ASPEN Congratulates Our 2020 Award Winners!

Click on the Award type below to jump to that section.

Get to know some of the award winners with the quotes underneath their photos. 

ASPEN Champion  |   ASPEN Fellows  |   Specialty Awards  |   Distinguished Nutrition Support Awards

New Practitioner Awards  |   Chapter Award Winners  |   Foundation Grant Recipients

Vars Candidates  |   Trainee Awards  |   Nestlé Nutrition Institute Clinical Nutrition Fellows

Abstract and Professional Development Grant Winners

ASPEN Champion


Kathleen Gura, PharmD, BCNSP, FASHP, FPPAG, FASPEN


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ASPEN Fellows

Angela Bingham, PharmD, BCPS, BCNSP, BCCCP, FASPEN

"Service opportunities within ASPEN have been key to my leadership development. I also value the friends, colleagues, and mentors I've gained by networking with leaders in nutrition support." 


Michael Christensen, PharmD, BCNSP, FASPEN

"My patients and the desire to provide them the best care possible is what inspires me."

Jeanette Hasse, PhD, RD, LD, CNSC, FADA, FASPEN

"I am inspired by Psalm 118:24 - 'This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it!'. It encourages me to have a positive attitude no matter the circumstances."
Cassandra Kight, PhD, RDN, CNSC, FASPEN 

"My perfect vacation would entail beautiful surroundings with trees and flowers, warm temperatures, sunshine, walking, good food, laughter, learning something new, and an unhurried schedule."  

Mark Klang, MS, RPh, BCNSP, PhD, FASPEN 

"I am most proud of attaining my PhD, the recognition of my efforts to understand patterns of drug nutrient interactions, and my 'mad scientist of the year' award."   
Ruben Gustavo Kliger, MD, FASPEN 


"The Golden Rule - trying to do your best and treat people the way you wanted to be treated every day – really inspires me." 

Robert Martindale, MD, PhD, FASPEN 

"If I could have dinner with anyone dead or alive it would be Mother Theresa, I find her fascinating."  
Todd Mattox, PharmD, BCNSP, FASPEN 

"I have many sources of inspiration from my wife and kids to running, swimming, music, and more. All give me a different and usually uplifting perspective that adds to my drive to just keep on keepin' on."  
Liam McKeever, PhD, RDN, FASPEN 

"Hands down, my greatest inspiration has been the woman who mentored me through my Ph.D., Dr. Carol Braunschweig. She has been a fantastic educator and a tireless advocate for me." 
Nilesh Mehta, MD, FASPEN 

"I have enjoyed bringing multidisciplinary groups together in pursuit of nutritional research. I have successfully developed platforms for international collaborative research."  
 Ana María Menéndez, PhD, FASPEN 

"If I could have dinner with anyone, it would have been my pleasure to spend some time with Stanley Dudrick, and to talk with him about the beginning of his career."   
John Miles, MD, FASPEN 

"ASPEN has provided a venue for the sharing of ideas with other clinicians and scientists committed to improving nutrition support care for our patients." 
 Jack Pasquale, MD, FASPEN 

"My perfect vacation would entail: traveling with my wife to a new destination where I can be immersed in the culture, music, and food." 
 Steven Plogsted, BS, PharmD, BCNSP, CNSC, FASPEN 

"What inspires me the most is being able to become someone who inspires others to excel in their career so they can become good practitioners and lead subsequent generations." 
Denise Richardson, RN, CNSC, FASPEN 

"I have always had an interest in science. Once I started caring for young surgical short bowel patients, I knew this was the career path I wanted to follow." 

"The professional accomplishment I’m most proud of is being the first dietitian to become a fellow in the Academy of Critical Care Medicine."  
 Renee Walker, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, FAND, FASPEN 

"My perfect vacation would entail a beach, blue water, white sand, big waves, good food, good music, dance, paid for (not by me)." 
D. Dante Yeh, MD, FASPEN 

"If I could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, it would be my childhood idol, John Coltrane. His dedication and commitment to his art are legendary and inspiring." 

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Specialty Awards

Barney Sellers Public Policy Award  

Sharon Durfee, RPh, BCNSP

"I've always been interested in medicine and pharmacy. I had the opportunity to work with a gastroenterologist and start a nutrition support team in the hospital. My interest in parenteral nutrition started there."

Excellence in Nutrition Support Education Award  

Paul Wischmeyer, MD, EDIC, FCCM, FASPEN

"I am inspired by Dr. Dudrick, my other mentors, and my past/present mentees. I’m also inspired by my patients seeing them survive with such amazing strength, grace, and dignity. I am inspired by my parents, my children, and most of all my wife." 

George Blackburn Research Mentorship Award

Paul Wischmeyer, MD, EDIC, FCCM, FASPEN

Jonathan E. Rhoads Lecturer Award 

Mette Berger, MD, PhD

Lyn Howard Nutrition Support Consumer Advocacy Award 

Joan Bishop

"Dr. Lyn Howard and others who practice in the field of homePEN inspire me. It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of an organization established for the consumers (patients) and caregivers with the support of the clinical community who manage them."   

