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Commitment to Inclusive Excellence

In the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition we’re devoted to building a supportive community of different perspectives to drive innovation.

As a department we work with multiple groups on campus to enhance our understanding and implementation of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice practices.

We are committed to infusing diversity, equity, inclusion and justice into our curriculum, research activities, and community partnerships.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Office for Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the Graduate School is reinstating The Graduate Student of Color Association.

FIRST MEETING: Friday, January 27th at 4:00 p.m. @ 645 S. Shields. Snacks provided. COME JOIN US!

Our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Committee consists of faculty, staff, and student representatives.

Contact us with questions, comments, or suggestions.

Faculty and Staff - Submit a DEIJ Activity


Professor Chris Melby is teaching nutrition across the globe as part of Semester at Sea

Greetings from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

We have visited many countries in the Mediterranean area where chronic disease is less common and lifespans are long. We have been studying the purported health benefits of a Mediterranean dietary pattern, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, tree nuts, olive oil and red wine and includes several servings of fish and lean meat per week.

My students and I have had opportunities to interact with physicians, nutritionists, and other health-related professionals to discuss specific foods and their constituents that appear to act in concert to reduce disease risk. We are specifically examining how foods common in this area can attenuate the risk for chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and dysbiosis that are at the core of the global escalation of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Greetings from Kenya

We just finished an all-day field class in the port of Mombasa for one of my nutrition courses. Dr. Gladys Wasa, a professor of Public Health Nutrition from the Technical University of Kenya, and I discussed with my students the nutrition-related health issues in urban and rural Kenya (which are many), visited various food markets in Mombasa, and had a great meal of roasted goat, with a medley of vegetable dishes.

Food systems are suffering amidst climate changes, and I am challenging my students to devote ourselves to developing creative solutions focused on improving food equity and population health.

  • 24% Racially Minoritized Students
  • 4% Student Veterans
  • 24% First-Generation Students


Food Science and Human Nutrition outreach and Extension programs focus on reaching diverse communities with important health and nutrition information.

Marisa Bunning, Professor and Extension Specialist

Dr. Bunning worked with translators to provide accurate translations of two of the food preservation factsheets and updated Food Safety Works training curriculum in English and Spanish.

Marissa Bunning

Sarah Johnson, Associate Professor and DPD Director

Dr. Johnson serves as a member of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Committee within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The purpose of this committee is to ensure consideration, discussion, and advocacy of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all endeavors and initiatives associated with the education and training of registered dietitian nutritionists, nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered.

Sarah A. Johnson

Jessica Clifford, Extension Specialist

Jessica works with the Grow Smart, Eat Smart project and teaches four classes on container growing, food prep, recipes, food waste, and food safety education for low-income Spanish speaking populations. Her most recent pilot project took place in May/June 2022, “Garden to Kitchen”. A series of four classes to provide Spanish-speaking, low income and beginner gardeners tools to grow their own produce on a limited budget.

Nutrition counseling is offered with a weight neutral focus and is inclusive of all individuals regardless of disabilities, minoritized background, income level, mental health status, or gender identity. Counseling staff have undergone the Pride Center’s Safe Zone training to create a welcoming environment for all members of our LGBTQA+ community.

Get Involved

We value and encourage participation by students of diverse backgrounds in our department activities. Check out these opportunities for ways you can get involved.


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Upcoming Events