ASPEN Congratulates Our 2021 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 Lifetime Achievement Award   |   ASPEN Fellows   |   Specialty Awards

Distinguished Nutrition Support Awards   |    New Practitioner Awards   |   Foundation Grant Recipients

PN Early Career Professional Development Grant Recipients   |   Vars Candidates   |   Trainee Awards

Abstract and Professional Development Grant Winners

ASPEN Lifetime Achievement Award


Peggi Guenter, PhD, RN, FAAN, FASPEN 


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ASPEN Fellows

Penny Allen, RD, CNSC, FASPEN 

"If I could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), it would be with Stanley Dudrick and his wife Terry. I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to come to know them personally. His contributions to the field of nutrition and critical care are underestimated outside of the nutrition community." 


Matthew Bechtold, MD, FASPEN 

"I chose my career because I enjoyed the pathophysiology and procedures. Nutrition is an overlooked critical aspect of medicine. We need more clinicians involved in nutrition."

Allison Blackmer, PharmD, FASPEN 

"I am generally proud of the impact I have had on my patients in the clinical setting as well as my students over the years. To reflect back and realize that I have had an impact, however small or big, on patient care outcomes and students' careers is wonderfully gratifying."
Lingtak-Neander Chan, PharmD, BCNSP, FASPEN  

"ASPEN helped me establish a strong network of knowledgeable, intelligent, dedicated, and passionate peers, who continue to inspire me to do more and do better to make a difference."  

Karrie L. Derenski, PharmD, BCNSP, BCCCP, CNSC, FASPEN  

"The professional accomplishment I'm most proud of is receiving the University of Missouri School of Pharmacy Preceptor of the Year award. I love to precept and mentor others in nutrition support and the role of the pharmacist in the care of the patient on nutrition support."   
John K. DiBaise, MD, FACG, FASPEN

"ASPEN has allowed me to participate and thrive in an area that I came into a little later in my career. The opportunities and ASPEN staff have been wonderful. The people I have met through ASPEN are inspiring."   

Sharon M. Durfee, RPh, BCNSP, FASPEN  

"ASPEN has allowed me to connect with nutrition support experts and expand my knowledge to provide better care for my patients. It has also allowed me to participate on committees and projects with industry leaders." 

Arlene Escuro, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, FAND, FASPEN  

"I've always been interested in food science and nutrition. I am drawn to nutrition science as it has a significant impact on disease prevention and promotion of overall health and well-being."  
David C. Evans, MD, FACS, FASPEN  

"My surgical partners and all of nurses, dietitians, respiratory therapists, and other clinicians who have risen to the challenge every day in the COVID-19 pandemic have inspired me."  
Maria Cristina Gonzalez, MD, PhD, FASPEN  

"I am most proud of having the opportunity of working not only with some of my role models but also with my son, who is an amazing clinical scientist. Undoubtedly, he is my best accomplishment." 
Leah M. Gramlich, MD, FRCP, FASPEN  

"My perfect vacation would entail escaping and being with mother earth in all her beauty at our place in Northern Alberta."  
 Brenda Lynn Gray, PharmD, FASPEN  

"I actually wanted to be a kindergarten teacher. As things progressed, I fell in love with helping special needs children. Knowing that I would like to do projects that supported them, I pursued 2 paths - recreation therapy and pharmacy. I saw this as a way to be able to help them more than teaching for a year of their lives. Early in my career, I combined these skills to do camps and recreation programs for kids with special medical needs. That's how I chose this career."   
Kelly Green Corkins, MS, RD, LDN, FAND, FASPEN  

"My perfect vacation involves a beach and a book, a mystery, bonus if the story takes place in NJ or Philly. Limited cell phone and internet access would be great. There is nothing more relaxing than the sound of the waves." 
 Sharon Y. Irving, PhD, CRNP, FCCM, FAAN, FASPEN  

