Melinda Boyd, DCN, MPH, MHR, RD, FAND

Melinda is a registered dietitian and professor. She is faculty at Cedar Crest College, teaching in the MHS and dietetic internship programs. She also serves as an adjunct instructor for a variety of classes that include nutrition majors and non-majors across all levels of higher education. She has had a unique career path that she credits to her time as a military spouse. Living abroad for 9 years, she developed skills in cross cultural communication and counseling individuals from diverse backgrounds. She has been an active member in the International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (IAAND), serving in many roles, including President, Secretary, Nominating Committee Chair, and most recently the Country Representatives chair. In this role she oversaw a program with 45 local leaders from around the world. She recently finished her 2-year term on the Academy’s IDEA Committee.

Melinda completed undergraduate degrees in biology and nutrition, as well as a Master of Public Health, Master of Human Relations, and Doctor of Clinical Nutrition degrees. She is an internationally recognized expert speaking at conferences around the world on weight management, healthy lifestyles, and culturally appropriate care.

After frequent military moves, she has settled down in the Upstate area of South Carolina with her husband and their dog- a Bouvier des Flandres named Harley. In her free time, Melinda enjoys traveling and cooking.

Past Chair


Matthew Landry, PhD, RDN

Matthew is a nutrition and health promotion postdoctoral fellow and registered dietitian at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. His current research is focused on examining the overall dietary quality and composition of a healthful diet on obesity, metabolic syndrome, and risk factors for chronic diseases and the utilization of novel, dietary interventions as conduits to promote health at the population level. He has presented his research at national and international conferences.

Matthew received a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University, a doctorate degree from The University of Texas at Austin, and completed his dietetic internship through the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at UT-Austin


James Childers

James Childers, MS, RDN

James currently works as a full-time lecturer of nutrition at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). As a lecturer, he takes a no-nonsense approach when it comes to nutrition and educating his students: aiming to help tackle nutrition misinformation and misconceptions amongst his mostly freshman students and helping them build their own food relationships and philosophies.

James also works as a per diem outpatient and clinical dietitian, providing nutrition counseling to individuals with a variety of conditions including hyperlipidemia, diabetes (T2DM and gestational), those preparing for bariatric surgery, and overall wellness. Outside of teaching and counseling, he enjoys hiking and exploring all that southern California nature has to offer and is an avid ice cream lover.

He received both his bachelors and masters degrees from California State University, Long Beach.



Suzanne ("Suzi") Domel Baxter, PhD, RD, LD, FADA, FAND

Suzi is an (unpaid) affiliate research professor at the University of South Carolina; she resigned her research professor position late in 2016 due to an acquired disability. Early in her career, she worked with children with disabilities, with adults as an outpatient dietitian, for school foodservice and for the WIC program. For most of her career, Suzi worked in research, first at the Medical College of Georgia and then at the University of South Carolina. She served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on numerous competitive research grants funded mainly by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her research focused primarily on the accuracy of dietary recalls provided by children, and secondarily on the relationship between childhood obesity and daily participation in school-provided meals.  She received the Monsen Award for Outstanding Research Literature from the Academy in 2017

Suzi's service focuses on research and IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) in the profession of nutrition and dietetics. She is past president of her affiliate, South Carolina, where she also served as Foundation liaison and is the current IDEA liaison. She is also a mentor for NOBIDAN MIG and Diversify Dietetics.  Suzi was a member of the Board of Editors from 6/2007 to 5/2022 for the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (JAND). She was a member of the Academy's 2017–2019 Diversity Leaders Program. She is a past member and chair of the Scholarship Committee and past chair of the Task Force Chair that created the Amy Joye Memorial Research Grant.

Suzi received her bachelor's degree and completed the coordinated undergraduate program at Texas Christian University, and later received her master's and doctoral degrees from Texas Woman's University in Denton. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric nutrition research at the Medical College of Georgia.

House of Delegates Representative


John Foust, RDN

John is a 24-year member of the Academy and currently the Director of Food & Nutrition Services with Boulder Community Health in Boulder, CO. He has extensive experience working in the healthcare and long-term care industries and is an acute care CMS subject matter expert. John has previously served as the Secretary for the Food & Culinary DPG & is a member of several DPG’s.

John received his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University.

Membership Committee Chair


Lynette Maxey, RDN, CDE

Lynette attended Western Michigan University for her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics with minors in Chemistry & Community Health Education. She completed her Dietetic Internship at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, OH. She also completed a NACUFS/Food Service Management Internship at the University of Michigan. She started her Master’s in Human Nutrition at Central Michigan University, however, family shifted her priorities prior to completion. Lynette has worked in a variety of Dietetic settings – Hospitals, Nursing Homes/Extended Care, Education, Food & Clinical Management & Campus Meals. Lynette Currently works as the Clinical Nutrition Manager for the Community Hospitals within Munson Healthcare/Sodexo in Northern Michigan; and she is Co-Chair of the Northern Michigan Dietetic Association.

Lynette is married and has three grown children. She has been active in 4-H (Head, Heart, Hands & Health), Girl Scouts, Academic & Athletic Boosters & the local schools Wellness Committees. She has three cats (Hank, Larry & Jax) and one rabbit (Thumper).

Professional Development Committee Chair

Dawna Mughal


Dawna is Associate Professor Emerita in the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences, Gannon University, Erie, PA. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist whose marbled work experiences include research, acute care, higher education, nutrition education activities and  volunteer work in professional organizations and community service.  She has held various leadership positions in her employment and volunteer work. Committed to lifelong learning, she is currently a part-time graduate student in health communications.

