Our Lab Team
Rashel Clark is from Morgan, UT where she earned her Bachelor’s in Nutrition, Dietetics & Food Science from Utah State University in 2015. She also completed an internship to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Rashel's next stop was working at the University of Arizona Nutrition Network in Tucson, AZ where she focused on educating low income children and families on the benefits of healthy living. Rashel was the research project coordinator for FRUVEDomics and HomeStyles. Rachel's Masters Thesis focused on the microbiome change in young adults with Metabolic Syndrome after following a fruit and vegetable program for eight weeks.Rashel L Clark's Presentations & Publications
Federica Barazzetta was a visiting scholar from Italy working on her thesis in the LIRL. Originally from Monza, a city near Milan, Italy, Federica was a graduate student at the University of Milan in Sport Science where she studied physical activity and health promotion.
Dr. Oluremi "Remi" Famodu became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) following the completion of her Master’s in Nutrition & Foods and Dietetic Internship at West Virginia University in 2014 completing her thesis on the SleEPin Study. Originally from Bloomington, Minnesota, Dr. Famodu was a collegiate soccer player at Ohio University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition in 2012. Her athletic career fostered a passion for sports nutrition with future aspirations include owning a practice catering to the overall needs of athletes, including physical, mental and nutritional health. Dr. Famodu served on many research projects including iCook 4-H Study, Get Fruved Study, to name a few.
Dr. Famodu's dissertation focused on fruit and vegetable consumption interactions on the microbiome and metabolome in 'healthy but at risk for metabolic syndrome' young adults: FRUVEDomic Pilot Study.
After graduation Dr. Famodu completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Florida and now works as the lead sports dietitian at the Twin Cities Osteopathic Center in Minnesota.Oluremi A Famodu's Presentations & Publications
Sina King is originally from Waterford, OH, and completed her Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Master's in Exercise Physiology at the University of Akron where she competed as a collegiate basketball player. Sina's passion for nutrition and exercise lead her to pursue an additional Masters degree in Human Nutrition combined with the Dietetic Internship Program. In her free time, Sina enjoys cooking and baking with friends, exercising, and reading.
Currently, Sina is pursuing her PhD in the Clinical Translational Science program at West Virginia University where she hopes to study eating disorders in athletes.Sina E J King's Presentations & Publications
Dr. Miriam Leary earned a BS in Exercise Biology from the University of California
Davis, an MS in Clinical Exercise Physiology from West Virginia University,
and a PhD in Exercise Science from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Leary
is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a Registered Clinical
Exercise Physiologist. Outside of lab, Dr. Leary spends time with her
husband and two dogs. She enjoys trail running and camping in the West
Virginia mountains, craft beer, and taking naps.
A postdoctoral fellow in the Olfert Lifestyle Intervention Research Laboratory, Dr. Leary assists on several research projects and enjoys training and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Leary is pursuing a career as an academic professor conducting clinical and community-based research in disparate health populations.
Jade (White) McNamara, originally from Westport, CT, completed her Bachelors in Human Nutrition and Foods at West Virginia University in 2013. She earned her Masters in Nutrition and Foods with a thesis focus in developing and testing a curriculum incorporating gardening, cooking and family mealtime in dyads (youth/adult pairs: From iCook to iGrow.
Currently Jade is pursuing her PhD combined Dietetic Internship Program with a collaborator of our Lab at the University of Rhode Island.Jade A (White) McNamara's Presentations & Publications
earned her Bachelor’s in Kinesiology.
Kelly subsequently moved to West Virginia where she was involved with AmeriCorps, serving as a Healthy Community Developer. During this time, she developed a passion for nutrition.
Kelly J (Woehrer) Piazza's Presentations & Publications
Wendy (Thompson) Wolf is originally from Grand Junction, CO. She completed her undergraduate
degree in Dietetics at the University of Northern Colorado in 2012 before earning
her Masters in Human Nutrition and Foods at West Virginia University combined
Dietetic Internship in 2014. Wendy’s primary research focus was multidisciplinary
polycystic ovary syndrome clinics and she assessed the effects of medical nutrition
therapy and the use of RDNs through a survey and dedicated focus groups.
Currently she practices as a Physician Assistant and RDN in the Denver Colorado area after recently graduating from the Physician Assistant Program in May 2017 from the at University of Colorado.
Erin (Smith) Allen grew up in Monroe County, WV with a passion to impact health of her home state of West Virginia, she completed her Bachelor’s in Human Nutrition and Foods at West Virginia University in 2011 and earned her Master’s in Human Nutrition combined Dietetic Internship Program in 2014. Her MS research thesis focused on blood pressure and quality of life changes in the youth/parent iCook 4-H program, a five-state, family-centered obesity prevention program.Erin (Smith) Allen's Presentations & Publications
Jessie Popelka completed her undergraduate at the University of Nebraska in her home town of Lincoln, NE. Her thesis project focused on uses of technology in eating disorders in university and clinic settings around the world. She found her passion for community nutrition during her internship and is currently working in the field.Jessie T Popelka's Presentations & Publications
Shannon Ackerman completed her Master’s thesis project on the Cafe NUDGE Behavioral
Economics Study looking at the placement of food in high school cafeteria’s.
She is from Morgantown, WV, and earned her Bachelor’s in Nutrition from Indiana
University of Pennsylvania in 2012.
She returned home to earn a Master’s in Human Nutrition in 2014, which she complemented with a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling in 2016, both from WVU.
Kaylyn Crosier completed her Bachelors degree in Nutrition from Radcliff University. She then completed her Masters in Nutrition and Food from West Virginia University in 2013. Her problem statement project was on nutrition education and knowledge of the athlete. Kaylyn is originally from the Charleston, West Virginia area.
She is currently practicing as a dietitian in the clinical sector.Kaylyn Crosier's Presentations & Publications
Dr. Mallory Koenings completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the lab while completing
her Dietetic Internship rotations for the RDN. Shortly thereafter she became
an RDN and accepted another post-doc position at Rutgers University. Her passion
is studying the environment where alcohol use and behaviors take place. Her
work combines both the Y.E.A.H. Study and the Environmental Assessment data.
Currently, Dr. Koenings is working a program assistant director for the USDA Food and Nutrition Programs in Washington, DC.
Amanda Dent graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelors degree in Human Nutrition and Foods. She then enrolled in the Masters program, finishing in 2012. She then went on to complete her dietetic internship at the University of Virginia Commonwealth. She is originally from the Charleston, West Virginia area. Her master’s thesis was on the Young Adult Eating and Active for Health (Y.E.A.H.) Study looking at the risk of metabolic syndrome in Appalachian vs. Non- Appalachian individuals. Currently she is working as an RDN in long-term nutrition and dietetics care.
Emily Clegg is from New Martinsville, WV. She completed her bachelors degree in human nutrition and foods at West Virginia University in 2018, and is continuing on as a doctoral student in the Lifestyle Intervention Research Lab. Emily’s future goals include becoming an RDN, and working in academia. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, practicing yoga, and keeping up with her never ending “to be read” book list.
Dr. Makenzie Barr is a book worm, coffee enthusiast, and Dallas Cowboy fan that grew up in Morristown, OH. She completed her Bachelors degree in Human Nutrition and Food from West Virginia University in 2014, continuing in the Olfert Research Lab for her graduate work while she also became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Makenzie completed her doctoral degree in Davis College under Animal and Food Science. Her dissertation (mHealth LABS) work encompassed examining outcomes of bariatric surgery among patients in the Appalachian area to understand the characteristics, behaviors, and success after surgery. Makenzie's future goals are to continue learning about nutrition impact on cancer prevention and survivorship. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.
Dr. Rebecca "Becca" Hagedorn grew up locally in Bruceton Mills, WV. Becca completed her Bachelors degree in Human Nutrition and Foods at West Virginia University in 2015 (McNair Scholar) and continued her graduate program in the Lifestyle Intervention Research Lab. During her doctoral studies, Becca served as the research project coordinator for WV iCook 4-H and lab manager.Her doctoral research focused on food security interactions with lifestyle behavior choices among young adults in rural areas, particularly Appalachia. She focused on improving nutrition knowledge and culinary skills in inter-discipline partners (such as medicine). Becca served as an American Society for Nutrition (ASN) Science Policy Fellow to worki to continue improving food resources for at risk students on college campuses in Appalachia. Becca spends her free time cheering loudly at Mountaineer sporting events and with her Cocker Spaniel, Motley. Becca is currently a Professor at Meredith College.
