CWRU MS/DI Outstanding Alumni Award

Eligibility and Nominations

The Outstanding Alumni Award is presented annually to one alumnus from each of the dietetic internship programs (Public Health Nutrition Dietetic Internship, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center Dietetic Internship, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center Dietetic Internship) affiliated with Case Western Reserve University Department of Nutrition, who has made outstanding contributions in one or more of the following ways:

  • Accomplishment in dietetics and in the emphasis area of their program
  • Service in local, state, or national professional leadership
  • Service in support of dietetics education.

In order to be eligible, nominees must:

  • Have graduated from one of the three ACEND accredited dietetic internships affiliated with the CWRU Department of Nutrition (Public Health Nutrition Dietetic Internship, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center Dietetic Internship, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center Dietetic Internship).
  • Have at least 5 years of continuous registration as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
  • Currently be registered as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, or have retired dietitian status.
  • Not be a full-time employee of Case Western Reserve University at the time of nomination and/or award-granting.
  • Not have previously been recognized with the CWRU-Affiliated DI Outstanding Alumni Award.

Full information on the nomination process, selection, and recognition are available on the nomination form.  Nominations are due by July 31.

2020 Awardees

Tab Forgac, MS, RDN, LDN, SNS

Public Health Nutrition

portrait of Tab Forgac

Tab Forgac is Vice President, Nutrition and Health Partnerships for National Dairy Council.  In this role, she manages the relationships with key health and nutrition organizations including Feeding America, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Tab has lead the development and implementation of many programs including classroom nutrition education and school nutrition programs as well as NDC’s in-school program, Fuel Up to Play 60. 

Tab joined National Dairy Council in 1977 and brings years of nutrition and dairy experience to bear on her program initiatives.  Prior to joining DMI, she was on the faculty of Case Western Reserve University in Public Health Nutrition, where she had earned her Master of Science degree in Public Health Nutrition. She has been recognized as “Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year” and “Outstanding Dietitian of the Year.”  Tab has served in numerous leadership positions within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its affiliates including President of the Illinois Dietetic Association and two terms as Delegate to Academy’s House of Delegates.  She has two teen-aged daughters who challenge her to practice what she preaches as well as balance life and work.

Monica Serra, PhD, MS, RD, ATC

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

portrait of Monica Serra

Monica Serra is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology, and Palliative Medicine at UT Health San Antonio. Dr. Serra also is a Research Health Scientist with the South Texas Veterans Health Care System. Dr. Serra obtained her MS in Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University and her PhD in Exercise, Nutrition and Preventive Health from Baylor University. She then completed training in gerontology as a fellow at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the use of nutrition and exercise interventions to improve quality of life, physical function and metabolism and reduce fatigue following the development of chronic disease.


Jennifer Davis, MS, RD, LD, CSO

Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center

Portrait of Jennifer Davis

Jennifer has been a Registered Dietitian at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center for 17 years after completing her dietetic internship there.  For the last 12, Jennifer has practiced as a Board-Certified Oncology Dietitian. Jennifer is currently a co-investigator for the multi-site VA research project seeking to

provide best practices information in the nutrition care of cancer patients. Jennifer serves at the Dysphagia Subject Matter Expert for VHA Nutrition and

Foodservices and is leading Nutrition and Food Services nationally in efforts to implement IDDSI VA-wide. She has presented nationally on numerous occasions regarding dysphagia nutrition care to theNutrition and Speech Pathology disciplines. Jennifer was honored in 2020 with the AVASLP

Champion Award.  This award is given for individuals, outside of Speech and Language Pathology, that diligently works to advance the practice and profession of SLP. Jennifer lives in Avon Lake, the town she grew up in, with her husband Matt and daughter Cara. She loves her job and the privilege of working with Veterans, but her favorite moments are spent with her family.

Past Recipients

2019-Jane E. Korsberg, MS, RDN, LD, FAND, Janeen Léon, MS, RDN, LD, & Najeebah S. Shine, MS, RDN, LD
2000-2018–award hiatus
1999–E Jean Silagyi-Rebovich, EdD, MS, RD
1998–Ann Reed Mangels, PhD, MS, RD, FADA
1997–Laura E Matarese, MS, RD, LD, FADA, CNSD
1996–Nelda Mondragon Mercer, MS, RD
1995–Sandra S Stork, MS, RD, CN
1994–not presented
1993–Joan Peschel Hanak, MS, RD, LD, DHCF
1992–Jeanne Brakebill Martin, MS, RD
1991–Mary Jo Boyle Feeney, MS, R1990–Carolyn Jones Leontos, MS, RD
1989–Naomi Deguchi Guttmann, MS, RD & Roberta Virsila Uhrich, MS, RD
1988–Mary Lee Chin, MS, RD
1987–Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD