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Press Release for Monday, September 23, 2013

UNF Presents 2013 Distinguished Professor Award at Fall Convocation

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida will present Dr. Judith Rodriguez, professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, the 2013 Distinguished Professor award during the 42nd Annual Fall Convocation ceremony at 10 a.m. today in the Fine Arts Center Lazzara Performance Hall, Building 45, on campus.


Rodriguez, a Southside resident, is the 36th faculty member at UNF to hold the title of Distinguished Professor, which is an award given to a professor who demonstrates excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. This award is the highest honor to be conferred upon a University faculty member.


"Dr. Rodriguez has been distinguished since first stepping on our campus in 1988," said Dr. Pam Chally, dean of the Brooks College of Health at UNF. "She has served as a role model to faculty, staff and students and is an excellent choice for the 2013-14 Distinguished Professor. I am very excited for her to receive this honor."


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 also served as the 2010-11 president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (previously known as the American Dietetic Association), the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.


Her 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.


Rodriguez is the author of "The Diet Selector" and "Contemporary Nutrition for Latinos" and has received numerous awards, including the 2011 Girl Scouts of Gateway Council Women of Distinction, Eve Award nominee in education, Jacksonville Women of Color Cultural Foundation Award in education and the Florida 2001 Distinguished Dietitian award, to name a few.


She is a member of several professional organizations, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Florida Dietetic Association, Jacksonville Dietetic Association, Dietetic Educators of Practitioners, to name a few. Rodriguez 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.


UNF, a  nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.