Nutrition Science celebrates scholarship gift, fundraising campaign

November 6, 2014  


Nutrition-institute

Purdue University's nutrition science program is launching a $13 million campaign to raise funds for professorships and new scholarships, and research through Purdue's Women's Global Health Institute, Ingestive Behavior Research Center, and Nutrition and Exercise Clinical Research Center. Poole Chan (forward), a senior studying food science, and Kasey Voeller, a sophomore studying dietetics, and nutrition, fitness and health, work on their individual food research projects in the Department of Nutrition Science's "Basic Food Science" course. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's nutrition science program is launching a $13 million campaign to raise funds for research, professorships and new scholarships, and the department will celebrate its lead gift at a community event Saturday (Nov. 8).

The gift, which is designated for scholarships, will be announced at the Lyles-Porter Hall Community Open House, which will run from 9-11 a.m. The department's campaign also will be launched, and in addition to scholarships and departmental support, the campaign is raising funds for Purdue's Women's Global Health Institute, Ingestive Behavior Research Center, and Nutrition and Exercise Clinical Research Center.

"This campaign supports student affordability as well as research that influences the food choices that people make every day," said Christine Ladisch, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. "Nutrition science faculty are consulted regularly by industry and policymakers, and their research findings continue to help advise the setting of dietary guidelines and recommendations for healthy eating."

Nutrition Science, which is a department in the College of Health Human Sciences, will recognize a gift from alumna Janice Strauss and her husband, Ted Strauss, of South Salem, New York. Their gift supports an endowment that will eventually yield a minimum of $100,000 a year in scholarships for students studying nutrition science and food science.

"We appreciate the Strauss' support for our future students who are trained by internationally recognized nutrition faculty as they pursue careers in research, the food industry and health care," Ladisch said.

Janice Strauss, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in dietetics and nutrition science in 1969, worked in General Foods Corp. and also ran her own brand management business. Ted, who spent most of his career with IBM and now focuses on website development for small businesses, graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

"We hold a strong conviction that there is probably no better use of money than providing an excellent educational opportunity for someone who otherwise would not be able to afford it," said Janice Strauss.

The Department of Nutrition Science's signature areas are calcium, vitamin D and bone health; appetite, metabolism and obesity; cancer prevention; and botanicals and bioactives for health. The campaign will help advance many of these areas through the Women's Global Health Institute, Ingestive Behavior Research Center, and Nutrition and Exercise Clinical Research Center, said Connie Weaver, distinguished professor and head of the Department of Nutrition Science.

"The Women's Global Health Institute will change how women's health through the lifespan is addressed by proactively identifying causes and prevention related to diseases that affect women," said Weaver, who is the institute's director. "More research related to prevention and causes is lacking in a variety of areas including women's cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. We aim to be a leader, especially in developing technologies to identify disease onset and progression, as well as designing interventions to prevent and reduce risk from these diseases."

The interdisciplinary research taking place through the Ingestive Behavior Research Center focuses on the environment and biological controls of food and fluid intake. For example, the center's research programs look at the nutritional value of beverages compared to solids, why some foods make people feel full, the sensory system of eating, how the neurological system affects digestion and what roles culture and environment play in ingestive behavior. Graduate students across campus also are able to participate in the center's research training program. There are 55 faculty from 16 departments and eight colleges involved in the center as well as faculty from the Indiana University School of Medicine. The center is led by Richard Mattes, distinguished professor of nutrition science.

The Nutrition and Exercise Clinical Research Center is a facility where adults can participate in research as well as learn about lifelong nutrition, fitness and well-being. Purdue students also gain clinical experience by working with clients from the local community and state as part of this center. The facility, located in Stone Hall, will house bionutrition laboratories including a metabolic research kitchen and ingestive behaviors assessment area; bone, muscle and body composition assessment, including body imaging equipment; and neural imaging to clarify relationships between stress, cognition and metabolism. Services also available to community members will include interview, counseling and health motivation resources and access to exercise testing and training facilities and equipment. Wayne Campbell, professor of nutrition science, leads this center.

Purdue's Department of Nutrition Science is home to three distinguished professors, four university scholars and a member of the Institute of Medicine in the National Academies. There are 25 faculty members, 46 graduate students and 360 undergraduate students in the department. The didactic program in dietetics, coordinated program in dietetics, nutrition science, foods and nutrition in business, and nutrition fitness and health are the undergraduate programs offered in the department.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Christine Ladisch, ladischc@purdue.edu

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