Dawna is director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation,  board member of the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices, clinical director of the Health Promotion discipline of Special Olympics of Pennsylvania. and  consultant for certain nutrition projects. She has been involved in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) for more than  25 years, working with interdisciplinary national and international groups. She has written book chapters on nutrition and IDD and has delivered numerous presentations nationally and internationally. 

A recent 50-year member, Dawna has served in the House of Delegates, Nominating Committee, Diversity Committee, CADE and ACEND review teams, and in one of the Members Interest Groups. As former director of a tri-institutional  Consortium Program in Dietetics in  Pennsylvania, Dawna has mentored many dietetics students and young dietetics practitioners.

Dawna earned her Ph.D. in Nutrition at Penn State, M.S. in Foods and Nutrition at Southern Illinois University, and B.S.in Chemistry (Magna Cum Laude) at Central Philippine University, Philippines.  Recognition of her work includes New Researcher’s Award, Outstanding Dietetics Educator, Service recognition  and certification as Fellow of the American Dietetic Association and Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics by the former American Dietetic Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, respectively,  and Keystone Award and Outstanding Dietitian by the former Pennsylvania Dietetic Association. She likes travel, music, nature, good books, great sense of humor, simple things, and dogs.

Communications Committee Chair


Brandon Lee, MS, RD, CCRP, ACSM-CPT

Brandon Lee is an assistant specialist/study coordinator in the Western Human Nutrition Research Center at University of California, Davis (UC Davis). Brandon currently coordinates and contributes to nutrition research focused on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and its effectiveness on treating obesity and metabolic syndrome in women. His research interests include obesity, energy and macronutrient metabolism, nutrition education and behavioral science, and sports nutrition and human performance.

Brandon also has experience in long term care and academic instruction in the area of health and wellness. He is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and regularly collaborates with research exercise physiologists. He also participates as a guest speaker for the UC Davis Diabetes Prevention Program and has been a corporate guest speaker focused on healthy eating and exercise in the Sacramento area.

He received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from SUNY Oneonta.

Communications Committee - Social Media Coordinator



Communications Committee - Website Coordinator


Andrea Hinojosa, MS, RDN, LDN, CLC

Andrea is working at Allow Wellness and Wellness House in Chicago. She also volunteers with different organizations throughout Chicago to provide nutrition education to neuro-diverse young adults, leading the National Schweitzer Fellowship Task Force Planning Committee, and holds leadership roles in other DPGs. As part of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Chapter in Chicago, Andrea has partnered with Near North Health Service Corporation (NNHSC) and BUILD Inc. to increase the exposure of farmers, nutrition, and locally farmed produce to the Chicago community. At BUILD, Andrea has started teaching children and adolescents about nutrition, culinary, and hydroponics with a sustainability focus. She has also created a strong community garden relationship between NNHSC's WIC clinics and Chicago Lights by initiating interactive garden events and learning activities for WIC participants. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has moved the mini hydroponic gardens from the NNHSC's clinics to the homes of families who are part of the NNSHC's WIC clinic where she has provided ZOOM sessions during the COVID-19 pandemic for families to learn more about the science behind gardening and nutrition.

Andrea completed her bachelor's degree at Dominican University and master’s degree and dietetic internship at Loyola University Chicago. She has recently finished her Schweitzer Fellowship within the Chicago Chapter.

Fun facts: born in Bolivia, loves reading, traveling, and animals: has a dog named Zen (half Akita/half Pitbull), a puppy named Estella (Corgi), a kitten named Michi (Calico), and a hedgehog named Raven.

Communications Committee - Newsletter Editor



Nominating/Awards Committee Chair

Michele Sidorenkov, RDN

Michele Sidorenkov, RDN is passionate about our profession and has spent her 4-year RDN career carving out an online space for dietitians and loves showing future RDNs how to do the same.

As a 10-year Academy member, Michele started her membership as a Sophomore in college and has worked with both local Phoenix dietetic groups and served the Academy at a national level. Her passion for our profession was rooted as a student from her RDN mentors and connecting at FNCE with fellow nutrition professionals from around the world. Member interest groups, like COGA, elevate our profession by bringing like-minded professionals and future dietitians together. As the COGA Nominating Chair-Elect, Michele encourages the connection of our diverse profession.

Nominating/Awards Committee Chair Elect


Beverly Bixby, RD, LD

Beverly Bixby is the staff dietitian for Ohio LifeCare Hospice for close to 14 years.
She is responsible for the assessment, counseling and nutrition therapy for patients who receive hospice and palliative care services. Beverly is also involved in the instruction of nutrition services to new employees for the entire Ohio Hospice organization, which comprises 13 affiliates. She also offers End of Life Nutrition instruction to new volunteers of LifeCare Hospice. Beverly also has been an independent consultant for LTC facilities for over 30 years.

Beverly graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Medical Dietetics from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She has been an Academy Member since 1980.

Networking Committee Chair


Cynthia Rutkowski, MA, RDN, FADA, FAND

Currently, Cynthia is the Director of Food & Nutrition Services at Walter P. Reuther Psychiatric Hospital (WRPH) in Westland, Michigan. WRPH is a 180 bed State facility for the mentally & physically ill. She is responsible for the provision of Nutrition & Food Services as well as an active member of the Hospital Management Team. Cynthia, also has experience in assisting with major hospital kitchen renovations. She began her employment with the State of Michigan as a Clinical Dietitian at WRPH in 2009. My career path has included working as an Administrative Dietitian at Harper Hospital, a Clinical Dietitian at Annapolis Hospital, Faculty at Wayne County Community College & Michigan State University, and as a Consultant Dietitian to Nursing Homes & Behavioral Medicine Companies. She has also worked in the world of Information Technology in the development and implementation of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) for a large metropolitan Detroit hospital chain.

IDEA Liaison