Current Award Winners

Award of Excellence

The 2020-2021 Nutrition Education for the Public Award of Excellence has been awarded to Dr. Henna Muzaffar.



Dr. Henna Muzaffar works at Northern Illinois University.

Along with her team, Dr. Muzaffar leads a targeted community nutrition education program called “CATCH” which has been designed to teach children how to make healthier food choices, increase physical activity and reduce screen time.

The program has been making a difference in the lives of elementary age children for over 8 years and third to fifth graders who participated were able to show significant changes in nutrient knowledge and abilities to make healthier food choices. The program is ongoing.


NEP/Herbalife Student Scholarship AWARD:

Our first (2020) Herbalife scholarship award winner is Kayla Parsons.

Kayla is enrolled in a combined master’s and Dietetic Internship at the university of Maine. Her thesis focused on “Health Related Quality of Life and Diet Quality Among College Students.” She also served as a graduate research assistant in the Nutrition Education Research Laboratory at the University of Maine.  Kayla has been involved with conducting interviews with nutrition educators in Maine to better understanding communities’ levels of nutrition education and present environmental barriers specific to Maine. She provided nutrition education and cooking courses to college-age students and the YMCA. In addition, while working with an Academy Affiliate, she participated in a public policy project to organize a legislative event in her state.  She has presented her research work at several nutrition conferences over the past year. As stated by one of her recommenders, “Kayla demonstrates professionalism and a willingness to dig deep and achieve her goals”.  Kayla received $1000 and an opportunity to participate in an all-expense paid trip to Herbalife Nutrition’s headquarters in Los Angeles, CA. Congratulations Kayla on your achievement and we look forward to your future accomplishments in the profession of dietetics.

Our 2021 Herbalife Scholarship Award Winner is Leigh Neptune.

Leigh Neptune is currently enrolled in the combined graduate and internship dietetics program at the University of Maine. Her interest in community nutrition and research began during her undergraduate years. Her goal is to obtain a PhD in nutrition and to become a researcher, professor, and mentor. In Fall 2020 she began her graduate student journey as a Teaching Assistant for three classes in the School of Food and Agriculture along with her research responsibilities. She has attended several nutrition and health conferences including Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo and the American Public Health Association’s Policy Action Institute’s.  She is co-author on a recently published manuscript in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, which focused on nutrition literacy in young adults. She is first author and presenter of an abstract to the American Society Nutrition (ASN) 2020 annual meeting. In addition to this research work, she has been working on her thesis to investigate the relationship between sexual minority college students and their self-reported health-related quality of life and has submitted an abstract to be presented at ASN 2021. Leigh will receive $1000 and an opportunity to participate in an all-expense paid trip to Herbalife Nutrition’s headquarters in Los Angeles, CA. Congratulations Leigh on your journey to becoming an outstanding future professional.

Pictured below: Leigh Providing nutrition education.