"I am most proud of attaining the PhD - first in my family - and attaining each of my fellowships. FASPEN is very special to me as nutrition therapy was something that primarily is self-taught, and I have worked so hard and sacrificed much to attain this accomplishment. I am proud of all my accomplishments, but this is recognition of many years of learning, listening, verifying, and learning some more." 
 Michelle Kozeniecki, MS, RD, CNSC, CCTD, FASPEN  

"My patients inspire me. They deserve the best care, and I will always strive to be at the top of my game to provide it to them." 
Michael D. Kraft, PharmD, BCNSP, FASPEN  

"Certainly, I am inspired by patients, knowing that they look to us to help them at a time of their greatest need when they are ill and that I need to do everything I can to help them. I'm also inspired by my friends and colleagues; whose tireless dedication and commitment is awe-inspiring. However, my greatest inspiration is my family, especially my wife Shawna and our children Will and Erich. Their love and support are beyond what I deserve." 
Miguel Leon Sanz, MD, PhD, FASPEN  

"If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be Valentin Fuster. Brilliant clinician, teacher, editor, and researcher."  
 Timothy Lipman, MD, FASPEN  

Lucinda K. Lysen, RDN, LD, RN, BSN, FASPEN   

"My perfect vacation would entail a tropical beach, sun, white sand, balmy weather, a beautiful golf course, my golf clubs, and my husband - my favorite golfing partner!" 
Mary McCarthy, PhD, RN, CNSC, FAAN, FASPEN   

"In 2018, I received the honor of being named the Geneva Foundation's Researcher of the Year. This award recognized my 25 years of federally funded military research in nutrition and health promotion with active-duty populations. I am most proud of this accomplishment."  
 Alyce Newton, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC, FASPEN   

"When safe travel is possible, my perfect vacation would be visiting with our family and friends. A vacation where we could explore a new culture, meet people with unique experiences and perspectives, enjoy the music, art, history, local food and wine, gardens, national parks, go hiking, sailing, biking, golfing, and snorkeling, would be amazing and would take several weeks." 
Kristen Roberts, PhD, RDN, LD, CNSC, FASPEN   

"If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be with my a restaurant without a mask and without COVID. A year without your friends and family near makes you realize how important the little things are in life." 
Lawrence A. Robinson, BS, MS, PharmD, FASPEN   

"If I could have dinner with anyone, I would have loved to have dinner with Arnold Palmer. Not only was he a great sportsman, he was also a great humanitarian, entrepreneur, and friend to many."  
 Michelle M. Romano, MS, RDN, CNSC, FASPEN   

"If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be Michelle Obama. She is a fascinating accomplished woman with so many experiences. I would love to hear her perspective on many topics." 
Mary Russell, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, FASPEN   

"If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be with Chef Jose Andres, because of his selfless commitment to feeding people (those impacted and those who are helping) after natural disasters and challenges of all kinds, and his innate ability to inspire others." 
Patricia M. Sheean, PhD, RDN, LDN, FASPEN   

"Smart people inspire me. I love new ideas and the prospects of exploring new scientific concepts. I am so motivated by people who fail and are not afraid to tell their stories and how they learned from it."  
 Renay D. Tyler, DNP, ACNP, FASPEN   

"Opportunities for continuous improvement that benefits our team members and the patients we serve inspires me. I have a critical eye for recognizing greatness but also seeing where we can always do better. Motivating others to join in on that journey - locally and across our system brings me great satisfaction." 
Paul W. Wales, MD, FRCSC, FASPEN   

"I am inspired by my patients and their families. I am continually struck by the courage and grace they exhibit in the face of so much uncertainty and adversity." 
Kate Willcutts, DCN, RDN, CNSC, FASPEN   

"I am most proud of being a clinical nutrition manager. Coaching and supporting dietitians as they grow, achieve their potential, and/or reach their goals."  



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Specialty Awards

Barney Sellers Public Policy Award  

Penny Allen, RD, CNSC, FASPEN 

"I am incredibly inspired by the dedication of the ASPEN leaders who give so much of their life to this cause - particularly Peggi Guenter and the clinical specialist team, Jay Mirtallo, Bev Holcombe, etc. What they produce, contribute, and support is amazing year after year."

