The Research on Eating and Activity for Community Health (REACH) lab is directed by Sarah Colby. The REACH lab is the part of the Infant, Child, and Adolescent Nutrition Laboratory (ICAN) lab group. The ICAN Lab at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville conducts nutrition research with pregnant women, mothers and fathers, and children from infancy through adolescence. The REACH lab works primarily with adolescent populations (ages 9-19 years old). Current research projects with adolescents involve culinary and gardening family interventions. In addition to adolescent population research, projects in the REACH lab include foci on marketing and college environments.
Sarah Colby received her doctoral degree in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She worked as a Nutrition Research Scientist for the USDA/ARS at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center and as an Assistant Professor in the Department Nutrition at East Carolina University. She is an obesity prevention behavioral researcher with a focus on health communication through novel nutrition education strategies (including marketing, arts, and technology). Outside of work Dr. Colby spends her time with her two boys, Dylan and Devin, her daughter Lucy, and her husband Jason.
For more information on her research- Curriculum Vitae
Current Graduate Students
Chelsea Allison, BS
Chelsea is a doctoral candidate in the PhD in Nutritional Sciences program at UTK. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in May 2016 with her BS in Nutrition. She has completed her Dietetic Internship at UT and is currently completing her doctorate in Public Health Nutrition in community nutrition. Chelsea’s research interest is Sustainable food systems education and policy.
Chelsea’s Publications as of 07/31/2020:
- Allison C, Colby S, Opoku-Acheampong A, Kidd T, Kattelmann K, Olfert MD, Zhou W. Accuracy of self-reported BMI using objective measurement in high school students. Journal of Nutritional Science (in press).
- Colby S, Moret L, Olfert MD, Kattelmann K, Franzen-Castle L, Riggsbee K, Payne M, Ellington A, Springer C, Allison C, Wiggins S, Butler R, Mathews D, White AA. Incorporating technology in the iCook-4H intervention program for youth and adults. JMIR Pediatr Parent. 2019;2(2).
- Sowers MF, Colby SE, Allison CL, Zhou W. Development and validation of a B. E. A. N. survey for college students. Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences. 2018;6(2):37-45.
Chelsea’s Presentations as of 07/31/2020:
- Allison C, Patrick L, Anderson Steeves E, Hellwinckel C, Zhou W, Colby S. Process Evaluation of a Sustainable Food Systems Course for First Year College Students. Accepted to the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior Annual Conference. San Diego, CA. July 18 – 21, 2020.
- Allison C, Riggsbee K, Hall E, Mathews A, Olfert MD, Colby S. Development and Validation of a Tool to Assess Top Health Priorities of College Students. Accepted to the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior Annual Conference. San Diego, CA. July 18 – 21, 2020.
- Allison C, Black M, Payne M, Russomanno J, McElrone M, Griswold S, Spence M. Implementation and Evaluation of a Policy to Increase WIC-Farmers Market Nutrition Program Voucher Redemption. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Expo. Philadelphia, PA. November 2 – 6, 2019 (oral presentation).
- Hall EL, Riggsbee K, Allison C, Hall BB, Hirsch JK, Colby S. Development and Validation of a Readiness to Change Tool for College Students. Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Annual Conference. Orlando, FL. July 27 – 30, 2019.
- Allison C, Opoku-Acheampong A, Kidd T, Kattelmann K, Olfert MD, Zhou W, Colby S. Agreement of Self-reported and Objectively Measured BMI in the Adolescent Population. Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Annual Conference. Orlando, FL. July 27 – 30 2019.
- Wiggins S, Colby S, Olfert MD, Riggsbee K, Peek-Rigell M, Allison C, Dietrich J, Payne M. Effects of Fruvapalooza Health Fair: An Evaluation of Intended Health Behaviors. Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Annual Conference. Minneapolis, MN. July 21-24, 2018.
- Riggsbee K, Colby S, Kidd T, Brown O, White A, Horacek T, Olfert MD, Mathews A, Kattelmann K, Shelnutt K, Franzen-Castle L, Greene G, Morrell J, Sowers M, Zhou W, Allison C, Barr M, Mosby T, Vilaro M, Yen W. Development and Pilot Testing of a Community Based Participatory Research Obesity Prevention Program on College Campuses. Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Annual Conference. Minneapolis, MN. July 21-24, 2018.
- Payne M, Russomanno J, Black M, Allison C, McElrone M, Spence, M. Fresh Food for All: Connecting Women, Infants and Children with Local Farmers. Association of State Public Health Nutritionists Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX. June 10-12, 2018.
- Wiggins S, Colby S, Allison C, Butler B, Payne M, Ellington A, Fouts HN, Moret L, Olfert MD, Kattelmann K, Franzen-Castle L, Mathews DR, White A. iCook 4-H: Parenting Typology Reflected in Youth Created Cooking Videos. Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Annual Conference. Washington, DC. July 20-24, 2017.
- Allison C, Colby S, Kattelmann K, Franzen-Castle L, Olfert MD, Payne M, Ellington A, Wiggins S, White S. Skills Demonstrated in Cooking Videos In Response To Weekly Cooking Lessons. Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Annual Conference. Washington, DC. July 20-24, 2017.
- Sowers M, Colby S, Allison C, Zhou W. Development and Validation of a B.E.A.N. Survey for College Students. Experimental Biology FASEB – American Society of Nutrition Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois. April 2017.
- Allison C, Wiggins S, Yan W, Zhou W, Olfert MD, Kattelmann K, Mathews A, Brown O, Kidd T, Horacek T, White A, Colby S. Gender Differences in Use of Social Media for Health-related Information.Experimental Biology FASEB – American Society of Nutrition Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois. April 2017.
