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Dean Achterberg awarded highest honor from SNEB

Anthony Rodriguez
August 27, 2015

Dean Cheryl Achterberg was honored with the lifetime achievement award from the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB).

Achterberg, who has been dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology since 2008, was awarded the Helen Denning Ullrich Award for Lifetime Excellence in Nutrition Education.

The award is given to an outstanding member of the society who has “significantly contributed to the field of nutrition education and promotion throughout their career, including a record of service to the society.”

Achterberg’s work has been influential throughout her career. She has strengthened the rigor of nutrition education research and was one of the first to use concept maps to evaluate it.

She also has examined the role of nutrition education for federal programs and has developed, implemented and evaluated a number of educational materials that have helped enhance the use and impact of the Food Guide Pyramid and Nutritional Facts labels.

Even as she has made an impact on a national scale, Achterberg continues local efforts too. As dean, she promotes nutrition education at The Ohio State University’s A. Sophie Rogers School for Early Learning, which was created to meet the needs of every preschooler, including nutrition training for each child and his or her parents.

“She’s a champion advocate for education about the impact of nutrition for health from childhood through life,” Ohio State Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph E. Steinmetz was quoted as saying.

The role of Achterberg’s career goes beyond national and local influence.

  • She’s an award-winning author in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
  • She has pushed for innovation in the field such as computer-based WIC education, mobile education centers and distance learning for undergraduate courses.
  • She developed graduate-level courses on nutrition education theory.
  • She has supervised more than 30 graduate students, including one whose published research has been cited more than 60 times as one of the first to positively correlate an overweight-food insecurity coexistence.
  • She was awarded the Ruth M. Leverton Award in Nutrition Education by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 1995.

“Dean Achterberg is a visionary because of her ability to see the future of nutrition education and gently guide her students, the society and the field has profoundly impacted the profession,” said Catherine Violette, one of Achterberg’s former graduate students.

Achterberg accepted the lifetime excellence award in July at the SNEB Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Penn., where she learned her students were responsible for her nomination.

“Whatever good I may have contributed is the result of all the good that was invested in me over the years – by my mentors, my colleagues and my students,” Achterberg said. “I appreciate it all!”