Stanley J. Dudrick Research Scholar Award 

Ajay Jain, MD

Stanley Serlick Award  

Vanessa Kumpf, PharmD, BCNSP, FASPEN

"It is fair to say that I would not be in my current position without the contacts I made through my involvement with ASPEN. ASPEN has provided me a valuable forum for both professional and personal growth."

Clinical Nutrition Team of Distinction Award 

University of Chicago Adult GI/Nutrition Support Service

"The best thing about the team is being able to work with a multidisciplinary group of highly qualified individuals to provide optimum patient care."

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Distinguished Nutrition Support Awards

Dietitian Service

Sandra Austhof, MS, RD, LD, CNSC

"My perfect vacation would be in Cape Cod with a group of friends. My love for fresh seafood is satisfied with raw clams & oysters on the half shell, my brother’s authentic clam bake, and more." 

Nurse Service

Lorraine Linford, RN, BSN, BS, CNSC

"Since watching General Hospital as a young child with my grandmother, I knew medicine would be a big part of my life. I have truly loved nursing with all of it's diversity as a career and Nutrition Support has been my focus." 

Pharmacist Service

Katherine Chessman, PharmD, FCCP, FPPA, BCPS, BCNSP
"ASPEN is a wonderful, interdisciplinary organization that provides valuable resources for nutrition practitioners. I have used ASPEN resources extensively in my teaching and clinical practice." 

Physician Service

Ezra Steiger, MD, FACS, FASPEN, AGAF

"I am inspired by the victories in overcoming significant obstacles and challenges, and the accomplishments of my wife Karen, children Jon and Joanna, their respective spouses Darby and Adam, and our grandchildren William, Lily, and Max." 

Dietitian, Advanced Clinical Practice

Michelle Kozeniecki, MS, RD, CNSC

"The key to a perfect vacation is to find the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. I would love to travel to Hungary to visit family, go sightseeing, learn more about the culture, and eat all the food."

International Service                   

Daren Heyland, MD, FRCPC, MSc

"The professional accomplishment that I am most proud of is the development, production and dissemination of the first evidence-based, clinical practice guidelines for critical care nutrition." 

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New Practitioner Awards

Nutrition Support Nurses Section

Heather Etzl, MSN, RN, CBC

"My perfect vacation would consist of adventuring across the islands of Hawaii. This would provide the perfect mix of hiking and adventuring with relaxing on the beach!"

Pediatric Intestinal Failure Section

Brandi Weller, PharmD

"A perfect vacation would be anywhere warm with a beach. I am always cold! My husband and two children would need to be by my side."  

Pharmacy Practice Section

Christopher Buckley, PharmD, MS, BCCCP

"If I could have dinner with anyone dead or alive it would be Derek Jeter. I am a huge New York Yankees fan. I would love to pick his brain about motivation and leadership so I could apply it to my practice." 

Research Section

Adrian Lawrence, PharmD, BCPS

"ASPEN has provided the resources and knowledge to help me train future generations of practitioners in nutrition support."

Student and Trainee Section

Melissa Anh Dang, PharmD Candidate

"I believe I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known. I would be nothing without my mentors in and out of the pharmacy world especially Dr. Angela Bingham; she has been an incredible mentor and friend."  

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Chapter Award Winners

Chapter of the Year Award
MSPEN Michigan
Chapter Growth Award


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Foundation Grant Recipients

$50,000 Baxter Parenteral Nutrition Grant

David Williams, MD, MPH

$25,000 Abbott Nutrition Research Grant

Enid Martinez, MD

$25,000 Norman Yoshimura Grant – B. Braun and the Aesculap Academy

Marko Rudar, PhD

$25,000 Maurice Shils Enteral Nutrition Grant – Nestlé Nutrition Institute

Fatemeh Ramezani, PhD

$20,000 C. Richard Fleming and Daniel H. Teitelbaum Grant

Debora Melo van Lent, PhD

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Vars Candidates

Olgun Deniz, MD
Olgun Deniz, MD

Natasha Machado, PhD
Natasha Machado, PhD

Enid Martinez, MD
Enid Martinez, MD

Fatemeh Ramezani, PhD
Fatemeh Ramezani, PhD

Xue  Coughlin
Zhigang Xue, MD;   Rachel Coughlin, MSN


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Trainee Awards

Jessica Que, BSc
Jessica Que, BSc

Anni Rong, BS
Anni Rong, BS

Xue   Coughlin
Zhigang Xue, MD;   Rachel Coughlin, MSN


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Nestlé Nutrition Institute Clinical Nutrition Fellows

Rebecca Busch, MD
Rebecca Busch, MD

Vikram J. Christian, MD, CNSC
Vikram J. Christian, MD, CNSC

Caitlin Homberger Green, MD
Caitlin Homberger Green, MD

Endashaw Omer, MD, MPH

Sadeq A. Quraishi, MD, MHA, MMSc

David A. Williams, MD, MPH


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