Dr. Carla Moore is an Assistant Professor, Extension Nutrition Specialist, and Program Coordinator for UGA’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). Her research interests include psychosocial and environmental determinants of health behaviors and health disparities, with an emphasis on obesity treatment and prevention. She answers questions below about her background and career so far at UGA.
Where did you earn your degrees and what are your current responsibilities at UGA?
I earned my B.S. in Food Science at Clemson University, my M.P.H. in Public Health Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and my Ph.D. in Nutrition and Health Sciences from Emory University. I am an Extension Nutrition Specialist, and I am the Program Coordinator for UGA’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). EFNEP is a federally funded program that teaches strategies for eating well and being active on a limited budget.
When did you come to UGA and what brought you here?
I came to UGA in October of 2015 for my current job. After I completed the research for my dissertation, I went back to work as a Public Health Nutritionist with the Georgia WIC program. My current job merges community nutrition with research, so it seemed like an ideal fit.
What interests you about your field?
I was initially drawn to the field because I wanted to be a sports dietitian for the Atlanta Braves. My career aspirations obviously changed, but I think one aspect of nutrition that has kept me in the field is the variety of areas of specialization and the intersection of nutrition with many other disciplines. I also have a personal interest in health and wellness, so I feel I can apply knowledge gained through my work and studies directly to my own life.
What are some highlights of your career?
I had the unique opportunity to do my dissertation research with rhesus monkeys at the Yerkes National Primate Center. In 2012, I was invited to speak about our nonhuman primate model for human health at the World Congress on Prevention of Diabetes and its Complications. Dr. Richard Smith, a former editor of the British Medical Journal, attended my session and blogged about my talk. For a couple of days, I felt like a big deal.
How does your research or scholarship inspire your teaching, and vice versa?
All of the research that we are currently doing is designed to evaluate our current nutrition education efforts. The results of these investigations will ultimately inform statewide programmatic improvements.
What do you hope students gain from their classroom experience with you?
Although I do not teach, I have had the opportunity to facilitate internships for undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Foods and Nutrition. I hope that my students gain a better understanding of the considerations that are necessary for real world delivery of nutrition education interventions. I hope their experiences with me help them develop health and nutrition education messages that are realistic and relevant to their future clients.
Describe your ideal student.
The ideal student or intern is intrinsically motivated and is constantly looking for ways to make everything (e.g., programs, products, circumstances) a little better.
What do you like to do beyond the UGA campus?
I’m a huge fan of college football, baseball, YouTube, acoustic guitar, the film industry, live theatre, and karaoke.
What is your favorite book/movie?
It’s impossible to choose a favorite book from all of the existing genres. However, my favorite book related to my work is Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. My favorite movie is either Tombstone or Braveheart.
What is your proudest moment at UGA?
Shortly after I arrived in Athens, I was tasked with coordinating a statewide conference for all EFNEP employees. With the help of the State EFNEP Staff, we organized a hugely successful meeting that was educational and enjoyable. The featured event was an Iron Chef competition that allowed our nutrition educators to simultaneously hone their food demonstration skills and showcase their creativity. I was so proud of the teamwork among everyone involved in coordinating and executing the event. The results exceeded my expectations.