Nutrition alumna named 2014 CHHS Emerging Leader

October 20, 2014

Ann Diker

"Ann Diker exemplifies what Colorado State University stands for: excellence in education, research, and service," says Mike Pagliassotti, head of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Ann Diker is the first recipient of the College of Health and Human Sciences Emerging Leader Alumni Award. This award recognizes graduates of the College within the last ten years for accomplishments made in the areas of career, service, and/or volunteer efforts that have brought honor to the individual and to the College and University.

Diker received both her M.S. in 1998 and Ph.D. in 2010 from Colorado State University's Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. She spent ten years in the department, working in the accounting office while completing her master's degree, and acting as a research associate for three years. During her time spent in the department -- from administration to the classroom -- Diker credits the kindness and encouragement of her peers and professors in becoming a strong leader.

Now the department chair at Metropolitan State University in Denver, she led the effort to grow the nutrition program out of the Department of Health Professions into its own Department of Nutrition. Her professional service includes serving as a reviewer for five different academic journals and three textbooks, and serving as an officer for three different regional and national nutrition and dietetic organizations.

"While getting my Ph.D. at Colorado State, the department at MSU Denver asked me to be the department chair. Colleagues within CSU's Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition were very supportive and offered excellent advice related to leadership," shares Diker. "They helped me develop my leadership skills through leading by example."

Diker's work extends outside of the classroom, where she serves as an advisory board member for Food for Thought, a non-profit whose mission is to eliminate weekend hunger in Denver's Title 1 schools through delivery of Powersacks each Friday during the school year. She is also a regular volunteer for the American Heart Association and 9 News Health Fair.

"Dr. Diker has risen to chair of a Department of Nutrition and associate professor status within four years of receiving her Ph.D. By definition she is not an Emerging Leader, but has already established herself as a leader and visionary," says Pagliassotti.

Diker accepted her award at the 2014 Homecoming and Donor Recognition Breakfast at the Fort Collins Hilton. Upon hearing that she was an award recipient, Diker said, "I am so honored and really thrilled. I think it means so much because it is coming from people whose leadership skills I admired while I was working and studying in the department. For those leaders to see something in me and to want to nominate me was really humbling."

Contact:  Kim Winger

Telephone:  (970) 491-2797