Amy Joye Memorial Research Award
In 2010, Sarah Wilson (BS, Psychology) received the first Amy Joye Memorial Research Award while working on a MS in Dietetics at the University of Georgia. Specific aims of her study “Perceptions of the Local Food Environment among Low-Income Adults in Athens, Georgia” were (1) to develop a semi-structured interview guide to inquire about issues and concerns related to the local food environment and food access, and (2) to conduct qualitative in-depth interviews in a convenience sample of low-income adults in Athens, Georgia. For this study, Sarah was mentored by Jung Sun Lee, PhD, RD (Assistant Professor, Department of Foods and Nutrition, University of Georgia). Results from this study could help develop and implement appropriate nutrition education programs that increase awareness and utilization of available healthy food options and that support development of sustainable local food systems.
In 2011, Shannon Looney, MPH, RD received the second Amy Joye Memorial Research Award while working on a PhD in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The primary goal of her study “A Pilot Study of the Efficacy and Program Cost-Effectiveness of Prevention Plus for Childhood Obesity” was to test feasibility of the Prevention Plus intervention to improve children's weight status in a primary care setting by randomizing families to one of three six-month conditions (newsletter; monthly growth monitoring; monthly growth monitoring plus family-based behavioral counseling). The secondary goal was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of each condition. For this study, Shannon was mentored by Hollie Raynor, MS, PhD (Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville). Results from this study will provide data on program cost-effectiveness of specific components of Prevention Plus; this is important because the cost of interventions is a large barrier to the translation of evidence-based research into primary care settings.
In 2012, Danielle Furci Braxton, MPH, RD, LDN received the third Amy Joye Memorial Research Award while working on a PhD in Public Health Nutrition at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The aims of her study “Bariatric Surgery: Necessary but not Sufficient” were (1) to explore factors underlying weight loss treatment decisions in extremely obese African American women and characteristics that would be desirable in lifestyle weight loss treatment programs, and (2) to design and pilot test a lifestyle intervention for extremely obese African American women. For this study, Danielle is mentored by Carmen Samuel-Hodge, MS, MPH, RD, PhD (Research Assistant Professor, Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill). Results from this study will help fill gaps in knowledge concerning lifestyle treatment approaches for extremely obese African American women.
The Amy Joye Memorial Research Award is given to honor Amy’s memory by fostering the scientific development of future nutrition leaders, especially in South Carolina and Georgia. Applicants are required to work with a mentor. The project must involve human research and focus on one of the following areas: obesity prevention/weight control, dietary assessment methodology to investigate/enhance accuracy of dietary reports, or fruit/vegetable gardens.
The deadline to apply for the annual Amy Joye Memorial Research Award is April 1st. Applications are available on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation’s website at http://www.eatright.org/Foundation/content.aspx?id=6921. If you have questions about the application process, please contact Beth Labrador at the ADA Foundation by phone at 800-877-1600 (extension 4821) or by email at
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Many thanks to the donors who made the Amy Joye Memorial Research Award possible.
Throughout the year and during the holiday season, district associations and individuals may want to make donations (which are tax deductible). This will enable a $5,000 nutrition research award to be made on an annual basis through the AND Foundation. Click here for the donation form.
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.
Submitted by Suzi D. Baxter, PhD, RD, LD, FADA