Scholarships & Awards


MDEF sponsors several scholarships. See the MDEF page for more details.


50 year member: Suzanne Neubauer 


Suzanne Neubauer is Professor Emerita at Framingham State University.  She was the Director of the FSU Coordinated Program in Dietetics for 34 years and held leadership roles in the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors group.  She continues to teach Medical Nutrition Therapy and a graduate capstone Seminar course.  She especially enjoys working with students to submit their literature research for publication.


50 year member: Janice Gormican


Janice began her career working as a diet tech at New England Deaconess Hospital during college. She later returned as the renal dietitian after completing her internship at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland VA Hospital. She has worked for both the Natick and Walpole Visiting Nurse Associations, various weight loss programs, and ended her career as a consultant dietitian at Brookhaven in Lexington and Life Care Center of West Bridgewater. 


Recognized  Young Dietitian of the Year: Jillian Allen (Jillian Allen, MS, RD, LDN)


Jillian is a dietitian within the Military Nutrition Division at the US Army Research Institute of

Environmental Medicine, where she serves as a project manager and lead dietitian on several

human research nutrition intervention studies. In 2022, Jillian had the opportunity to co-lead a large-scale international field study which was executed successfully during the COVID-19 pandemic during arctic military training in Northern Norway. Jillian’s cumulative efforts have resulted in several first and co-authored peer-reviewed publications in high-impact nutrition and physiology journals, directly contributing to the development of next generation combat rations and influencing modifications to U.S. Army nutrition policy. In addition to this role, she also maintains a private practice which focuses on nutrition counseling and workshops, and serves as a dietitian for the Lynnfield Public School System where she assists with school menu planning, nutrition education, and precepting  dietetic interns. 


Outstanding Dietetic Student Award (Dietetic Intern Category): Courtney Campbell


Courtney graduated from Fairfield University and their Honors Program summa cum laude in 2020 with a Bachelors of Science in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. She then enrolled in Boston University’s combined Masters of Science + DPD program which she is pairing with the Dietetic Internship program. Most recently, she has been completing her food service and clinical rotations at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, MA and will complete my outpatient rotations at Sargent Choice Nutrition Center in Boston, MA. Courtney looks forward to seeing where her career takes her once she becomes a Registered Dietitian. 


Outstanding Dietetic Student Award (Coordinated Program in Dietetics Category): Laurie Richards-Farnsworth


Laurie Richards-Farnsworth is a graduate student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at Framingham State University. After serving 20 years as a self-employed hairdresser, Laurie chose to follow her dream of enrolling in school to study nutrition. Since enrolling, Laurie has successfully managed to juggle the rigors of pursuing a degree in nutrition while raising a family, volunteering, and working. Despite these obstacles, Laurie maintained a GPA of 3.97 in her undergraduate studies, and currently maintains a 4.0 GPA in her graduate coursework. She has received numerous recognitions for her academic achievements, which have included Deans’ List, President’s List, and is a recipient of both the Suzanne Neabauer’s Scholarship and the Priscilla Douglass Scholarship. Beyond her academic achievements, she has impressed both educators and preceptors in her practical applications in the field. Laurie looks forward to applying the knowledge she has obtained to help people optimize their health through nutrition. 


Annie Galbraith Award (Outstanding Dietitian): Alegria Cohen (Alegria Cohen, MS, RD, LDN, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Dietetic Internship Director)


Alegria completed the coordinated program and Masters degree at Framingham State University. She began her career as a clinical dietitian at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital and Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. Alegria expanded her career as Lead Clinical Dietitian by participating in quality improvement projects, nutrition informatics, menu nutrient analysis and is the co-author of two published research articles conducted by the Marcus Institute for Aging Research Center.  Alegria began her role as the Program Director of the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Dietetic Internship in 2020. She developed the curriculum for the program and continues to ensure that interns are provided with a wide variety of experiences so that they can be qualified for a position in all areas of nutrition practice. 


Emerging Dietetic Leader: Brittany Taylor (Brittany Taylor, MS, RD, LDN) 


Brittany Taylor has spent her career practicing in long term care. She is passionate about geriatric care and the vital impact food and nutrition has on this demographic. After spending years providing direct patient care, she is currently the Corporate Director of Dietary Services for Next Step Healthcare. She is the youngest executive at the company, overseeing all aspects of nutrition and foodservice operations to 18 facilities throughout Massachusetts.

Brittany is currently the Chair of the Nominating Committee for the Massachusetts Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She also serves on the Community Servings’ Young Leader’s board, supporting their mission to provide medically tailored meals to families in the greater Boston area. She participates in the RD2Be program, mentoring nutrition and dietetic students throughout the country. She is a die-hard Boston sports fan, enjoys being involved at Park Street Church in Boston, and loves her pet bunny Beta – short for Beta Carotene because of his obsession with carrots. 


Outstanding Dietetic Student Award (Didactic Program in Dietetics Category): Elizabeth Gacek


Elizabeth is a senior DPD student at UMass Lowell and will be graduating with her Bachelors degree in Nutritional Science in May! She is excited to be returning to UMass Lowell this fall where she will take part in their Coordinated Program in Dietetics while earning her Masters degree in Public Health. In addition to her studies, Elizabeth is the president of UMass Lowell’s nutrition club and a member of the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital club. She is grateful for all of the opportunities that UMass Lowell has provided along her academic career and looks forward to continuing to work toward her career in dietetics. 

Public Policy

Public Policy

Do You Want to Make a Difference for Your Profession and Your Community?  Visit our Public Policy Section.