Kelly Tappenden has been named the Kraft Foods Human Nutrition Endowed Professor at the University of Illinois. The endowed professorship is part of a $1 million permanent endowment from Kraft Foods to the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS).
"Dr. Tappenden is exceptionally qualified for this recognition because of her stellar contributions spanning each dimension of the U of I's mission: research, teaching, and extension," said ACES Dean Robert Hauser.
Tappenden's research is focused on regulation of small intestinal function by various nutrients and gastrointestinal-specific peptides. A campus leader, Tappenden has served in many capacities, including her current role as University Distinguished Teacher-Scholar.
"Kelly's internationally recognized contributions to this field continue to enhance the lives of children and adults with intestinal failure by providing key information needed to establish novel therapies that are now reaching the clinical arena," said Rodney Johnson, director of the U of I's Division of Nutritional Sciences.
Tappenden is steadfastly committed to fostering student learning. "These efforts have resulted in her receipt of multiple teaching awards, her inclusion on the Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students on 18 occasions, and her educational leadership is evident within the College of ACES and across the Illinois campus," Johnson added.
She will receive the 2012 Excellence in Nutrition Education Award from the American Society for Nutrition at April's Experimental Biology meeting.
Many of the graduate students in Tappenden's laboratory have also received prestigious awards from the U of I, the American Society for Nutrition, and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.
Beyond Tappenden's notable service contributions directly impacting Illinois, she is exceptionally active in her service to her discipline and professional associations, including service as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, the primary journal in her field, Johnson noted.
He added that Tappenden frequently provides essential nutrition information to lay individuals and has traveled the globe striving to develop the clinical nutrition knowledge of practicing physicians in developing countries.
Johnson is enthusiastic about the benefits the Kraft endowment provides. "This endowment allows the Division of Nutritional Sciences to recruit and retain the highest-quality students and faculty, which will enable us to meet our vision of training the leaders in our discipline far into the future," he said.
In addition to the endowed professorship, the endowment also provides two Kraft Foods Human Nutrition Graduate Fellowships in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and the Kraft Foods Human Nutrition Undergraduate Scholarship Program in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.