Madison Santella is from Pittsburgh, PA and earned her Bachelor’s of Science in both Food & Nutrition and Italian Language & Literature from the University of Alabama in May 2017. She joined the Mountaineer family to pursue her Master’s of Science combined Dietetic Internship Program. When Madison is not studying food or speaking Italian, she enjoys cheering on Pittsburgh sports teams, writing, and traveling. Madison is the research project coordinator for iCHOP Mediterranean using her unique combination of nutrition and Italian studies to investigate and encourage the use of a Mediterranean approach in disease treatment and prevention among a spectrum of health professions. In the future, Madison hopes to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and work in the community to educate youth and counsel individuals.
Desireé is a PhD student in the Clinical Child Psychology program in the Department of Psychology with clinical and research interests that fall at the intersection of pediatric psychology, public health, and implementation of mental health services into medical settings and interventions to improve medical adherence; family/peer/provider relationships and communication; and the psychosocial functioning of children with chronic illnesses and injuries. She is collaborating with the Lifestyle Intervention Research LAB to further develop her interests and skills as a researcher.
Glenna Rose Sprenger has been a member of the Lifestyle Intervention Research Lab team since Summer 2017. Currently, she is assisting in the implementation of the Homestyles project, providing a toolkit to preschool families to help improve lifestyle habits at home. Glenna is majoring in Human Nutrition and Foods, hoping to graduate in May 2021. She plans to become a clinical registered dietitian after graduation and apply principles of nutrition in the treatment of disease. Glenna likes to be outside, sing, read, and explore coffee shops and thrift stores in her free time.
Paula Farris is a member of the team of the Lifestyle Intervention Research Lab since 2019 as an undergraduate research assistant, specifically assisting with iCHOP Mediterranean, Homestyles, and Mountaineers for Recovery and Resilience. Paula is majoring in Nutrition, hoping to graduate in May 2020. She plans to obtain her Master’s in Nutrition and become a Registered Dietician. Paula likes to practice yoga, cook, and put together puzzles in her free time.
Born and raised in Morgantown, WV, Olivia spends her spare time coaching and competing at the national level in Olympic Weightlifting. Olivia has been with the LIRL since Fall 2016, when she started processing data for both cohorts of the Fruvedomics study. Currently, she is assisting in moving Fruved into high schools in the Morgantown area. Olivia graduated in 2020, She is now pursuing a a combined Masters and Dietetics degree from WVU.
Alison Carroll joined the Lifestyle Intervention Research Lab in 2019 as part of the Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP).
Allison Morris is from Hillsborough, NJ and earned a BA in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2010 and continued her education earning a BS in Human Nutrition and Foods from West Virginia University in 2016. Allison was the research program coordinator for the WV Get Fruved Study focusing on community nutrition and environmental influences on health status.
In her free time, she enjoys cooking for friends and family, and hiking with
her dog, Teddy.
Timothy Waanders is from Maywood, NJ. He is majoring in Exercise Physiology with an emphasis in Aquatic Therapy and a minor in Sport and Exercise Psychology, and will graduate in May 2018. Tim will be attending Long Island University - Brooklyn starting in Summer 2018 to pursue his doctorate in Physical Therapy. Since joining the lab in Fall 2016, he has contributed to developing metabolic risk scores for FRUVEDomics, conducting health assessments for Get Fruved, reviewing bariatric patient charts for mHealthLABS, and creating campus forecast reports for eB4CAST, among other projects. His research interests lie in campus-wide environmental perceptions on health and wellness, including physical activity, weight status, and mental health.
Olivia Price is from Fairmont, West Virginia and is majoring in Exercise Physiology. She enjoys going to the gym, hanging out with friends, and volunteering at the WVU Children's Hospital. Olivia is apart of GetFruved and the secretary of the club. She is currently working on collecting data and studies on people's health and how it connects to their success in school and working on bringing GetFruved to the high school level.
