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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.

Black lives matter
woman in wheelchair
Native American Heritage

What is Food Science and Human Nutrition doing?

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

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

We work with admissions, undeclared advisers and the Office of Equal Opportunity to improve and expand our student, faculty, and staff recruitment practices.

Students at the Lillian Fountain Smith Conference

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

Students in lab


This is a sampling of Food Science and Human Nutrition courses with DEIJ content.

FSHN/HDFS 445 – Early Childhood Health, Safety, and Nutrition

Instructor Michelle Millholland changed readings to include selections with inclusive content and received a grant to incorporate inclusive materials in the course.

FSHN 455/500 – Food Systems – Impact on Health/Food Security

Assistant Professor Megan Mueller integrated material from “Towards an Equity Competency Model for Sustainable Food Systems Education Programs.” Content on racial/ethnic disparities was added, as well as discussions around equity and food insecurity.

FSHN 428 – Nutrition Teaching and Counseling Techniques

Shelby Cox, Director of the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center and instructor added emphasis on counseling individuals with disabilities, language/cultural barriers, and weight inclusivity. Assignments include cross-cultural interventions and there is a DEI emphasis in all topics.


Our faculty our incorporating a focus on heath disparities, social responsibility, income inequality, and traditional dietary patterns in their approaches to studying the impact on nutrition.

Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Professor

Dr. Cunningham-Sabo provided DEI trainings to Maternal and Child Health Nutrition Leadership trainees from a Health Resources and Services Administration grant.

Leslie Cunningham-Sabo

Megan Mueller, Assistant Professor

Dr. Mueller is leading a study to evaluate change over time in food ads in communities of color compared to white communities. She also has an American Heart Association career development award to examine social responsibility and nutrition quality in high vs. low socioeconomic neighborhoods.

Megan Mueller

Chris Melby, Professor

Dr. Melby had a Fulbright Fellowship in Ecuador and his research focuses on understanding the transition from ancestral dietary patterns to current dietary choices in urban and rural-dwelling Ecuadorians and the impact on health.

Chris Melby


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

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.

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.

  • 27% Racially Minoritized Students
  • 5% Student Veterans
  • 22% First-Generation Students

FSHN Diversity News