Excellence in Nutrition Support Education Award  

Rees Parrish
Carol Rees Parrish, MS, RDN 

"My perfect vacation involves warm tropical weather, an endless white sand beach with crystal clear blue, blue water with great waves for body surfing (no shore surf!), my fins, and my whole family with me!" 

George Blackburn Research Mentorship Award

Kenneth A. Kudsk, MD, FAACS, FCCM 

"The greatest joy of my career has been my association with bright, energetic students and colleagues. It amazed me how soon the research students absorbed knowledge in lab meetings and quickly contributed important ideas to our research objective. Many of the students presented their first paper at ASPEN and together my clinical colleagues went onto leaderships roles. Some even received grants from the Rhoads Research Foundation. I am very proud of my students and colleagues!"

Jonathan E. Rhoads Lecturer Award 

Thomas Ziegler, MD, MS 

"ASPEN has favorably impacted my career in many ways since the late 1980s, from publishing great nutrition science in JPEN and NCP, to providing guidelines on specialized nutrition support best practices, to networking opportunities and science presentation venues at our annual meeting, and by providing the opportunity to participate in numerous committees over the years, including the Rhoads Research Committee."

Lyn Howard Nutrition Support Consumer Advocacy Award 

Joy McVey Hugick

"My perfect vacation would involve somewhere warm with access to the ocean/beach, a yoga mat, standup paddle board, a beach chair with a few good books to read, a balcony to watch the sun rise, and of course my husband, Brad, to take long walks on the beach with at sunset...and to pet all the dogs!"   

Stanley J. Dudrick Research Scholar Award 

Jayshil J. Patel, MD

"ASPEN has been instrumental in positively shaping my career. The people of ASPEN have provided me with platforms and opportunities to educate and collaborate and receive mentorship and lead. The Rhoads Foundation believed in the merit of my research. As a result, I gained credentials, which better positioned me to compete for NIH funding. I am thankful to the people of ASPEN."

Stanley Serlick Award  

M. Petrea Cober, PharmD, BCNSP, BCPPS, FASPEN

"I cannot imagine where my career would be without ASPEN. My participation in ASPEN has shaped my teaching, my clinical practice, and my scholarship activities in ways that I couldn't have foreseen when I joined the organization so many years ago. I recognize the impact I have on clinicians and patients throughout the world through ASPEN participation."

Clinical Nutrition Team of Distinction Award 

CHOP Nutrition Support Service 

"Patient care is improved by our NSS team since each PN order is evaluated by a nutrition boarded MD, RD, and PN trained pharmacist. Nursing provides excellent teaching and line care. Lastly, case management works with us to provide a seamless transition to home if PN is needed after discharge. We can provide high level clinical care with a holistic approach and cross checking."

Clinical Nutrition Team of Distinction Award 

Mayo Clinic Children’s Center Nutrition Support Team 

"The founder of our team spent years working hard to gain resources and support for the development of this program and team. We officially became a reality in 2019, and as we were figuring out workflows and schedules, our world was rocked by the pandemic. Despite all this, our patient volumes have essentially doubled in the last year. We persevered while facing so many challenges."

Clinical Nutrition Team of Distinction Award  

Truman Medical Center Metabolic Support Service 

"The best thing about the team is that we are accessible, both available and easy to approach. We are available to educate patients, students, family members, and other medical professionals. We emphasize approachability, so no one is apprehensive about asking questions or requesting consultations."

Clinical Nutrition Team of Distinction Award 

Winchester Medical Center Nutrition Support Team 

"The best thing about our interdisciplinary team is that we put a primary focus on patient safety, outcomes, and what is in the best interest of the patient. The team displays all aspects of high reliability, every place, and every time."

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Distinguished Nutrition Support Awards

Dietitian Service

Renee Walker, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, FAND, FASPEN 

"The summer before starting college, I found a journal from my sophomore year in high school. The teacher asked us to write about what you want to be when you grow up. I put an advertising agent, a model, or a dietitian. After reading that journal entry, I quickly changed my major from business to nutrition and never regretted the change. So, I chose my career by fate." 

