a Research Analyst at Phoenix Children's Hospital. Honors include Research Service Award (2012) from Aurora Healthcare for her active involvement and collaboration with investigators in completing research studies. Kiley’s research interests include relationship to health outcomes and disease as it relates to maternal child health.
Marisa Gutierrez is a first year Masters in Nutrition student as well as dietetic intern. She received her BS in nutritional sciences from ASU, and worked in WIC for several years before pursuing her MS degree. Her MS thesis examines the relationship between food insecurity and childhood obesity among preschoolers in the Phoenix area. She also serves as the trainee representative on the TRANSCEND Advisory Board.
Kenzie Millner is a first-year Master's student in Nutrition and VA Dietetic Intern. Kenzie's trainee project is titled "The Mediating Role of Lifestyle Factors in the Relationship between Ethnicity and BMI in Middle School Students" and focuses on determining the role of certain behaviors in health disparities among adolescents.
Raquelle Weight graduated from Brigham Young University and is now a Master's student and dietetic intern at ASU. She is particularly interested in the connections between psychology and nutrition, and how the eating environment can lead to more healthy food choices. Her MS thesis is on how plate type impacts youth consumption and waste of fruits and vegetables.
Sydney Pisano is currently a Masters in Nutrition student. She received her Bachelors in Nutrition (Dietetics) at Arizona State University. Her thesis is on the acceptability of fruit and vegetable marketing materials among adolescents in grades 6th-12th.