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Carolina Cawthon

Carolina Cawthon

Foods and Nutrition

Cawthon looks forward to training the next generation of nutrition professionals.


Ph.D., Foods and Nutrition


Hartwell, Ga.


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Irene J. Jones Memorial Scholarship, Pearce L. and Mary Wells Elkins Scholarship, Best Poster Presentation Award – Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior annual meeting, UGA Graduate School assistantship and international travel award, FACS travel awards, Foundation Commission on Dietetics Registration Doctoral Scholarship – Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sharon Boone Hamner Foods and Nutrition Scholarship, Patsyjane O’Malley Memorial Scholarship – Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Anne and Earl Haltiwanger Scholarship, Costa Travel Fund Award, Ruth Rowan Morrison Graduate Endowment in Nutrition Studies recipient, Northeast Georgia Dietetic Association Graduate Student Scholarship, Georgia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Outstanding Dietetic Intern Award, Georgia Nutrition Council Holly B. Alley Scholarship, Georgia Nutrition Council Student Research Presentations Overall First Place Award winner, UGA Chapter of the Blue Key Honor Society—secretary, Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior - New Investigator Advisory Board member, Northeast Georgia Dietetic Association - treasurer and president, UGA FDN Graduate Student Organization—treasurer, UGA Extension 4-H District Project Achievement and Senior Food Challenge competition judge, UGA FDN mock counseling patient for dietetics undergraduate students, food demonstration presenter for the Athens Community Council on Aging, three peer-reviewed publications, earned blackbelt and worked as a fitness kickboxing instructor

Why I chose my major

I began my education in nutrition after contemplating health problems experienced by my parents and their connection to lifestyle factors, especially diet. Somehow, I wanted a career that would help people have a better understanding of how to navigate our increasingly confusing food landscape in the best ways to promote health and maintain enjoyment in one of life’s universal pleasures: eating. After completing my undergraduate degree in dietetics, the next step I needed to take was completing a dietetic internship. UGA has an outstanding program, housed in the FACS department of foods and nutrition, which is combined with a master’s degree; applying for the program was a no brainer. Once I started research towards my master’s degree, I realized I loved research, loved my lab (The Gastrointestinal Neurophysiology Laboratory headed by Dr. Claire de La Serre), and loved the support provided by FDN. Changing my degree objective from M.S. to Ph.D. set me up to pursue the academic career I believe will fulfill my desire to contribute to the body of evidence that informs nutritional guidance and helps train the next generation of nutrition professionals.

What I like most about FACS

There many things to love about FACS, including the great education and the expert faculty, but far and above it is the incredible support network that helped me along the path to finding my best self. No doubt, it’s the people in FACS who make it a great place – everyone from the dean to my department head and graduate coordinator to faculty and the support staff in my department and the college.

Post-graduation plans

The next step for me is a post-doctoral research position. I hope to round out my research skills and background in ingestive behavior along with developing my grant writing skills so I will become a good candidate for a university faculty position in the future. I haven’t signed an offer yet, but I’ve got some things on the table.

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