BROOKINGS – Two South Dakota State University Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences faculty members were elected to the board of directors for the South Dakota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The state professional organization has more than 300 members.
Assistant Professor Lacey McCormack and Instructor Christopher Comstock will begin their terms at the June board meeting. McCormack will serve a three-year term in the house of delegates, which gives input to the national organization on issues affecting the profession. Comstock will serve as public policy coordinator-elect for one year before beginning his three-year term as public policy coordinator. Both faculty members are registered dietitians and licensed nutritionists.
McCormack, who served as public policy coordinator from 2013 to 2017, said, “I enjoyed being more involved in the profession at a state level, working with dietitians across the state and formulating policies at the state and national level that helped move the profession forward. I am excited to have the opportunity to serve once again.”
Comstock said, “The most important thing I’ve learned since I started teaching is that a lot of things in the nutrition world are impacted by federal policy. Not having correct policies in place can have a detrimental impact on eating behaviors and overall health. This position will be a good way to influence those policies, reach people and organize some grassroots efforts.”
Distinguished Professor Kendra Kattelmann, head of the Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, said, “I appreciate that these faculty are volunteering their time to serve on the SDAND Board. This helps the program stay connected to practitioners in the profession, which is important to maintaining a program that meets the needs of professionals in the state.”
McCormack, who is the director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics, received the 2018 April Brooks Woman of Distinction Faculty Award, which recognizes contributions to teaching and research. Since becoming a faculty member in 2013, McCormack has secured $1.2 million in funding as either principal or co-principal investigator. In 2016, she was named outstanding researcher for the College of Education and Human Sciences.
The South Dakota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognized McCormack as the state’s Young Dietitian of the Year in 2015. She received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics and health promotion from South Dakota State, her master’s in public health nutrition from the University of Minnesota and her doctorate in nutrition, exercise and food sciences from South Dakota State.
Comstock teaches undergraduate nutrition courses and his specialty areas are in nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and sustainability. He and McCormack are co-advisers for the Nutrition and Health Sciences Club.
Comstock has two undergraduate degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in biology with a minor in chemistry from Concordia College and a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and dietetics from South Dakota State. He became an instructor after earning his master’s degree in nutrition, food science and exercise science from State in 2015.