Nurse Service

Phila Breeding, RN 

"My patients inspire me every day with their perseverance and ability to turn overwhelming hardship into life lessons to be thankful for. Compared to my patients, I have never experienced a bad day. I am honored to be able to make their lives even a little more bearable." 

Pharmacist Service

Andrew Mays, PharmD, BCNSP, CNSC

"I was led to nutrition support by my mentor, Phil Ayers. He showed me the impact that can be made in patients requiring evidence-based nutrition support, and he modeled a practitioner that gives back to his specialty and profession." 

Physician Service

M. Molly McMahon, MD, FASPEN 

"If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be with Amanda Gorman. I am inspired by this 22-year-old woman who views words in her poems as having the power to offer hope and lead to change during a time in the world when both are acutely needed." 

Dietitian, Advanced Clinical Practice

Kate Willcutts, DCN, RDN, CNSC, FASPEN 

"My perfect vacation would entail hiking, spa treatments, new food experiences, and good company."

International Service                   

Maria Isabel Toulson Davisson Correia, MD, PhD, FASPEN 

"The accomplishment I'm most proud of is having reached the position of full professor of surgery, as the first woman to conquer this in my department, but mostly because I was the youngest, the newest, and the woman running against seven other colleagues." 

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New Practitioner Awards

Nutrition Support Nurses Section

Jacqueline Crawford, MS, RN, ACCNS-P, PCPNP-BC 

"When I was in 5th grade, my class was assigned an essay, 'What I want to be when I Grow Up'. I wrote an essay about wanting to become a nurse because I liked to learn about the human body and watching medical shows on television. I've always been fascinated by anatomy and physiology. This is my earliest memory of wanting to become a nurse."

Pharmacy Practice Section

Catherine Corley, PharmD, RPh

"My fellow healthcare colleagues inspire me daily, especially during the current pandemic. The sacrifices that I see them make daily to fight for these critically sick patients is awe inspiring."  

Student and Trainee Section

Brooke W. Kratz 

"If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be Queen Elizabeth II. As Britain's longest-reigning monarch, she has lived through some of the most turbulent times and peaceful moments in the past century. The Queen still remains a mystery to the public, and I find her lifetime to be a fascinating period in history." 

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Foundation Grant Recipients

$50,000 Baxter Parenteral Nutrition Grant

Hassan Dashti, PhD, RD 

$25,000 Abbott Nutrition Research Grant

Ana Paula Pagano, MSc, RD 

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

Gabriella A.M. ten Have, PhD 

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

Lisa Martin, PhD, RD 

$10,000 C. Richard Fleming Grant

Imre W.K. Kouw, PhD, MNutr, BDiet 

$10, 000 Daniel H. Teitelbaum Grant

Vikram K. Raghu, MD, MS  

$24,028 Nutrition and COVID-19 Research Grant

Gail Cresci, PhD, RD, LD  

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PN Early Career Professional Development Grant Recipients


Melissa Tropico Sy, R.M.T., M.D., DPPS, DPBCN 


Frances Gail M. Turalba, M.D., FPCP, DPBCN 

Indian Peninsula

Hashan Amarathunga, MBBS, MSc 

Canada/Australia/New Zealand

Lindsey Russell, B.Sc (Hons), M.Sc, M.D., FRCPC 

Central/South America

Yahiel Osorio-Alamillo, M.D. 

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Vars Candidates

Zaineh Alja'nini, MD, FAAP 

Moriah P. Bellissimo, PhD, RD 

Jenna Kelley, MS, RDN, CD, CNSC

Jacob T. Mey, PhD, RD

Amber V. Puldio, PharmD, BCPS, BCNSP


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Trainee Awards

Bell Peters
Francesca Bell Peters, BA

Johanna Eliasson, MD

Lydia R. Maurer, MD


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