Shalin Gandhi is from Parkersburg, WV. He is a junior majoring in Exercise Physiology. In his spare time, Shalin likes to hangout with my friends, listen to music, play ping pong, and volunteer. Shalin is interested in developing a mobile app that would improve health of obese individuals throughout the country, especially in West Virginia.
Ksheeraja "Shree' A Sriram is a native of Morgantown, WV and is majoring in Public Health with a minor in Biology. In her free time, she enjoys writing, painting, sewing, and practicing yoga. She is also a member of WVU’s Student Wellness Ambassador Team. Ksheeraja has been assisting with the mHealthLABS and HomeStyles studies.
Juliana O'Reilly is a sophomore from Martinsburg, West Virginia, and is studying Exercise Physiology with an emphasis in Health Professions and Aquatic Therapy. She hopes to attend medical school after finishing her undergraduate degree. When Juliana is not studying or helping in the lab's research, she likes to volunteer at the hospital, dance, go to the gym, and travel to new places. This is her second semester in the lab and she hopes to further her knowledge in nutrition to better herself as a future healthcare professional.
Glenna Rose Sprenger is a freshman student from Fairmont, West Virginia who is studying Human Nutrition and Foods. In her free time, Glenna Rose loves to read, hike, play music, and drink coffee. After college, she hopes to enroll in medical school and use nutrition as a tool in preventing and treating various diseases.
Sara DeJarnett was born and raised in Martinsburg, West Virginia and is now a full time student at WVU studying Human Nutrition and Foods. She is a junior involved in a number of organizations such as SAND, FRUVED, as well as a part of the Lifestyle Intervention Research Lab. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in the gym, cooking, and participating in outdoor activities. Sara hopes to finish her undergraduate degree and move onto placement in an internship to ultimately receive the registered dietitian accreditation.
Mason Arbogast is a sophomore Immunology and Medical Microbiology student from Lewis County, West Virginia. He hopes to attend medical school after his four years of undergraduate. Mason is an SGA Senator, is a part of WVU Collegiate 4-H, and volunteers weekly at Ruby Memorial Hospital. He hopes to increase student involvement and awareness for clubs, organizations, and WVU events.
Anna Alfred is from Spencer, WV, and is a junior studying Human Nutrition and Food Science. She joined the research team in the fall of 2016 in hopes to bridge the gap between lifestyle choices and its effects on overall health. As acting president of FRUVED, she promotes health on campus and is progressing FRUVED into local high schools. During her free time, she likes to garden, visit new coffee shops and workout. Anna's passion for health has driven her to pursue her RD post graduation, and thereafter return to pursue her Ph.D.
Liana Chapman is a junior in the Human Nutrition and Foods program at West Virginia University. She grew up in Brecksville, Ohio, a suburb right outside of Cleveland, where she was exposed to a lot of medical innovations that gave her a vast interest in the medical field. With her dietetics degree, Liana hopes to continue on to medical school to study pediatrics with a specialty in adolescent medicine, focusing on mental illness and eating disorders. Having a nutritional background will certainly let Liana cater to her patients’ health concerns that can be directly traced back to dietary patterns.
Antonia "Toni" Sinibaldi is from Middletown, Delaware. She enjoys trying new sushi restaurants, doing yoga, baking, and listening to music. In her Junior year, Antonia is studying Public Health with an emphasis in Community and Population Health, and a minor in Health Promotion. She plans to get her Master’s in Public Health in hopes to become a healthcare administrator.
Ericka Beller graduated with a bachelor in exercise physiology. Currently an exercise
physiologist in Charleston, WV, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree in
She assisted with the “Fruved” research study along with Appalachian and non-Appalachian behaviors/risk with a particular emphasis regarding barriers specific to the Appalachian region.
Matthew Parsley is a senior at WVU. He is a double major in Exercise Physiology
and Biology, and a double minor in Applied & Environmental Microbiology
and Infant & Toddler Studies.
He is a West Virginia native from Williamson, WV and plans to attend medical school to be a pediatrician. He is particularly interested in childhood awareness and prevention.
Dakota Bowyer is a junior Human Nutrition and Foods major with a Strength and
Conditioning minor. After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree, he plans to apply
for a dietetic internship to become a RDN as well as earn his CSCS certification.
