The Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) is pleased to present Karla Pagán Shelnutt, Ph.D., RD with the Mid-Career Professional Achievement Award in acknowledgment of her notable contributions to the field of nutrition during the 2020 SNEB Annual Conference presented virtually July 20 – 24. Dr. Shelnutt is an Associate Professor and Extension Nutrition Specialist in the Department of Family, Youth & Community Sciences at the University of Florida, Gainesville.
Truly a passionate and dedicated nutrition educator, Dr. Shelnutt teaches a summer course “Longevity and Lifestyle in Ikaria, Greece: A Blue Zone Experience” which allows students to experience the lifestyle and cuisine of Ikaria, Greece –one of five Blue Zones. As a Blue Zone, the people of Ikaria live decades longer, healthier lives than average Americans. Students experience this Greek culture from the Aegean Sea through hands-on cooking lessons, taste tests, and guided tours of the production of Ikarian commodities such as wine, honey, and cheese during a one-week study abroad experience combined with on-campus learning experiences and activities.
In the nomination, Sarah Colby, Ph.D., RD commented, “I think she creates connections (without even trying) because of how much she cares for people, how passionate she is about her work, and her professional experience. Through all of this, she interacts with the world with honest humility and utmost sincerity and brings her joy, light, brilliance, and passion to everything she does.” Kendra Kattelmann, Ph.D., RDN, LN, FAND added, “ Karla has made a significant impact in reaching the underserved and providing creative nutrition programming that makes a difference.”
In addition to this year’s honor from the Society, Dr. Shelnutt has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades in acknowledgment of her work. She has received the Outstanding Specialist Award from the Florida Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and Florida Association of Extension 4-H Agents. Her teaching has been honored with the NACTA Educator Award from the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture and Teacher of the Year Award in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences from the University of Florida. She’s also received the High Impact Research Publication Award from UF/IFAS Research
Dr. Shelnutt has received more than $2,000,000 in competitive research funds and manages more than $60,000,000 for the Family Nutrition Program (a Florida SNAP-Ed implementing agency). Over her career, she has authored or co-authored 46 papers and 64 abstracts. Dr. Shelnutt has developed 11 Extension curricula and authored or co-authored 64 Extension publications.
As an active member of SNEB, she has chaired the Nutrition Education for Children and Healthy Aging Divisions and co-chaired the Annual Conference Program Review as well as Abstract Review Committees. She has also served on both the Membership and Awards Committees. She is also a trustee for the SNEB Foundation.