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Meet the Dietitians

Stella L. Volpe, PhD, RD, LDN, FACSM

Dr. Volpe is Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences, as well as a co-director of the Center for Integrated Nutrition and Performance. She is a nutritionist and exercise physiologist whose research focuses on the prevention of obesity and diabetes across the lifespan.  Her work on obesity and diabetes prevention, body composition, bone mineral density, and mineral metabolism and exercise represent more than a decade of consistent funding.

Dr. Volpe is a Faculty member of the Physiology of the Body Compartment Fellowship Program in the Department of Neuroscience, Human Nutrition and Food at the Universita Degli Studi “Tor Vergata”, Roma, Italia. She was additionally selected to be a member of the Executive Committee for the International Doctoral Degree in Physiology and Nutrition at the University Degli Studi "Tor Vergata", Roma, Italia. Dr. Volpe speaks internationally, nationally, regionally and locally about her research, as well as on general nutrition and exercise principals to help individuals improve their lifestyles.

Nyree Dardarian, MS, RD, LDN, CSSD, FAND

Professor Dardarian is a co-director of the Center for Integrated Nutrition and Performance, as well as an instructor in the department of Nutrition and Sciences at Drexel University. She completed her BS in Food and Nutrition at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and received her Master’s in Clinical Nutrition from Drexel University. The focal point of her research is metabolism and energy balance. Her research has been presented at the Annual Health Association Meeting and Exhibition and the Obesity Society Conference. Nyree has been certified in Adult Weight Management by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

Abby Duffine Gilman MS, RD, LDN 

Abby is a Registered Dietitian, and Project Manager for the Healthy Futures Initiative. Healthy Futures is a three-year, multifaceted research project assessing childhood obesity in the Greater Philadelphia area. The project seeks to discover how program interventions focusing on eating right, getting fit and staying well will affect the behaviors and physical outcomes of middle school children. Previously, Abby worked as a clinical dietitian in a community hospital providing medical nutrition therapy to hospital patients. There, she stood as a representative of the hospital dietitians on a collaborative Diabetes Outreach committee. She greatly enjoys working with people, and hopes to continue her dietetic career affecting the health outcomes of people in all walks of life through the power of food. 

Abby received her undergraduate degree in Health & Exercise Science from Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY) and her Master's Degree in Human Nutrition from Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA). She is very excited to be back at Drexel University and connecting with staff and colleagues, both old and new.

Alyson Heller, MS, RD, LDN

Alyson is a dietitian registered and licensed with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the state of Pennsylvania. Alyson completed her BA in Health Sciences at Gettysburg College and Dietetic Internship and Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics (concentration in Nutrition and Physical Performance) at Saint Louis University. Also, Alyson has her Health Fitness Specialist certification through the American Sports Medication. She has worked with clients in many areas of the outpatient dietetic community such as weight loss and endurance athlete research, corporate wellness, nutrition counseling in the home setting and gyms, and now in the university setting. Alyson counsels the Drexel students and employee/staff, as well as the Philadelphia community through Parkway Health and Wellness Services.

Whitney Butler, RD, LDN

Whitney is a registered dietitian with over 5 years of experience in nutrition counseling. She graduated with a BS in Nutritional Sciences from Penn State University and completed her dietetic internship with Sodexo Allentown. While completing her internship, she worked at WIC providing nutrition counseling to pregnant mothers and children. It was here that she developed and implemented WIC’s seminar highlighting the benefits of breastfeeding. 

Upon passing her RD exam, she worked as the RD at an allergist’s office where she interpreted lab values and administered food challenges to food allergic patients. She then transitioned into health care by working as the sole outpatient dietitian for Easton Hospital. She provided nutrition counseling for a variety of disease states (cardiac, diabetes, renal, Celiac, etc.) in addition to teaching classes and writing monthly health newsletters for hospital staff. Whitney was able to network with local community organizations and developed and implemented “Look Who’s the Cook”, a program still in place today.  She served on the board for “Kids in the Kitchen” and was the project manager for “Cook Like a Chef”. Working at Easton Hospital also allowed inpatient nutrition care, where she wrote nutrition prescriptions and provided patient education after individually assessing each patient. 

Prior to arriving at Drexel, she worked as a dietitian in the Weight Management Center within Lehigh Valley Health Network. During this time, she conducted individual counseling, taught group nutrition classes, developed the protocol for metabolic testing and represented the department in all media outreach. Concurrent with work experience, Whitney also served on the board of advisors for the Sodexo Dietetic Internship and volunteered as Nutrition Education Chair for the Lehigh Valley Dietetic Association.

Whitney has a passion for promoting health and wellness, experience providing group and individual education, and personal food allergies which make her sympathetic to the food allergic student body.

Robin Danowski, MS, RD, LDN

Robin Danowski, MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist.  Robin has a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and Master of Science in Community Health.  Robin has nearly 15 years of experience as a dietitian in the hospital and outpatient setting, including 5 years of experience caring for high-risk dialysis patients. She provides nutrition counseling for faculty and staff at Drexel University through the Dragon Nutrition Program and Parkway Nutrition.

Danowski combines her nutrition expertise and her passion for teaching in her role as an adjunct instructor of nutrition at Drexel University and La Salle University. Courses taught at Drexel include Introduction to Nutrition, Intermediate Nutrition, Normal and Lifespan Nutrition, and Nutrition and Chronic Disease. She provides training for future dietitians both as a clinical nutrition preceptor and as an assistant coordinator of the Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway at Drexel University. Robin contributes to the development of resource materials and competencies for each rotation as well as ensuring interns complete all learning activities as required by ISPP.

Danowski is the founder of Main Line Dietetics, a private nutrition counseling practice on the Main Line. Robin’s areas of expertise include weight loss, healthy eating, kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, and prenatal and postpartum nutrition. Robin believes in a non-diet approach to healthy eating. She uses evidence-based nutrition to help her clients reach their nutrition goals.