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Nutrition Science Department

Discover Your Passion

Our exciting programs offer more than just the basics – we train highly competent registered dieticians and leaders in nutrition research that will change the diet and nutrition landscape. Let us show you how.

Nutrition Sciences Department

The Department of Nutrition Sciences at Drexel University is paving the way for future researchers and registered dietitians. Our Bacehelors of Science, Masters and PhD programs prepare students to work in a variety of careers that span the gamut from community work and clinical practice to cutting edge research.

This is a particularly exciting time for nutritionists since so many individuals are taking responsibility for maintaining and enhancing their health. We are committed to the discovery of new information about the relationships between diet, physical activity, health and disease and the application of such knowledge to individuals, communities and entire populations.

In September 2011, the Department of Nutrition Sciences, Drexel Recreation Center and University Wellness collaboratively formed the Drexel Center for Integrated Nutrition & Performance (CINP), with the mission of providing evidence-based nutrition advice to the Drexel Community and the greater Philadelphia area. The Center offers year-long internships for selected undergraduate and graduate students from the Department of Nutrition Sciences. This provides exceptional hands-on experience that prepares students for application to practice programs, employment opportunities and graduate programs.


The following programs are offered through the Department of Nutrition Sciences. Please contact us or plan to visit us if we can provide further information about opportunities in this important discipline that bridges the basic and applied sciences.

Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods
An important component of healthcare, dietetics involves helping people meet their nutritional needs through diet counseling and nutrition support.

Master of Science in Human Nutrition
If you have a desire to promote optimal wellness for people of all ages through better nutrition and become a registered dietitian, this may be of interest to you.

PhD in Nutrition Sciences
An innovative PhD program that positions graduates as unique PhD-educated nutritionists.

Minor in Nutrition and Foods

Human Lactation Consultant Program
The Drexel University Nutrition Sciences Human Lactation Consultant Program is designed to provide an opportunity for individuals to prepare to become Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs).

The Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP)
An ACEND approved program allowing students who have graduated from a DPD program to complete the 1,200 hours of supervised practice necessary to complete the path to registration.

Nutrition Sciences Faculty

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News & Events



One of the best ways for students to find new opportunities, whether for employment, volunteering, mentoring, or personal growth, is by networking.  For this reason, the CNHP Alumni Network and CNHP Student Senate host an annual Alumni/Student Career Networking Event.  This year’s event, held on Thursday, February 26, was also sponsored by Drexel University Student Affairs. 

CNHP Alumni Network President Feruza Esanova, BSN ‘09, kicked the evening off with her own story mentioning how she went from Drexel grad to a nurse at Cornell Medical Center and Hospital for Special Surgery.  She then introduced a panel of CNHP alumni who told the crowd about their journey including their experiences at Drexel to what they’ve done since graduation to lead them to their present careers.  The panel members represented Doctoral, Graduate, and Undergraduate Nursing, as well as Nutrition Sciences and Physical Therapy.  Each had a very different story to tell and stressed that you should be open to any opportunity that comes your way.

  • Rita K. Adeniran, DNP ’11 – Following her basic nursing education from Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, Adeniran earned her BSN at Wider University, a Master’s in Nursing Science and Health Care Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and finally her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Drexel.  She previously served as the Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Global Ambassador of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, before becoming President and CEO of Innovative and Inclusive Global Solutions, as well as accepting a faculty appointment with Drexel Nursing and Health Professions.
  • Sara Nesheim, BSN ’10 – During her time at Drexel, Nesheim became the founder and president of Drexel’s chapter of the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania.  After graduation, she began her career as a baccalaureate prepared nurse at Hahnemann Hospital before branching out to Cancer Treatment Centers of America for additional ICU experience.  Nesheim recently moved to Cooper University Hospital’s ICU and Cardia Care Unit. 
  • Louise Baca, MSN ’06 – Baca earned her bachelor’s degree at Thomas Jefferson University and later came to Drexel to earn her master’s degree.  She worked in oncology nursing for over 15 years and is now the Administrator of the Oncology Service Line for Kennedy Health.  In addition, she is an adjunct faculty member in the RN to BSN program at Drexel. 
  • Abby Duffine Gilman, MS ’12 – Gilman is currently the Project Manager for the Health Futures Initiative, but worked as a clinical dietician after earning her bachelor’s degree in Health & Exercise Science from Syracuse University and her master’s degree in Human Nutrition from Drexel. Gilman is an adjunct faculty member at Drexel has also been published in two textbooks, highlighting her research in Magnesium & the Metabolic Syndrome and Child Obesity.
  • John Kristel, MPT ’97 – Kristel earned his bachelor’s degree from Temple University and his master’s degree in Physical Therapy from Drexel. He began his career in Physical Therapy before earning his MBA from Temple’s Fox School of Business.  He has held many roles, including Chief Operating Officer of Graduate Hospital, Director of Operations, Director of Rehabilitation, and Manager of Physical Therapy, each at Hahnemann University Hospital.  Kristel is now President & CEO of Good Shepherd Rehabilitation.

