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New department increases focus in changing times
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University's newly established Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion will afford faculty and students more opportunities to address growing health concerns in the state, nation and world.
Peter Rabideau, MSU vice president for academic affairs, said he believes the new department has potential to aid the state and improve the quality of life for its citizens.
"Obesity is a major health problem in Mississippi, and this new organizational arrangement will bring together a number of faculty with a focus on food, nutrition and health," Rabideau said.
The department has 14 full-time teaching, research and Extension faculty, two instructors, four adjunct members and three research associates. Enrollment this fall includes almost 80 undergraduates and 70 graduate students. Undergraduate degrees are offered in food science and nutrition, while master's degrees are offered in the concentration of food science, nutrition and health promotion. Doctoral degrees are available in the areas of food science and nutrition.
Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion incorporates faculty and students from four other departments: food and fiber, human sciences, kinesiology, and food science and technology.
Vance Watson, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said this department will be the only program in the state positioned to integrate agriculture, food, nutrition, lifestyles and health in teaching, research and outreach. The new department will promote a value-added approach to addressing health issues in the state.
"There is a major health initiative currently revolving around nutrition and health," Watson said. "The combining of these disciplines will give us a competitive edge for research grants focusing on issues that will ultimately benefit our state."
Watson, who is also vice president for MSU's Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine, named Reuben Moore, the associate director for the Mississippi Agricultural, Forestry and Experiment Station, as the interim department head.
The department was formed July 1 and is located in the Herzer Building.