The Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition is dedicated to researching and addressing today’s critical health issues, including obesity, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, and other risk behaviors. In addition to housing majors in exercise science, dietetics and nutrition, and nutritional sciences, the school seeks new ways to influence and advance the fields of health and nutrition through practical solutions that positively impact individuals and community health.
Engineer effective health and nutrition education to be a reasonable adventure that is… feasible, sustainable, compelling, and rewarding.
Scholars, students and citizens walk the talk to secure health for all.
Design new baccalaureate and advanced degree programs in health and nutrition to align with the shifting needs of a complex planet.
Continue to grow and refine the nutrition and exercise science programs.
Coordinate and implement our vision through the Nutrition Education Engineering & Designs (NEEDs) Center.
Partner with stakeholders in industry, business, and government services to be a sound source of health and nutrition education
Collaborate with researchers and practitioners engaged in clinical research with educational aspects.
Engage in policy development to support efforts in health and nutrition education.
Areas of research
Using Simulation to Train Nutrition Students
Reflections from a Formative Research Experience Focused on Childhood Anemia in Ghana
The best-practice approach, known as the Satter Division of Responsibility in Feeding, has now been rigorously tested and peer reviewed. The questionnaire will become a standard parent survey for professionals and researchers working in the early childhood development field, predicts lead researcher Barbara Lohse, director of RIT’s Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition.
Yong “Tai” Wang currently is dean and endowed chair professor of the Drs. Lee Roy and Lucy Mathis College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Texas at Tyler, a role he has held since 2014. He was chosen for the RIT dean following a national search, and will begin his new leadership role in January.
Richard Doolittle has been named interim dean of RIT’s College of Health Sciences and Technology, effective immediately. Doolittle has a long history with RIT’s health care programs, and he has served as vice dean of CHST for nearly a decade.
Nutrition, diet, and exercise can have a remarkable impact on our health. The undergraduate degrees offered by the Wegmans School focus on educating students on how to help others reap the benefits of healthy nutrition and regular exercise, and the many ways healthy living can improve our overall well-being.
An exercise science degree that scientifically addresses issues of health and fitness by focusing on how people can recover from the unhealthy effects of chronic lifestyle diseases and on training athletes to extend and expand their performance.
A nutritional sciences degree that combines nutrition, biology, chemistry, and behavioral health to design and administer health, nutritional, and wellness programs in industries and settings as diverse as athletics, hospitality, education, and federal nutrition programs.
A health management master's degree that prepares you for a career in designing and managing health and well-being programs for organizations interested in helping their people lead healthier lives and contribute to the organization's productivity.
The exercise science minor includes foundation sequences in anatomy and physiology upon which the basic principles of exercise physiology, fitness assessment, and the preparation of fitness programs are built. The minor prepares students to sit for professional certification examinations for work in the fitness industry, provides understanding of sports physiology for those interested in sports equipment design and technology, and complements and enhances personal fitness.
The nutritional sciences minor enhances a student’s major with a focus on nutrients and human nutrition issues. The study of nutrients includes knowledge about their sources, metabolism, and relationship to health. Nutritional status impacts medicine, health care policy and promotion, global relationships, issues in anthropology and sociology, exercise science, food systems, hospitality, and behavioral health.
The Fitness Lab houses state-of-the-art equipment utilized by exercise science students to gain hands-on experience conducting fitness assessments and testing. Fitness services, such as fitness assessments, are also provided by exercise science students to the RIT community.
The mission of the Nutrition Education, Engineering, and Designs (NEEDs) lab is to engineer and design research and evaluation services that foster promotion and delivery of evidence-based health and nutrition education.
The Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition is dedicated to researching and addressing today’s critical health issues such as obesity, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, and other risk behaviors. The school seeks news ways to influence and advance the fields of health and nutrition through practical solutions that positively impact individuals and community health.
Research and outreach efforts that focus on developing, implementing, and evaluating school- and family-based interventions to effectively address childhood obesity and promote healthy habit development.
Curriculum designed to educate children, parents, and preschool providers on the principles of the Division of Responsibility in Feeding and USDA Core Nutrition Messages. Collaborators includes Volunteers for America and YMCA of Greater Rochester.
Cleaned.Cut.SNAP is a pilot project that evaluates point-of-sale financial incentives for SNAP participants to encourage the purchase of fresh vegetables, including "Cleaned and Cut" vegetables at select Foodlink Curbside Market mobile farmer’s market locations and select Wegmans Food Markets in Rochester, NY.
Anemia is a persistent micronutrient deficiency affecting women and children across the African continent. This research project provides educational opportunities for students to learn about nutrition-related childhood anemia issues of developing countries and the programs and interventions being implemented to address the problem. Collaborators include PointHope International and University of Cape Coast.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women and the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Disease management and secondary prevention strategies, such as lifestyle changes, screening, and medication adherence have led to increased survival rates for breast and other cancers, but further reduction in breast cancer incidence and mortality requires enhanced professional education on cancer risk management and strategies to enhance provider-patient communication to motivate cancer survivors to be full participants in breast health care. The goals of this project are to develop, pilot, evaluate and refine PAMI: Physician Assistant Motivational Interviewing + Health Literacy to Enhance Health in Breast Cancer Survivors, a breast cancer education program grounded in theory for Physician Assistant students to refine breast cancer survivorship knowledge, develop competency in Motivational Interviewing (MI), and enhance patient health literacy. The PAMI curriculum will be developed by a team of subject matter experts and vetted by a diverse group of survivor advocates served by the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR). Two groups of ~20 fourth and fifth-year Physician Assistant student-participants will engage in comprehensive, online training (lecture, survivor-advocate panel, guided discussion, role-play, reflective journals) including participation in Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) survivor support groups to better understand the concerns of breast cancer survivors. Student-participants will be evaluated by validated survey instruments (ie. Cancer Attitude Questionnaire, Multicultural Sensitivity Scale), knowledge tests, and pre-post video-recorded student-led counseling sessions with breast cancer survivor standardized patient scenarios with 1:1 coaching for improvement. In addition, student-participants provide video-recorded 1:1 motivational interviewing sessions to the breast survivor community. Survivor-participants will evaluate the students' effectiveness using open-ended questions and validated measures (ie., Care Satisfaction Questionnaire), and a sub-group of survivor-participants will engage in a focus group to assess their experience. This project has the potential to re-conceptualize Physician Assistant communication training and equips graduates to fully partner with breast cancer survivors to enhance care, health, and quality of life.
RIT’s Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition is one of five national sites conducting a randomized clinical trial to evaluate the Enhanced Lifestyles for Metabolic Syndrome (ELM) program. ELM provides tools, methods and support for healthier eating, increased physical activity and stress management and the ELM trial is studying how to best provide this information to persons diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome. This is important because Metabolic Syndrome quintuples the risk of diabetes, doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease, and is considered a state of prediabetes and Stage A of heart failure. Metabolic Syndrome has increased in prevalence from one-quarter to one-third of Americans over the past 20 years.
The William G. McGowan Charitable Foundation awarded Chicago-based Rush University $9 million to support the national study. Partner sites with RIT are located in Kansas City Missouri, Denver Colorado, Danville Pennsylvania.
The mission of the NEEDs Center is to engineer and design research and evaluation services that foster promotion and delivery of evidence-based health and nutrition education. The NEEDs Center is administered out of the College of Health Sciences and Technology.
Learn more about the work of the NEEDs Center by reviewing our research and resources: