FSHN Student News

FSHN Student News

From left to right, Rebecca Mickow, Erin Hand, Kyler Ransom, Josh VanderWeide, Elizabeth Brock, Jared Whittredge, Javier

Student news


Product Development Team Makes the Finals

The MSU Food Product Development Team won second place at this year’s Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Student Association MARS Food Product Development Competition, which took place over the summer in Chicago. The product was “YerBagel,” an artisan-style whole-wheat bagel stuffed with an apple cinnamon cream cheese. It is naturally caffeinated using Yerba Mate tea extract and coffee fruit powder, providing consumers with 80 milligrams of caffeine per serving.   This is about equal to the amount of caffeine found in a cup of home-brewed coffee.   The nine-member team worked together over eight months to create the product, and the competition concluded in July with satisfying results.   The tradition of excellence continues!

Racheal Kneebone, a junior in food science, demonstrates the true Spartan spirit. Here are her own words:   

Rachael Kneebone

There are many quotes that say falling is not failing if you get back up. When I “fell” during Christmas break my sophomore year, the car I was a passenger in rolled six times and ended up in a ravine in the middle of a divided highway. During the accident, the roof of the car collapsed, I broke two cervical spine bones and severely damaged a nerve going down my arm. I had two rods, a plate and a cadaver bone inserted.

Recovery has been a difficult process, but I have been determined to return as much as possible to my life and the goals I had set before the accident. I spent a semester at home, taking an online course through a local community college, and going back and forth to Ann Arbor for occupational therapy.  I then went back to MSU for a full course load the summer after the accident. Because of this I will be able to graduate as planned. 

Since I am a member of the MSU Ballroom Dance Team, I was eager to return to dancing as soon as possible. I was so eager to return, in fact, that a week after my accident I taught two of my therapists to dance the cha cha. Another goal I had was to study abroad for a semester, a desire I have had since freshman year. Because I had planned to study abroad and I would not let my injury stop me, I applied to study abroad while wearing a neck brace.  And, as it turns out, it didn’t.  I wouldn’t let it.

While I have fallen, I have also flown. Eight months after my accident, I traveled to the Netherlands for a food science study abroad at Wageningen University. Since my accident and recovery, the things I have accomplished mean more to me because of the challenges that I have overcome.

Gayle Shipp

Gayle Shipp (adviser: Dr. Lorraine Weatherspoon) was one of 40 Ph.D. students selected as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholars with support for living expenses, training, attending conferences and preliminary research for up to four years. The goal of the Health Policy Research Scholars Program is to assist the scholar in building a culture of health through leadership development, mentoring and collaboration. The Health Policy Research Scholars Program will be completed concurrently with her doctoral program and is designed to enhance the doctoral program. While in HPRS, Gayle will attend an annual gathering hosted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that will provide her with the opportunity to establish and strengthen professional ties to public health and industry leaders. She will also participate in leadership development trainings and coursework leading to a culture of health certificate from Johns Hopkins University. She will also receive dissertation support and mentoring while in the program.



Dawn Earnesty, Ph.D. student, together with her adviser, Dr. Lorraine Weatherspoon, were awarded $75,000 from the USDA-funded North Central Nutrition Education Center for Excellence (NC-NECE). The primary goal of the project is to improve the dietary quality of meals and snacks served and consumed by 2- to 5-year-old children in diverse low-income childcare settings. A secondary aim is to strengthen the evidence base of a policy, systems and environmental (PSE) change intervention for childcare settings by using a six-month Extension coaching model to implement a comprehensive PSE nutrition education intervention within unlicensed family and group home childcare providers throughout rural and urban areas in Michigan. ?Findings will inform Dawn’s Ph.D. research.


Melanie Wong, senior in dietetics in spring 2016, was selected the outstanding dietetics senior by the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Educators.


Shannon Boguth, junior in dietetics in spring 2016, was the only undergraduate selected from many applicants nationally to participate in a summer sports nutrition internship at the University of Florida under several full-time sports dietitians. She worked with hundreds of athletes from over 14 teams. On a day-to-day basis, she had the responsibility of running several fueling stations for all athletes, where she prepared snacks and shakes for them post-workout and assisted them with their food choices to help them reach their nutrition goals. Special projects included creating performance menus for home and travel meals for the various teams, attending practices to fuel athletes on the field, and performing nutrition assessments and determining individual energy needs.  “Gaining hands-on experience taught me so much and how to apply what I have learned at MSU in class to real-life,” Shannon said. “It helped me to discover that my passion truly does lie within sports nutrition, and that I cannot wait to work as a registered dietitian in the athletic environment.” 

Samantha Hahn graduated with a dual degree in nutritional sciences and human biology in May 2015. During the latter part of her time at Michigan State University, she worked under the mentorship of Dr. Jenifer Fenton in the Nutritional Sciences Department. In Dr. Fenton’s lab, Samantha worked on a number of projects but most notably on a nutritional epidemiology study aiming to determine the association between whole blood fatty acid levels and stunting in Tanzanian children. Samantha’s role in the study included analyzing data, writing and presenting findings at professional and local conferences. After completing her bachelor’s degree, Samantha was accepted into the nutritional sciences Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She is now training to become a nutrition epidemiologist and is researching adolescent weight misperception and modern disordered weight control behaviors. Her degree and laboratory experiences in our program significantly contributed to this success.

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