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Students/Faculty News Joshua Gleason February 05, 2024

Lizzy DavisLizzy Davis, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of the UAB School of Health Professions (SHP) Dietitian Education Program (DEP), is a winner of the 2024 Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award from the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors (NDEP).

“Creating relationships with students is a critical part of fostering positive learning environments. I want to ensure that my students feel comfortable coming to me with any questions, concerns, or thoughts they are working through, whether it is related to school or not,” said Davis. “As the program director of the DEP, I truly have my dream job. I have really enjoyed the past three years in this role.”

Davis received the NDEP South Central Region’s Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award in the Coordinated Program category. The NDEP is a group within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics whose mission is to advocate for and empower educators and preceptors to lead the profession of nutrition and dietetics. It consists of over 1,350 members.

Brenda Bertrand, Ph.D., – winner of the 2019 award, professor and program director of the MS in Nutrition Sciences – was Davis’ mentor throughout her undergraduate and graduate training and has been working as a colleague with her the past 13 years dating back to her time as an undergraduate.

“Dr. Davis is a passionate and committed educator and program director, and truly a creative innovator in the training of our students,” says Bertrand. “It has been such an honor to work with her over the past 13 years as a student, and now as a colleague. Her strong commitment to coaching, mentoring, and advocating for students is refreshing to see. She brings positive energy to everything she does for the department, school, and the profession. I am grateful Dr. Davis is being recognized for her resounding commitment to educating the next generation of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.”

Davis takes a holistic approach to understanding her students and knows that life outside of the classroom impacts their learning inside the classroom. She also aims to keep the DEP on the cutting edge, such as collaborating with medical students to create opportunities for distance students to virtually complete service learning with patients at Cooper Green Mercy Health Services.

“I also enjoy saying 'yes' to developing new, innovative learning activities,” adds Davis. “The curriculum in the DEP will always be changing – it is so fun to me to be able to create fun, educational projects with other disciplines to incorporate creative projects within the classroom. It is cool that a distance program, with students from Hawaii to New York, can connect with patients in the Birmingham area.”

Davis is no stranger to earning accolades. In 2023, she received the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year award from the Birmingham District Dietetic Association. Davis received her PhD from UAB in 2020 after graduating from East Carolina University with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Davis has also been invited to the 2024 NDEP Spring Meeting in Seattle from April 4-5.

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