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.

2023 Awardees

Katie Arlinghaus, PhD, RD

Public Health Nutrition

Portrait of Katie Arlinghaus

Following her graduation from Case Western's Public Health Nutrition Masters and Coordinated Dietetic Internship, Dr. Arlinghaus went on to earn her doctorate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Houston. During her doctoral studies she worked part time as a nutrition counselor for a private dietetic practice focused on family nutrition and for the University providing nutrition counseling to college students. Dr. Arlinghaus is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health where she is faculty in Public Health Nutrition and Maternal and Child Health. She co-directs a HRSA-funded training program in maternal and child health nutrition and leads a portfolio of community-engaged research focused on treating and preventing nutrition-related chronic disease among youth and their families. Dr. Arlinghaus's work has been published in 45 peer-reviewed journal articles and her research has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health. Most recently, Dr. Arlinghaus was awarded a K01 grant from the National Institute on Minority and Health Disparities to pilot a mentoring afterschool program focused on improving physical activity, eating behaviors, and mental health of adolescents and young adults from low resource areas.   

Mary Beth Kavanagh, MS, RDN, LD/N, FAND

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

Portrait of Mary Beth Kavanagh

Mary Beth Kavanagh has 25 years of experience as an educator. She is currently employed as Program Director and University Department Chair of the Master’ of Science in Clinical Nutrition Coordinated Program at Keiser University. She was previously employed as Senior Instructor and Director of Bachelors/Master’s Education in the Department of Nutrition at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio. Mary Beth taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the Schools of Medicine,
Dentistry, and Nursing. She directed curriculum development in the undergraduate and graduate programs in the Department of Nutrition. Mary Beth also conducted research with 7 published manuscripts and 20 abstracts.

Mary Beth completed her undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Kent State University in Kent Ohio. She completed her dietetic internship and Master’s degree in Nutrition at Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals of Cleveland.

As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, she has worked in food service management, outpatient nutrition counseling, and in her own private practice of nutrition counseling and education. She has received many awards and honors including: Outstanding Educator and Outstanding Dietitian Awards from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Mary Beth has over 14 years of experience in media including television, print media, and radio. She also developed a MOOC titled “Designing Your Personal Weight Loss Plan” which had over 138,000 total learners and 90,000 active learners. Mary Beth was elected for leadership roles as the Ohio Affiliate Delegate to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics House of Delegates and Chair of the Council on Professional Education for the Ohio Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She served for five years on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Committee for Lifelong Learning. She was appointed to the Academy’s Honors and Awards Committee in 2023 for a two-year term.

Lauri Wright, PhD, RDN, LD/N, FAND

Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center

Portrait of Lauri Wright

Dr. Wright worked as a clinical dietitian at the Tampa VA Hospital for more than 15 years, specializing in infectious disease. She began and directed the dietetic internship at Bay Pines VA Hospital. After completing her doctorate degree, Dr. Wright directed the master's/dietetic internship program at the University of North Florida and later, developed and directed the Doctorate of Clinical Nutrition program. While at UNF, her work with HIV moved into the community. Dr. Wright is the founding director of the UNF Center for Nutrition and Food Security where she developed and directed the Meals on Wings, a food recovery-meal delivery program for underserved older adults. Dr. Wright then joined the faculty at University of South Florida where she developed the MPH/Dietetic Internship. Her research focuses on food insecurity and its health impact as well as global malnutrition. She has worked extensively with malnutrition and the nutrition transition in India, Africa and Central America. Dr. Wright is the 2023-2024 President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Past Recipients

2022-Reverend Linda J. Carr-Whitehead, MS, RDN, LD, VHA-CM, Melissa Hansen-Petrik, PhD, RDN, LDN, Julie Kennel, PhD, RDN, LD

2021-Erin J. Arra, MS, RDN, CSOWM, LD, Rima Itani Al-Nimr, MS, RDN, LD, Elizabeth Y. Jimenez, PhD, RD
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