After the panel presentation, students and alumni were invited to enjoy refreshments and network with each other.  Niket Subhedar, HSAD ’15 said “Speaking with the alumni was great; John Kristel in particular because he came from a similar background in health care like me, but was also able to pursue an MBA, to make his passions for health care and business converge. As a student who is interested in both health care and business, it was awesome to learn about the path he took to get to where he is today.”

The Alumni/Student Career Networking Event takes place each February.  If you have any suggestions regarding future events or frequency, please contact


A project entitled Expanding Education and Research Capacity in Cambodia: A situational analysis project to stimulate new partnerships in global health and nutrition began in December of 2014 with an exploratory trip to Cambodia. Brandy-Joe Milliron, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Nutrition Sciences Department, and Silpa Reddy, an MS Candidate in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, traveled to Cambodia to meet with organizations that are engaged in community-driven programming aimed at reducing poverty and malnutrition through diversifying and increasing food production and income. The long-term goal of this project is to develop mutually beneficial education and research partnerships between Drexel University and health-related organizations in Cambodia.

The primary objective was to determine the feasibility of developing mutually beneficial relationships to expand international education and research capacity, co-curricular development, as well as civic engagement among Drexel University and organizations with field offices in one municipality (Phnom Penh) and two Cambodian provinces (Battambang and Siem Reap). Geographic locations were selected based on proximity to the Tonle Sap Lake, an area with some of the highest rates of food insecurity. Milliron and Reddy met with USAID, OXFAM, and PADEK, to name a few organizations, and visited field sites in remote rural villages to observe some of the community education components of Cambodia HARVEST, one of the USAID-lead projects that has been particularly successful Additional objectives were accomplished by visiting local markets and collecting observational data on food availability, access, cost and location. This project will also lead to the development of a preliminary draft of Reddy's plan of study in preparation for pursuit of her doctoral degree in the Department of Nutrition Sciences.

Still underway, this project will result in mutually beneficial collaborations among faculty, researchers and students. Those who are interested in getting involved are encouraged to contact Milliron at Milliron is also exploring innovative sponsorship solutions to support study abroad opportunities for students who are studying in Cambodia and Vietnam.


Vicki Schwartz, DCN, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, was quoted in a November 13 article for The Philadelphia Inquirer about paleo diets. She speaks directly to the positive aspects of the paleo approach (the removal of processed foods), as well as the problematic: “It is extremely difficult to meet calcium needs with vegetables,” she said. Dr. Schwartz was also featured in a Deseret News article, “The growing popularity of gluten-free food: Will it last?”

Stella Volpe, PhD, a professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and Abby Duffine Gillman, a project manager in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, co-authored a post on the “Healthy Kids” blog on Nov. 13 about their research on the Independence Blue Cross Foundation’s Healthy Futures Initiative. The project aims to reduce obesity in children in Philadelphia schools. Link to story

Maggie O’Neil, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, discusses the impact of being overweight for obese children in this recent Move Forward Radio episode. She also discusses specific programs designed to get them active, moving, and healthy. She also addresses the dangers of becoming overweight adults and the associate risks, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, loss of mobility, and depression.

Stella Volpe, PhD, a professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and Nyree Dardarian, RD a faculty member in the college and director of the Center for Integrated Nutrition & Performance, was quoted in a “Sports Doc” blog post on Nov. 14 about vitamin D deficiency and its effect on athletic performance. Link to story

The opening of the College’s new clinical site, Parkway Health and Wellness, was featured in a Philadelphia Business Journal article on November 4.

Nyree Dardarian, an instructor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and Director of the Center for Integrated Nutrition & Performance, was quoted in a Prevention article in December about reading nutrition labels.

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