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The College of Human Sciences commemorated a significant milestone recently in the realm of nutritional sciences at Auburn University. For many years, nutritional science, dietetics and wellness were grouped with hospitality management, but now Nutritional Sciences stands as an independent department. The Department of Nutritional Sciences is home to ground breaking research and for students studying nutrition, dietetics and wellness, it offers a powerful foundation to move forward in the medical field.

Department of Nutritional Sciences Faculty

The Department of Nutritional Sciences faculty and staff at the day of celebration.

“The Department of Nutritional Sciences is at the forefront of a growing interest in health and wellness nationwide,” Susan Hubbard, dean of the College of Human Sciences said. “It offers what has quickly become a preferred pathway to working toward careers in the medical and related health professional fields. Just a few months ago, Auburn was recognized by College Factual as the leading Alabama institution in Nutritional Sciences and ranked fifth in the southeast. This accomplishment is a testament to the dedication and excellence of students and our faculty alike.”

To recognize this stand-alone status of department, students, faculty and alumni gathered for a day of celebration.

The day of celebration included an intriguing lecture followed by a party in the park in the Davis Arboretum. Dr. James Hill, director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at UAB, served as the featured speaker for a lecture on Trends in Nutrition and Weight Loss Medications. Dr. Hill called the new weight loss medications making headlines today a good tool in the effort to lose weight but not a solution. He noted the benefit of the medications in helping someone reach their ideal weight but stressed the importance of adopting a balanced lifestyle to maintain a healthy weight. He also fielded questions from the audience and explained the correlations between obesity and chronic diseases. Later in the afternoon, students donned new T-shirts reading “Department of Nutritional Sciences” and enjoyed popsicles, kettle corn, yard games, a visit from Aubie and more.

“There are so many reasons to celebrate being an independent department,” Dr. Elaine Molaison, professor and department head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences said. “By becoming a department, that designation puts a strong emphasis and focus on the life-changing research underway in Nutritional Sciences and the doors open to our students.” 

In the Department of Nutritional Sciences, the options for students are wide-ranging and include dietetics, pre-dietetics, nutrition science and wellness. This can open the door for students to pursue professional schools such as medical, dental, physical therapy and more.

“While many of our undergraduates go on and become registered dieticians, I’m excited to say that our students also go into medicine, pharmacy, physician assistants, physical therapy and more,” Molaison said. “We also have our graduates out in the community in extension, wellness and other health-related areas. Our students are truly changing lives and improving health, so it’s a very exciting time.”

For more information on the Department of Nutritional Sciences, click below.

Department of Nutritional Sciences