COPH faculty, students present research—and receive awards!—at nutrition conference

| Academic & Student Affairs, COPH Home Page Feed, COPH Office of Research, Featured News, Monday Letter, Offices, Our Accolades, Students

Dr. Heewon Gray, a USF College of Public Health (COPH) assistant professor and nutrition education expert, along with several COPH graduate students, recently presented at the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) conference, held virtually in July.

The SNEB is an organization “dedicated to promoting effective nutrition education and healthy behavior through research, policy and practice and has a vision of healthy communities, food systems and behaviors,” according to the group’s website. The conference focused on nutrition education, intervention and behavior change. 

All the SNEB presentations go through a rigorous peer-review process. In the end, all the COPH submissions (five posters and one oral abstract) were accepted.

“Other conferences related to nutrition focus mostly on nutritional sciences,” said Gray. “I recommend this conference to [public health] students because it has more of a behavioral focus. It’s a great conference for students who are interested in working in or studying nutritional intervention within the community.”

Acadia Buro, a PhD candidate with a concentration in community and family health, is one of those students.

PhD candidate Acadia Buro holds her SNEB award certificate. (Photo courtesy of Acadia Buro)

Buro received two awards for her presentation (comprised of a poster and an oral abstract) based on research she conducted with Gray and recent MSPH graduate Astha Kakkad. The presentation, entitled “Children with autism spectrum disorder who are picky eaters may consume more ultra-processed food than non-picky eaters,” received the SNEB’s Higher Education Division’s Student Research Award and Nutrition Education for Children Division Student Poster Research Award. Both awards recognize outstanding work by students.

As part of the awards, Buro and her co-authors received monetary prizes totaling $300. Buro intends to use her share on materials to support her dissertation research. 

“This was my third time attending the SNEB annual conference,” said Buro, who plans on graduating in 2021 and then pursue postdoctoral research. “It’s one of my favorite conferences, so I was grateful to win not one but two awards. Both the recognition and the monetary prizes brought some positivity to this difficult time.”

Other COPH presenters and their research included:

Story by Donna Campisano, USF College of Public Health