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Melissa Kavanaugh, PhD, MS

Melissa Kavanaugh, MS

Melissa Kavanaugh is a registered dietitian and a graduate of the Nutrition Sciences PhD program in the Nutrition Sciences Department at Drexel University. In addition to general nutrition education, Melissa has provided nutrition counseling for specific populations, such patients with HIV. Prior to being accepted into Drexel’s PhD program, Melissa worked as an adjunct professor at Camden County College, teaching nutrition courses required for their accredited Dietetic Technician Registered program. Melissa lives in NJ with her husband and two children.


Dissertation Title:
Use of Formative Research Methods to Explore and Understand Food Handling Practices, Attitudes and Behaviors Among Older Adults in the United States

Education History:

  • MS in Human Nutrition
    Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • BS in Accounting & Finance
    Rutgers University School of Business

Research Interests:
Psychosocial factors associated with health-related behaviors, foodborne illness, weight management, maternal health, early childhood nutrition, disordered eating behaviors, food waste and sustainable food systems.

Mead Johnson Nutrition/ Research Dietetic Practice Group Student Pilot Grant Award – September 2021 Supporting her Dissertation Research: Exploring the Associations Between Health Belief Model Constructs and Food Handling Practices Among Older Adults.

Faculty Mentor:
Jennifer J. Quinlan, PhD