Current Award Winners


Award of Excellence

The 2019 Nutrition Education for the Public Award of Excellence has been awarded to Caitlin Mellendorf, MS, RD.


Caitlin Mellendorf


The do-it-yourself movement continues to grow in popularity which led extension educators at the University of the Illinois Extension to create the program "Bringing Back the Basics." The program focuses on three areas: agriculture, horticulture, and nutrition. Caitlin is a key creator in the interdisciplinary program. She coordinates nutrition classes on food preservation, cheese making, sauerkraut making, and food dehydration. There have been times when Caitlin taught a different hands-on class nearly every week for three months straight. The six course nutrition curriculum is based on the Social Learning Theory and includes marketing flyers, lesson plans for live classes, handouts, and evaluation tools. Congratulations, Caitlin, on developing and implementing a program to increase food preparation skills and educate the public on nutrition!


Outstanding Member

The Nutrition Education for the Public DPG has chosen Karen Bakies, RDN, LD, FAND to receive the 2019 Outstanding NEP Member Award.


Karen Bakies


NEP DPG was the first DPG Karen joined and she has been a member ever since. She is truly an outstanding dietitian and has provided dedicated service to NEP DPG. After being a member for many years, she was introduced to leadership in the DPG by a fellow coworker and has never stopped volunteering her leadership skills. She has served in numerous roles in the DPG -- chair, secretary, nominating committee, membership committee, and website coordinator. She has been part of the evolution of NEP DPG for more than 30 years. When she is not volunteering, Karen works as the Vice President of Nutrition Affairs for the American Dairy Association Mideast. Congratulations, Karen!


The NEP team is proud and honored to congratulate these members on such great accomplishments and contributions in the field of nutrition!


Student Award Winners

NEP is pleased to award two student NEP members scholarships to help support their attendance at FNCE® 2019 in Philadelphia. Our awardees are Michaela Breece, a senior at Bowling Green University and Siena Senn, a senior at Marywood University.



Michaela Breece

     Siena Senn