To many, Dr. Adrienne White, professor of food science and human nutrition, is the personification of a land-grant university. A UMaine faculty member since 1988, Dr. White has influenced thousands of lives as a teacher, researcher, mentor, and public servant. She has also earned state and national recognition as a ground-breaker and leader in the field of human nutrition. In short, she is a difference maker.
“Adrienne’s contributions to the nutrition education profession and dietetics is truly exceptional and unparalleled,” noted Dr. Kendra Kattelmann of South Dakota State University. She cites the millions of research grants Dr. White received for work on nutrition, obesity, and other health and dietary issues; the dozens of peer-reviewed research publications she has written; the numerous national and international awards and honors she has received; and her leadership in professional organizations such as the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB), an international association of professionals actively involved in health promotion and nutrition education. Dr. White is SNEB’s president-elect.
But it is her willingness to involve her students—current and former—in her teaching, research, and service activities that receives constant thanks and mention.
“Dr. White has a passion for educating her students and always makes time to help them through their struggles, encourages them to explore their own areas of interest, and acts as a strong mentor,” explained then-UMaine senior Tom Merrow last year, adding that Dr. White “works diligently to guide [students] to their goals.”
“As a mentor and role model, Dr. White set the path for my career,” wrote Dr. Jennifer Walsh, a UMaine alumna and current faculty member at the University of Florida. “Dr. White is a trailblazer in nutrition education and eating behavior research…I am always proud to share with other faculty and professionals that I studied at the University of Maine with Dr. Adrienne White because they know her well and respect her many contributions.”
Dr. Ed Ashworth, the recently retired dean of UMaine’s College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, nicely summed up Dr. White’s influence: “[Her] success in the classroom, her ability to engage with students and inspire them, her extensive collaborations across the country, her multi-million dollar research projects, and her commitment to improve health through nutrition education…are the hallmarks of a distinguished professor.”