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.

2021 Awardees

Erin J. Arra, MS, RDN, CSOWM, LD

Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center

portrait of Erin Arra

Erin Arra earned her Bachelors degree of science in dietetics from the University of Dayton. She is 2011 graduate from the VA Dietetic Internship/CWRU Combined Masters of Nutrition program. She currently is the MOVE! Weight Management Coordinator for the VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System as well as the VISN 10 MOVE Coordinator (including Ohio, Michigan and most of Indiana). She is also the dietitian that covers the ALS clinic.  Erin has published and spoken nationally on weight management and nutrition with ALS. Erin is a Certified Specialist of Obesity and Weight Management (CSOWM) through CDR. She is also a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the AND Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group.


Rima Itani Al-Nimr, MS, RDN, LD

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

portrait of Rima Itani Al-Nimr

Rima Itani Al-Nimr, MS, RDN, LD is a lecturer in the departments of Medical Education and Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and a licensed and registered dietitian. At Geisel, Ms. Al-Nimr initiated and leads the Nutrition in Medicine Curriculum, one of few such formal nutrition programs in medical schools in the USA and worldwide. She directs the development, pedagogy, and dissemination of nutrition science content in medical student education, teaching nutrition in medicine content in the majority of courses and clerkships across the medical curriculum and serving as a faculty mentor and advisor to medical students with an interest in nutrition. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the American University of Beirut in Beirut, Lebanon, and her Master of Science in Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, and completed a coordinated dietetic internship at University Hospitals, where she stayed on as a clinical dietitian with the maternal-fetal medicine, internal medicine, and transplant surgery teams before relocating to NH. Prior to teaching at Geisel, she taught nutrition at the graduate and undergraduate level at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, in the Department of Nutrition, helping pioneer a remote learning platform there. As a Clinical Research Dietitian at the Weight and Wellness Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, she worked on multimodal obesity treatment research in rural older adults. An expert member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Evidence Analysis Library Workgroup on Malnutrition in Pregnancy, she helped review the current literature and publish current EAL guidelines, as well as several systematic reviews, on the topic. Her research currently focuses on nutrition in medical education as well as culinary medicine. She has authored numerous publications, and her work has been featured at several national and international conferences.


Elizabeth Y. Jimenez, PhD, RD

Public Health Nutrition

portrait of Elizabeth Y. Jimenez

Dr. Elizabeth Yakes Jimenez is a Research Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine and College of Population Health at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and the Director of the Nutrition Research Network for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She conducts research studies, program evaluation, and quality improvement projects to develop and test interventions to improve maternal and child health, to better prevent and treat malnutrition and chronic disease, and to strengthen consideration of social determinants of health in the provision of medical care. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Yakes Jimenez is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Kidney Foundation and recently served on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Scoping Existing Guidelines for Feeding Recommendations for Infants and Young Children Under Age 2. She is a registered dietitian with a PhD in epidemiology from the University of California, Davis and a Master of Science in public health nutrition from Case Western Reserve University. 


Past Recipients

2020-Jennifer Davis, MS, RD, LD, CSO, Tab Forgac, MS, RDN, LDN, SNS, & Monica Serra, PhD, MS, RD, ATC
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