Press Release for Thursday, April 16, 2009

Professor Elected President of American Dietetic Association

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

Dr. Judith Rodriguez, a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of North Florida, was recently elected president of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.

The Southside resident will take office in June and will serve for a three-year term as president-elect, president and past president of the ADA, which has more than 70,000 members.

“The UNF Department of Nutrition and Dietetics is extremely honored to have one of our founding faculty members elected as the president of the American Dietetic Association,” said Dr. Catherine Christie, chair of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at UNF. “Dr. Rodriguez is an outstanding leader, educator and proponent of dietetics and nutrition. The depth of her commitment, her problem solving aptitude and her tireless energy will serve her well in this critical leadership role.”

For the past 30 years, Rodriguez has been involved in a variety of activities related to nutrition education, including serving as director of the BSH and MSH/Dietetic Internship Nutrition programs at UNF; directing internship experiences for Master’s level students; teaching nutrition to future home health aides; developing nutrition education programs for inner-city children; and training health care workers.

She is the author of “The Diet Selector” and “Contemporary Nutrition for Latinos” and was awarded the Florida 2001 Distinguished Dietitian award. Rodriguez has also been active in several community and professional service-related activities. She is a Fellow of the ADA and has served as a board member for the Association, in addition to having served on the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

Rodriguez’s interests focus on health disparities, minority health issues, food and culture, the life cycle and nutrition education. She has worked as a consultant to various public relations firms and other companies on issues concerning the Latino consumer market.

She received a Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at Rutger’s University in 1988. She also earned a master’s and bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from New York University as well as completed an internship in dietetics from Beth Israel Hospital in Boston.

The mission of the ADA is to empower members to be the nation’s food and nutrition leaders. The Association is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.