His passion for nutrition stems from a lifelong fascination with all aspects of health and their effects on sports performance. Dakota graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, WV.
Kathryn Baker was raised in Morgantown, WV and graduated with a Biology degree and
minor in French and Psychology as an honors student from WVU. In our lab,
she worked on a systematic review of culinary medicine programs across the
country. She intends to obtain a dual Medical Degree/Masters in Public Health
and work as a physician in global medicine.
Her research interests entails establishing a Culinary Medicine course for the WVU’s School of Medicine in efforts to educate physicians in nutrition and cooking through a hands-on culinary class.
Caitlin Warner is from Buckhannon, WV. She graduated as an honors student with a
Bachelor’s in Human Nutrition and Foods from West Virginia University in
2016. Caitlin volunteered in our lab to assist in building a wellness club
presence across all similar student clubs.
She has a passion for nutrition and wellness and hopes to help others improve the quality of their own health and lives. She is currently a Physical Therapy student at WVU.
Addie Hass is from Elkins, WV and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Human Nutrition and Foods. She was a research volunteer in our lab during her undergraduate career. She plans to attend graduate school to obtain a Masters in Nutrition and Food Science. After completion of her masters program she would like to continue on to become an RDN. Addie’s past time is making smoothies at a local health bar.ce. Dakota graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, WV.Addie L Hass's Presentations & Publications
Born in Lima, Peru, Jacqueline Quispe was raised in Martinsburg, WV. She recently
earned her Bachelor’s in Human Nutrition and Foods from WVU where she volunteered
in our lab and participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience
Jacqueline would like to obtain a Masters in Food Science and Business Administration with the goal to improve the quality and safety of nutrition, so that people can learn and implement it into their daily lifestyle.
From Charleston, WV, Nikki Crowder graduated from the Exercise Physiology student
at WVU. She was very active in the Honors College and served as a Resident
Assistant in Honors Hall. She hopes to attend medical school at WVU with
the goal of becoming a pediatrician.
Nikki is passionate about instilling the importance of health and wellness among all individuals. She loves working with children and believes it is vital start encouraging a nutritious and active lifestyle at a young age.
Jess Rubino graduated with highest honors with her bachelors in Human Nutrition and
Foods. She went on to become named ‘Outstanding Senior of the Year 2015’
and was accepted into medical school at West Virginia University. She has
an interest in pediatric neurology and hopes to do research on hormones and
brain activity associated with the development of eating disorders. In our
lab, she has been developing the eB4CAST tool to capture evidence based research
practices and footprint their long-term maintenance.
In the future she would love to return to under-served areas in Africa where help is most needed. She also ran a half-marathon in order to raise money for a sustainable farm in Uganda, Africa.
MaCee (Dehlin) was born and raised in Morgantown, WV and earned her Bachelor’s in Exercise Physiology from WVU. She plans to obtain a Masters in Public Health along with a Masters in Business Administration. Her passion for pediatric health and wellness has led to her future aspirations to develop and manage programs to promote healthy living in adolescents.MaCee (Dehlin) Gidley's Presentations & Publications
Paige (Starrett) Sidwell graduated with a major in Human Nutrition and Foods and a minor in Personal Training. She worked as a research volunteer in our lab before leaving for another research experience. Paige plans to get a Masters in Nutritional Sciences. She also plans to sit for the ACE exam and become a certified personal trainer. After getting her Masters, Paige would like to become a RDN.Paige A (Starrett) Sidwell 's Presentations & Publications
After finishing her Bachelors in Biochemistry, Amy Wells was accepted in the Osteopathic Medicine School, where she is pursuing her DO degree. Amy was a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (S.U.R.E.) student helping with iCook 4-H study and the SleEP iN Study.Amy Well's Presentations & Publications
Samantha James was a undergraduate student assisting in the lab with the iCook 4-H and the SleEP iN Study.
She completed her dietetic internship and is now practicing as a RDN.Samantha James' Presentations
Abigail Thaxton was a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) student working on the Choice Architecture Project targeting High School Cafeterias in West Virginia. She completed a Bachelors from Ohio University and went on to enroll in a Masters program.Abigail Thaxon's Presentations