No one can deny that times are turbulent: COVID-19 pandemic, partisan divides, racial inequalities, climate change and global unrest. With so many challenges, members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics are fortunate to have the continued strong leadership of Ellen Shanley as 2022-2023 President.
Ellen is the director of the dietetics program in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Connecticut. “The Ellen I Know” has deftly navigated our UConn program through COVID-19, with the highest level of virtual education and supervised practice experiences. Ellen’s can-do approach served as the model for students to deliver dietetics practice in new ways and show their resilience as problem solvers.
Always the innovator, Ellen was first to master all the virtual platforms, both real-time and asynchronous. Ellen has facilitated “working across the aisle” in the implementation of a novel, master’s entry-level dietetics program; brokering approval of this entrepreneurial program with administrators at all levels; securing interdisciplinary researchers to mentor students; and challenging students in novel areas of practice, including health tailored programs, social media interventions, mindfulness in eating, health promotion and health equity.
Ellen is recognized for advancing the causes of diversity and inclusion in education; and mentoring faculty, colleagues, and students. With expertise in foodservice systems and culinary arts, Ellen has worked with school foodservice directors to share best practices in addressing: food insecurity, supply chain issues, changing nutrition standards, challenges of food waste, and opportunities to celebrate healthy eating through myriad of cultural foodways. Balancing intrinsic optimism with pragmatism, Ellen always safeguards her plan A with plans B and C.
I feel so very lucky to have Ellen Shanley as a colleague and friend; and am honored to introduce Ellen as the next Academy President!
Valerie B. Duffy