Member Spotlight – Susan E. Adams, M.S., R.D., LDN, FAND

By Stacie Smith, PAND social media team

The wife of a retired Coast Guard Officer, Susan E. Adams, M.S., R.D., LDN, FAND has lived all over the United States sharing her love of food and nutrition.  Since moving to Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, she has been exceedingly involved in PAND.  She has held roles as nominating committee, chair of nominating committee, newsletter editor, president-elect, president, and past president.  Susan currently serves as a Pennsylvania Delegate to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics House of Delegates, representing Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley.  In addition to the positions she has held in PAND, Susan has helped with two Philadelphia AMEs as a co-chair of exhibits.  She also spoke on “Going Green in Foodservice” and “Ancient Grains” at PAND AMEs and twice at FNCE on the subject of Millennials and Diversity.

As an adjunct professor at La Salle University, a position she holds after retiring from an Assistant Professor position, Susan teaches courses in food science, food studies, and management topics.  At La Salle University, Susan has taught a variety of differed subjects, advised students, and has led many committees such as the nutrition club and curriculum committees.  Additionally, she works as a consultant for nine different assisted living homes in several counties near Philadelphia. Her consulting jobs require her to perform nutritional assessments of residents, watching for weight loss and skin issues, and performing sanitation and quality assurance surveys.  Owing to her dedication to the students at La Salle University, in 2012 Susan was awarded the Outstanding Dietetics Educator in a Coordinated Program from PAND as well as an outstanding educator award for Region 6 from Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors DPG.  She is also a member of the International Golden Key Honor Society and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Susan is a member of multiple DPGs including: Food and Culinary Professionals, NDEP (Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors), Healthy Aging, HEN (Hunger and Environmental Nutrition), Nutrition Entrepreneurs, and Management in Food and Nutrition Systems. She has a great love for DPGs as they help her to gain knowledge, create friendships, and provide her with opportunities to learn and grow as a nutrition professional. These DPGs allow Susan to stay current in the areas of nutrition that interest her most. She has even served as a reviewer for peer review newsletter articles for the Food and Culinary Professionals DPG.  Regarding the benefits of her academy memberships, Susan reveals, “The benefits are many.  We are stronger together.  We laugh, learn and support each other and the lessons I have learned from working with all of the dynamic women and men in AND & PAND has enriched my life beyond measure.”

Susan’s introduction to nutrition began well before she attended college.  With a mother who was a fabulous cook, uncles who were farmers, and family members with chronic diseases, pursuing a career in nutrition was natural for her. Susan graduated from The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio with a B.A. in Foods and Nutrition and Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a M.S. in Nutrition.  She completed a six-month qualifying experience with her Masters degree at Parma Community General Hospital.  Describing her family life further, Susan conveys, “When I was growing up my family sat down to dinner every day and enjoyed the food and company of each other.  Mealtime fed my soul.  When my children were at home, we ate together each evening, sometimes the times were adjusted for our schedules, and even now we eat together as often as possible.  Mealtime is family and friends time to reconnect and share.  I am passionate about this and the benefits of sharing our lives through food.”  Susan loves simple, honest food and has never met a potato she didn’t like!

Along with being involved with PAND, Susan is involved with the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture and has been a volunteer/staff member at their annual Bike Fresh event.  She is also a Kids Eat Right Volunteer, lecturing at Early Head Start and her local parish school, St. Andrews, on topics such as sleep and nutrition and healthy lunch box ideas.  Moreover, Susan donates community service hours to her local food pantry.  Susan’s other interests include walking, bird watching, reading, and sewing as well as spending time with her family, husband Greg, daughter Beth, son Tim, and the family Australian Silky Terrier Tucker.  Susan would like all RD/RDN/NDTR to know “that we can change lives through good nutrition.  It is simple and yet so very profound; When we eat well, we are energized to put our best food forward.”