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Dr. Cheryl Achterberg, Scholar in Nutritional Development

Cheryl Achterberg, Dean

Cheryl Achterberg, a leading scholar in nutrition education and behavior interventions, has been the dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University since July 2008.

Having served as dean at three land-grant institutions, Dr. Achterberg has established a national reputation for building programs, advancing research, and resolving challenging collegiate issues.

Leading highly ranked programs

The College of Education and Human Ecology blends the disciplines of educational studies, human sciences and teaching and learning.

EHE faculty study and teach: education administration and policy, education psychology, e-learning and e-technology, family and consumer sciences, fashion and retail studies, hospitality management, kinesiology, literacy development, nutrition, pedagogy for K-12 and university students, workforce development, and many others.

During her tenure, the dean has led major initiatives, including grouping faculty research and teaching interests into three departments. She oversaw the college's two-year review and revision of 1,300 courses to improve curriculum as Ohio State moved to semesters. The review resulted in offering all EHE teacher licensure programs at the bachelor's level, as well as master's.

Some examples of our quality programming:

  • Tenth overall in graduate education for colleges or education among public universities in the 2017 U.S. News and World Report guide and 18th among both public and private institutions.
  • Eighth for human nutrition from the National Academy of Science
  • Physical Education Honor Award for the physical education faculty from SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Education), the first time an entire program has been selected.

The college enrolls 3,600 undergraduate and 1,020 graduate students. Undergraduate enrollment comprises 15 percent minority members, while graduate enrollment includes 16 percent. The faculty and staff are equally diverse, with 23 percent and 17 percent minority members, respectively.

A record of achievement in nutrition education

In 2010, she was one of only 13 experts who served on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Scientific Advisory Committee. The federal government uses the guidelines to determine national food policy.

She continues to be involved with national food policy decision making, urging use of more evidence-based research. She has discussed the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's initial recommendations and contributed to a panel at the Food Policy Conference April 2015 and the Dietary Guidelines for America Summit May 2015, both in Washington D.C.

She is a Fellow of the Culinary Institute of America. In spring 2015, she presented the commencement address to its graduates and received the CIA gold ambassador medal.

Among her honors is the 2015 Helen Denning Ullrich Award of Excellence from the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior and the 1993 Mead Johnson Award for Research in Nutrition from the American Institute of Nutrition. She also presented the prestigious keynote lecture at the W.O. Atwater Centennial Celebration Symposium in Washington, D.C.

She has mentored 19 master's students, 10 doctoral students and an EdD student, and continues to mentor junior faculty and administrators in EHE and across the Ohio State campus. In addition, she is the founder and lead trainer for the Dannon Foundation, Mid-Career Leadership Institute. She has also established a solid reputation as a fund raiser, with more than $100 million to her credit during her career.

Before coming to Ohio State, Dr. Achterberg was the inaugural dean of the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University. She also was the founding dean of the Schreyer Honors College at the Pennsylvania State University, where she directed the Nutrition Center from 1992-96.

Dr. Achterberg earned her bachelor's degree in biological sciences at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, her master's in human development at the University of Maine, and her Ph.D. in nutrition at Cornell University.



Catch up with Dean Cheryl Achterberg's blog, Enhancing the Human Experience. Follow along to learn how the College of Education and Human Ecology is enhancing the human experience for all individuals.


Andrea Bowlin

Andrea Bowlin
Chief Advancement Officer
(614) 292-6516

Mary Kerr

Mary Kerr
Dean's Executive Assistant
(614) 292-8119