Colorado State University Names Nutrition Center Devoted to Public Education, Research

Colorado State University will announce a new name for its Nutrition Center on Friday, Oct. 15, with gifts from two donors. The center, which specializes in providing nutrition and special diet counseling to the CSU and larger Fort Collins community, has been renamed the Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center after donors Pat and Larry Kendall and Danette Anderson.

The Kendalls and Anderson are major contributors to Colorado State University whose gifts will support the operations of the center. Pat Kendall has been a professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, the home of the Nutrition Center, since 1975 and is currently the associate dean for research in the College of Applied Human Sciences. Anderson is a 1987 graduate of the department and a clinical dietitian at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver.

The center, in addition to providing counseling to the community, cooking and educational classes, gives students experience working with nutrition clients, and provides students and professors with research opportunities that involve clients. The center is directed by Melissa Wdowik who has been with the center since its inception in 2008.

“This center makes available to the community the most recent and advanced research about nutrition. It also provides many learning opportunities to students who have a passion for helping others improve their health and well-being,” said Chris Melby, department head. “The generosity of these two donors makes a meaningful mark on the health of our community. This center helps us to share information that contributes to the quality of life and productivity of individuals in the community while reducing their risk of disease.”

Among community outreach activities, the center provides individual and family nutrition counseling, small group programs and cooking classes; designs programs to address obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other health concerns; analyzes diets; teaches label reading; and collaborates with existing community nutrition educators, schools and CSU Extension. Students have the opportunity to learn approaches that help improve behavior of individuals and groups; how to provide nutrition education in a community or individual setting; and research techniques. Faculty and students also can research learning and teaching styles and methods designed to promote behavior change.

“My Ph.D. is in nutrition education from CSU and I think it’s important to give back to your alma mater. CSU has provided me with excellent opportunities to do the kind of food and nutrition outreach work that I love. I chose to support the nutrition center because I see it as an important venue for strengthening the department’s ability to enhance health through nutrition education outreach, while at the same time providing hands-on learning opportunities for our nutrition students,” said Pat Kendall.

“As a graduate, I think it is important to give back to CSU,” said Anderson. “This nutrition center is important to me because it helps train future dietitians. All of the things that the center is set up to do helps to give students a unique, valuable real life experience to prepare them for the workplace. It offers important services to the community. The need for a good diet is something everyone shares, and understanding how to eat healthfully helps everyone.”

The naming of the center is being announced as part of CSU’s Homecoming. The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is part of the College of Applied Human Sciences.