Department of Nutrition

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

ICAN-GROW Research Team

 

Marsha Spence, PhD, RD, LDN

Marsha Spence TeamDr. Spence is a Research Assistant Professor and the Assistant Director in Public Health Nutrition as well as the Co-Director of the ICAN Lab. She has earned a dual Master’s degree in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health and her PhD in Human Ecology (Nutrition) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She also completed the Dietetic Internship at UT. Her research interests include school and community-based interventions to prevent childhood overweight/obesity and promote healthy environments and youth leadership and advocacy development to improve school and community health environments.

 

 Megan BeckMegan Beck

Megan Beck is a graduate student pursuing her Master’s of Science in Public Health Nutrition and will complete her Dietetic Internship in 2016. Although originally from Franklin, TN, Megan has called Knoxville her home for the past four years, completing her Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition at the University of Tennessee as well. Research that impacts mothers and children is of particular interest to Megan, and she hopes to work with this population in her future career. She also loves obesity prevention and intervention programs, child nutrition education, and working within the local schools. Outside of being a professional student, Megan enjoys drinking coffee, long distance running, and Vol football games!

 

Julia BellJulia Bell

Julia Bell is a Masters student in Public Health Nutrition and will complete her dietetic internship in the Spring of 2016, reaching her goal of becoming a R.D. She’s a true vol at heart, she completed her Undergraduate degree in Nutrition at the University of Tennessee as well. She is interested in combating childhood obesity, health promotion, as well as sports nutrition. She wants to help others to reach their nutrition and fitness goals. She is a certified personal trainer and has a passion in the fitness industry as well. She loves running, hiking, spending time with family and friends, and cheering on her Vols.

 

Kristen ClayKristen Clay

Kristen Clay is a graduate student pursuing her Master’s of Science in Public Health Nutrition. And she will complete the Dietetic Internship in 2016. Her research interests include inner city afterschool wellness programs and childhood obesity prevention. Kristen is from White House, Tn. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in nutrition from Lipscomb University in December 2013. Fun fact: during undergrad she was the feature twirler for Vanderbilt University. Cheering on the Vols and wearing orange has been an adjustment for her. Outside of school, Kristen enjoys drinking coffee, watching Grey’s Anatomy, and going to hockey games.

 

Megan FrittsMegan Fritts

Megan Fritts is a graduate student pursuing her Master’s of Science in Public Health Nutrition. She grew up right outside of Knoxville, and has been a Vols fan since birth. She completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition at the University of Tennessee. Megan’s research interests include education and prevention of childhood obesity. She enjoys being able to volunteer in the community to help educate children on healthy eating and physical activity habits. Outside of being a full time student, Megan enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, Peyton Manning, and Tennessee football!!

 

Claudia GearyClaudia Geary

Claudia Geary is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s of Science in Public Health Nutrition. Claudia is originally from Woodhaven, Michigan and spent a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where she worked at the HACAP Food Reservoir. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutritional Sciences and a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology with a specialization in Health Promotion from Michigan State University. Her research interests include: nutrition education, health promotion, community interventions, and the role of food banks in helping to alleviate food insecurity. Claudia enjoys traveling, reading, attending football and hockey games, cooking, and going to Farmer’s Markets.

Rebekah Kennedy

Rebekah is a graduate student currently working towards a dual Master’s degree in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Education. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in Psychology and Law and Society. Her research interests include obesity prevention and reduction in low income and vulnerable populations.

 

Reston HartsellReston Hartsell

Reston Hartsell is a dual graduate student seeking a Master’s of Science in Public Health Nutrition and a Master’s of Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Education. His research interests include nutrition education, childhood obesity interventions in minority populations, and creative promotion of healthy environments. Reston received his Bachelor’s of Science in Health Sciences from Furman University in May 2013. Reston is originally from Greeneville, TN and has done mission work in Yei, South Sudan, Chilca, Peru, and Dakar, Senegal. He enjoys cooking, swing dancing, playing tennis, throwing pottery, and being outdoors.

 

Sarah HaySara Hay

Sara Hay is working on her Master’s degree in Public Health Nutrition and just recently became a Registered Dietitian after completing her Dietetic Internship at the University of South Dakota. She attended Tennessee Technological University and graduated with a B.S. in Human Ecology with concentrations in Food, Nutrition, & Dietetics and Food Systems Administration. Her interests are very broad, ranging from childhood nutrition to nutrition education/assistance for low-income and vulnerable populations to clinical topics such as diabetes and renal disease. Reading, running, cooking, and traveling are a few of her favorite things.

 

Jade ParryJade Parry

Jade Parry is working on her Master’s of Science in Public Health Nutrition and will complete her dietetic internship in 2016. She is originally from Lakeland, FL and graduated from the University of Florida with her Bachelor’s of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics. Jade is interested in a wide-range of nutrition topics, varying from nutrition-related genetic diseases and disorders to the impact school gardens have on children’s food choices. Outside of school, Jade loves to practice yoga, cook, attend music festivals, listen to TedTalks, and spend time with friends and family.

 

Rachel TuskanRachel Tuskan

Rachel Tuskan is a graduate student pursuing her Master’s of Science in Public Health Nutrition and will complete her dietetic internship in 2016. She is originally from Oak Ridge but received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition and Food Science with Dietetics concentration from Middle Tennessee State University. Rachel is interested in childhood obesity prevention, nutrition education, and medical nutrition therapy in a community setting. Outside of school, Rachel loves to travel, try new restaurants, cook, and spend time with her family, friends, and fiancé.

 

Contribute to big ideas. Give to the UT Nutrition Department.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.