- Allison C, Faulk M, Colby Sarah. Development and Validation of a Survey about Beans for College Populations.The National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Asheville, NC. April 2016.
Sa’Nealdra Wiggins, BS
Sa’Nealdra is a doctoral candidate in the PhD in Nutritional Sciences program at UTK. She was born in Frankfurt, Germany and raised in Clarksville, TN. She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Health Education: Public Health. Sa’Nealdra is currently completing her doctorate in Public Health Nutrition in community nutrition. Her research interests are women’s health (specifically preconception nutrition), along with nutrition education disparities among low income populations. In her research project she is developing workshops for women that will allow them to reach their optimal health statuses. She loves creating new dishes with a little help from pinterest! Sa’Nealdra was uniquely named after her parents. Sandra + O’Neal= Sa’Nealdra.
Wiggins S, Colby S, Dietrich J, Allison C, Riggsbee K, Peek M, Payne M. Effects of Fruvapalooza Health Fair: An Evaluation of Intended Health Behaviors. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2018;50(7S):S86.
Elizabeth Hall, MS, RD
Elizabeth is a doctoral candidate in the PhD in Nutritional Sciences program at UTK with a focus on Community/Public Health Nutrition and a graduate minor in Epidemiology. Her research focuses on food environments and novel methods for nutrition education, and her dissertation is a program evaluation study implemented at a local retailer to highlight better-for-you options in-store. Elizabeth is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in practice for seven years and has worked in clinical care, foodservice, behavioral health, and business/retail. She holds positions on the board of directors for the Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Tri-Cities Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and sits on advisory boards for East Tennessee State University’s Clinical and Rehabilitative Sciences Department and Dietetic Internship. She also precepts for local dietetic internship programs and was awarded the Outstanding Preceptor of the Year Award for 2019 from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. Elizabeth is a Graduate Teaching Assistant in NUTR 100 at UTK and also serves as a consultant for online textbook and assignment creation for publishing companies. Elizabeth has published multiple educational content reviews for the Journal of the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior (JNEB) and presented research abstracts at several national conferences including the American Society of Nutrition (ASN) and the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB). In addition to a variety of community presentations and media interviews, she has served as a panelist at the Shopping for Health national conference for retail dietitians and has been a sponsored speaker on dietitians in retail at the TAND annual conference.
Marleah Payne, BS
Marleah is a doctoral candidate in the PhD in Nutritional Sciences program at UTK. Her research area is nutrition and food allergies and intolerances. Payne M, Allison C, Black M, et al. Fresh food for all: Connecting women, infants and children with local farmers. Paper presented at: ASPHN 2018 Annual Meeting; June 10, 2018; San Antonio, TX.
Past Graduate Students
Marissa McElrone, PhD, RD
Dr. Marissa McElrone was a nutritional sciences doctoral student with a concentration in community nutrition. She completed Dietetic Internship at UT and her doctoral degree in May 2020. Originally from Easton, Pennsylvania Marissa served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania, East Africa after completing her Bachelor of Science in nutritional sciences from Penn State University. Marissa is a Maternal and Child Health Nutrition Leadership Trainee. Her research focuses on the impacts of dietary acculturation on food security status and the use of community based interventions to address these issues with refugee and immigrant families. She enjoys running, hiking, paddling, the outdoors, travel, and ethnic food and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.
Morganne Brown, MS
Kristin Riggsbee, PhD, RD
Morgan Sowers, PhD, RD
Molly Rigell, MS, MPH
Molly completed her Masters of Science in Public Health Nutrition, a Masters of Public Health, and minors in Epidemiology and Statistics. She previously received her Bachelors of Arts in English – Technical Communication and her Masters of Arts in English – Rhetoric specializing in racial identity theory from the University of Tennessee. Molly is also a professional violinist, enjoys singing, reading, drinking too much coffee, and weekly trivia nights with friends.
Jessi Dietrich, MS, RD
Kelsey Parkman, MS, RD
Jessica Jurcak, MS, MPH
Sarah Dahlman, MS, RD
Amber (Donaldson) Ford, MS, MPH
Shanthi Appelo, MS, RD
Jamie Glover, MS, MPH
Lauren Newman, MS, RD
Lauren Manuel, MS, RD
Emily Smith, MS, RD
Abby Forman, MS, RD, CSSD
Abby completed her undergraduate work at Virginia Tech and her dietetic internship and her Masters of Science in Public Health Nutrition in 2015. While at UT her research interests was integration of Art and Nutrition Education, Youth Cooking Education, Sports Nutrition. She is currently an Outpatient and Sports Dietitian with Bon Secours Physical Therapy and Sports Performance in Richmond, VA. Abby played sports through high school and is a former college lacrosse player. She enjoys working with people of all ages and activity levels to achieve their personal health goals. As a Board Certified Sports Dietitian, Abby helps athletes and active individuals improve performance through optimal nutrition. She loves using her creativity and art background to make learning about healthy eating enjoyable and easy for all. To see more about Abby, Featured Dietitian by Walk With A Doc https://walkwithadoc.org/who-we-are/our-dietitians/
Forman A, Colby S, Gellar L, Spence M, Riggsbee K, Payne M, Rigell M, Allison C, Kavanagh K, Springer C. My Painted Plate: Art Enhances Nutrition Education with Children. Educ Res Appl: ERCA-153. 2018;2018(03). 10.29011/2575-7032/100053.
Quotes from Abby-
“Healthy” is individual to each person, their health conditions, environment, access, activity, culture, and background. There is no perfect, just better than before.
“what is a zucchini’s favorite sport?
Ana Hoffman, MS, RD
Kelsey Shanklin, MS, RD
Mackenzie Ruppert, MS, RD
Amy Sparks, MS, RD
Katelyn Parker, MS, RD