Molaison Named Chair of Southern Miss Department of Nutrition and Food Systems

Molaison Named Chair of Southern Miss Department of Nutrition and Food Systems

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Elaine Molaison has been named the new chair of the Department Nutrition and Food Systems (NFS) in The University of Southern Mississippi's College of Health, effective July 1. Molaison replaces Dr. Kathy Yadrick, who after serving 12 years as chair wishes to spend more time in the classroom.

"We are very fortunate to have such an able individual assuming the leadership of our Department," said Yadrick. "Dr. Molaison is a national leader in nutrition and dietetics education, and brings great initiatives to expand opportunities for undergraduates who are interested in careers in nutrition and related fields."

Molaison joined the Southern Miss faculty more than a decade ago and has served as director of the Dietetic Internship Program since 2006. She earned her bachelor's degree in dietetics from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, her Master of Science in nutrition and dietetics from Louisiana Tech University, and her doctorate in nutrition and food systems from Southern Miss. Molaison's research interests include behavior change theories, motivational interviewing in dietetics, child nutrition and obesity prevalence, and outcomes in clinical nutrition.

"The Department of Nutrition and Food Systems has a long-standing history of success in both research and teaching, and I am honored to be appointed to a position that allows me to have a role in the advancement of our unit," said Molaison.

Dr. Molaison said she will support the faculty and staff so they can accomplish their individual goals and goals of the Department. "I want to assure that our programs continue to create outstanding nutrition and dietetics professionals who work to improve the health of individuals and communities," she said.

Roxanne Kingston replaces Molaison as the new Dietetic Internship Program director. Kingston, instructor of nutrition and food systems, aims to ensure the program prepares students for careers in dietetics and supplies dietetic professionals who meet the needs of the Southeastern region of the United States.

"I am excited about my new role as director of the Dietetic Internship Program," said Kingston. "This program currently excels in many areas and I hope to continue to push the program forward in a positive direction."

During Dr. Yadrick's tenure as chair, she led the expansion of academic offerings to include fully online certificate programs and a master's program emphasis. She also supported faculty in expanding the Department's community-engaged research portfolio to address health disparities in the Delta region and in southeast Mississippi, including garnering the first National Institute of Health funding in the College of Health.

"It's been a rich and fruitful 12 years as chair and I'm very happy knowing that our Department is in such capable hands for the future," said Yadrick.

For more information about the Department of Nutrition and Food Systems in The University of Southern Mississippi's College of Health, visit www.usm.edu/nutrition.