Laing named Fellow of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Emma Laing, clinical associate professor and director of dietetics in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences department of foods and nutrition, has been named a Fellow of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.
This designation recognizes Laing’s commitment to the field of dietetics and celebrates her professional accomplishments and pursuit of lifelong learning. A Fellow signifies that a member has lived up to the academy’s values of customer focus, integrity, innovation and social responsibility.
“Being named a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is a significant honor, and we are so proud that Dr. Laing’s contributions to the field of dietetics and her commitment to her students and colleagues are being recognized,” said Lynn Bailey, Flatt Professor of Foods and Nutrition and head of the FACS department of foods and nutrition. “She is an asset to the department and college and we celebrate this accomplishment as well-deserved recognition for her efforts.”
Since 1998, Laing has been credentialed as a registered and licensed dietitian, an essential component to her role in teaching clinical nutrition courses and directing the nationally accredited UGA undergraduate program in dietetics.
The ultimate goal of the didactic program in dietetics is to prepare each student to succeed in a supervised practice experience post-graduation, which is a required step in the path to becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist.
The academy recently granted the FACS dietetics program continued national accreditation for the next eight years, highlighting in its report that all program benchmarks for professional standards were exceeded under Laing’s expert leadership.
For the past two decades, Laing’s research expertise has been in the area of imaging techniques for assessment of bone and body composition and employing dietary and physical activity interventions to reduce the risk of chronic disease. She has served as principal investigator or Co-I on competitive large-scale NIH grants as well as foundation and internal grants totaling around $3.2 million.
Her current interests include determining the efficacy of non-diet approaches to improve health and well-being. Her courses likewise challenge diet culture and incorporate the harmful effects of weight stigma on health.
Laing’s leadership activities within the profession have impacted audiences on a local, statewide, and national scale. She serves as communications coordinator of the Academy’s Nutrition Educators of Health Professionals Dietetics Practice Group, whose mission is to optimize the nation’s health as leaders in nutrition education.
Among other accolades, Laing has received the Teacher of the Week Award from the UGA Center for Teaching and Learning; the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award from the AND; and the Creswell Award from the FACS Alumni Association, given to a faculty member who has provided leadership in motivating and guiding students.
“I’m truly honored to be recognized as a Fellow by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,” Laing said. “During my 23-year career, I have been able to combine my nutrition science expertise with my interests in teaching and mentoring students, and my work is incredibly rewarding. I am passionate about empowering future dietitians to be the valued source of evidence-based nutrition information for the public.”