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Oklahoma State University

Graduate Student Bios

 

Samuel Balsiger

Samuel Balsiger

Degree Program: M.S.

Dietetic Intern

Advisor: Dr. Janice Hermann

Emailsamuel.ryan.balsiger@okstate.edu 

Research Interest: My main areas of interest include community nutrition, school nutrition, and child nutrition.

Education:

Degree  Institution Area of Study
B.S.             Oklahoma State
University
Accounting
B.S.          Oklahoma State University  Dietetics
 
Bailey Chambers

Bailey Chambers

Degree Program: M.S.

Dietetic Intern

Advisor: Dr. Gail Gates

Email: bailey.chambers@okstate.edu

Research Interest: Interested in prevention of childhood obesity, efficacy of nutrition education, and nutrition and exercise interactions

Education: 

Degree  Institution Area of Study
B.S.         Oklahoma State
University
Nutritional Sciences: Dietetics
 
Danielle Christiansen

Danielle Christiansen

Degree Program: M.S.

Dietetic Intern

Advisor: Dr. Arpita Basu/Dr. Stephen Clarke

Emaildanielle.christiansen@okstate.edu 

Research Interest: Functional foods, specifically the phytochemical composition of foods, and how they relate to the prevention and treatment of human health and disease.

Education: 

Degree  Institution Area of Study
B.S.        Oklahoma State
University
Nutritional Sciences: Dietetics
A.S.         Tulsa Community
College
Nutritional Sciences: Dietetics

 

 
 
Cathrine DeFreitas

Catherine DeFreitas

Degree Program: M.S.

Dietetic Intern

Advisor: Dr. Gail Gates

Email: catherine.defreitas@okstate.edu

Research Interest: My research interests are within dietetics education and how it can be improved. For my thesis, I am exploring what research literature says about the use of medical simulation labs in undergraduate dietetics programs.

Education: 

Degree  Institution Area of Study
B.S.        Oklahoma State
University
Nutritional Sciences: Dietetics
A.S.         Tulsa Community
College
Nutritional Sciences: Dietetics

 

 
Tiffany Dodier

Tiffany M. Dodier

Degree Program: M.S.

Dietetic Intern

Advisor: Dr. Brenda J Smith

Email: tdodier@okstate.edu

Research Interest: Interests largely fall under the domains of public health as it relates to nutrition and emerging fields of nutritional sciences. Specific topics of interest include phytochemicals, micronutrient biomechanisms and pathways, and gut microbiota. I am currently involved in several research projects in Dr. Smith’s lab examining tart cherry as a functional food as it relates to bone health.

Education: 

Degree  Institution Area of Study
B.S. University of New Hampshire Nutrition: Dietetics
Minor University of New Hampshire Business Administration
A.S. Community College of the Air Force Information Systems Management
 
Teresa Jackson

Teresa Jackson 

Degree Program: Ph.D. 

Advisor: Dr. Janice Hermann

Research interest: Research interests include CBPR, formative assessment, program evaluation, mixed methods and Native American populations. Dissertation will focus on an innovative nutrition education approach and the differences educator personality may have on health outcomes. Plan of study includes classes related to community nutrition, food security, educational counseling, culture and society.

Education: 

Degree     Institution Area of Study
M.S. Oklahoma State University Nutritional Sciences
Dietetic Internship Oklahoma State University Dietetics
B.S. Oklahoma State University Human Environmental Sciences: Nutritional Sciences
 
Brian Keirns

Bryant Keirns

Degree Program: Ph.D. 

Advisor: Dr. Brenda J. Smith

Research interest: Exercise performance, lipidology, autoimmunity, individualized nutrition

Education:

Degree  Institution Area of Study
B.S. Oklahoma Christian University Biology
Joel Komakech

Joel Joshua Komakech

Degree Program: Ph.D.

Advisor: Dr. Deana Hildebrand

Email: joel.komakech@okstate.edu 

Research interests: Joel's research interests lie within three interrelated aspects; (1) Maternal, Infant and young child feeding amongst households of rural and displaced persons; (2) general community nutrition with a view to socio-behavioral change & household nutrition security. (3) Sustainable community approaches towards household food & nutrition security in rural and emergency communities such as post conflict zones. The basis for his interests is attributed to undernutrition still as a going concern especially in developing countries and the need for multi-sectoral approaches to addressing community nutrition challenges. The potential of these research interests seeks out to influence programming for state and non-state actors, informing policies for general country, bilateral and multilateral interventions notwithstanding the contribution to academia for reference with other communities in similar contexts.

Education: 

Degree  Institution Area of Study
M.S.  Kyambogo University, Kampala - Uganda Household food Security and livelihoods in rural communities as a public health concern in Uganda
B.S.  International Health Sciences University, Uganda Community Nutrition

 

 
Babajide Ojo

Babajide Ojo

Degree Program: Ph.D. 

Advisor: Dr. Edralin A. Lucus 

Email: babajide.ojo@okstate.edu    

Research interest: Impact of functional foods on the gut microbiome and gut immunity in models of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Education:

Degree  Institution Area of Study
M.S. Oklahoma State University Nutrition
B.S.(Hons) Ekiti State Univeristy, Nigeria Biochemistry
 
Hasina Rakotomanana

Hasina Rakotomanana

Degree Program: Ph.D. 

Advisor: Dr. Barbara Stoecker

Email: hasina.rakotomanana@okstate.edu 

Research interest: I am interested in Global Nutrition, specifically child undernutrition and the nutrition interventions aiming to address this issue in developing countries. Specifically, my research interests are:
-Determinants of child undernutrition in developing countries
-Nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions (including agriculture, education, women empowerment and WASH indicators)
-The linkages between agriculture and child undernutrition

Education:

Degree   Institution Area of Study
M.S. Oklahoma State University Nutritional Sciences
M.S. Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar Applied Chemistry
Focus: Organic Chemistry
B.S./M.S. Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar Agronomy
Focus: Agricultural and Food Science and Technology

 

 
Jessica Riggin

Jessica Riggin

Degree Program: M.S.

Dietetic Intern

Advisor: Dr. Tay Kennedy

Email: jessica.riggin@okstate.edu

Research Interest: Nutrition is a young science that is evolving, changing, and advancing discovery across the board. My research interests include human metabolism & metabolic syndrome, epigenetics, mitochondria, oncology, inflammation, the gut microbiome, oxidative stress, and immunology. I love to explore innovation and solve problems related to nutrition and disease. I hope to make nutrition a more contributing field of science and research.

Education:

Degree  Institution Area of Study
B.S. Oklahoma State University Hotel and Restaurant Administration
B.S. Oklahoma State University Nutitional Sciences
 
 
Hannah Robinson

 Hannah Robinson

Degree Program: M.S.

Dietetic Intern

Advisor: Dr. Janice Hermann

Email: hannah.robinson@okstate.edu

Research Interest: My thesis work pertains to older adults use of food pantries as a way to cope with food insecurity.The purpose of this project is to survey low-income older adults, who obtain food from one of the food pantries in and surrounding Stillwater, Oklahoma regarding: benefits and barriers to utilizing food pantries, types of foods available at food pantries, special dietary needs and food and nutrition educational interests.

Education:

Degree           Institution Area of Study
B.S. Fort Hays State University Health & Human Performance Health Promotion 
Nutrition prerequisites University of Arkansas Nutritional Science
 
Erica Schiller

Erika Schiller

Degree Program: M.S.

Dietetic Intern

Advisor: Dr. Gena Wollenberg

Email: erika.schiller@okstate.edu

Research Interest: The effect of an individual’s daily dietary intake, overall food quality, and macronutrient compositions on his or her athletic performance.

Education:

Degree  Institution Area of Study
B.S. Kansas State University Dietetics
 
Christina Sciarrillo

Christina Sciarrillo

Degree Program: M.S.

Dietetic Intern

Advisor: Dr. Sam Emerson

Email: christina.sciarrillo@okstate.edu

Research Interest: Nutrition is a young science that is evolving, changing, and advancing discovery across the board. My research interests include human metabolism & metabolic syndrome, epigenetics, mitochondria, oncology, inflammation, the gut microbiome, oxidative stress, and immunology. I love to explore innovation and solve problems related to nutrition and disease. I hope to make nutrition a more contributing field of science and research.

Education:

Degree  Institution Area of Study
B.S. University of Louisiana at Lafayette Dietetics
 
Adriana Tucker

Adriana Tucker

Degree Program: M.S.

Dietetic Intern

Advisor: Dr. Gena Wollenberg

Email: adriana.tucker@okstate.edu     

Research interest: I’ve always found nutrition support very interesting! I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with OSU Medical Center for my thesis. I’m determining the inappropriate use of parenteral nutrition at the hospital during the year of 2016.

Education:

Degree  Institution Area of Study
B.S. Oklahoma State University Nutritional Sciences-Dietetics
 
Christine Walters

Christine Walters

Degree Program: Ph.D.

Advisor: Dr. Barbara Stoecker

Email: christine.n.patella@gmail.com

Research interest: I am interested in global nutrition, specifically maternal, infant, and child nutrition in LMIC (low and middle income countries).

Education:

Degree  Institution Area of Study
M.S. Oklahoma State University Nutritional Sciences
B.S. The Ohio State University Medical Dietetics
 

 

Lei Wu

Lei Wu

Degree Program: Ph.D.

Advisor: Dr. Dingbo Lin

Email: lei.wu@okstate.edu

Research interest: My research interest focus on understanding how BCO2 function on mitochondrial and immune-metabolism, which can provide future directions on findings out new therapeutic methods to treat chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity.

Education:

Degree  Institution Area of Study
Ph.D. Oklahoma State University Nutritional Sciences
M.S. Oklahoma State University Nutritional Sciences
B.S. Nanjing Agricultural University Microbiology