Committee Chairs

Academy Staff

Click hyperlinked names below to contact that Officer via email:

Janice MacLeod, MA, RDN, CDCES, FADCES Janice MacLeod, MA, RDN, CDCES, FADCES


Janice Macleod is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist currently leading clinical advocacy initiatives at Medtronic Diabetes.  Previously Janice served as the Director, Clinical Innovation in a pioneer digital health company, Welldoc and in various roles with Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care including product representative, sales trainer, clinical affairs manager and Diabetes Medical Science Liaison. Janice began her career as a diabetes dietitian for Carilion Health System in Virginia and more recently served at the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology in Baltimore, MD.  

Janice has authored and edited multiple publications, contributed to book and curriculum manuals on diabetes, and has developed numerous education programs and presentations in the areas of diabetes nutrition, glucose monitoring, digital health, and practice transformation.  Janice collaborates with a large network of international diabetes experts and thought leaders and is actively involved in leadership roles with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists and the American Diabetes Association.  Her passion is developing business savvy solutions leveraging technology to transform diabetes care. 

Janice lives in Maryland with her husband where they enjoy sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.  Janice also enjoys writing, reading, growing and cooking with herbs, hiking and being involved with her church and community.  

Connect with Janice on Twitter @janicerdcde  and on LinkedIn:


Patricia Davidson, DCN, RDN, LDN, CDCES, FANDPatricia Davidson, DCN, RDN, LDN, CDCES, FAND


Patricia Davidson is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. She is a Professor in the Department of Nutrition, College of Health Sciences at West Chester University-PA, and holds degrees from Rutgers University (DCN, Doctor of Clinical Nutrition), Virginia Tech (MS, Nutrition and Food Science), Southern Illinois University (BS, Food and Nutrition). For 30 years she has worked as a clinician, researcher, and educator. Her clinical positions have included in-patient diabetes education, private practice, and community diabetes education. She is active in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on various task forces, including the development of practice guidelines (Evidence Analysis Library), Academy DGA Collaborative and Think Tank, and co-author of the Revised 2017 standards of practice and standards of  professional performance for registered dietitian nutritionists (competent, proficient, and expert) in diabetes care. She also has served serves on the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (ADCES) practice, position paper, and research committees. Her awards include: Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award (NDEP/AND), Honors College Outstanding Faculty Award (WCU), Carolyn Sebastianelli Distinguished Member Award (NJDA), and the Distinguished Service Award (GSADE), and is a recipient of numerous grants.

Within DDPG, she has served as the Awards Chair, Membership Chair, DPG Delegate, and Print Publications Chair. Her research centers on prevention and management of diabetes throughout the lifecycle, interprofessional practice and collaborative care, role of the gut microbiome in disease, and the development of technology for diabetes management. She has authored or co-authored numerous manuscripts pertaining to diabetes treatment strategies, management, problem-solving, implementation of nutrition guidelines, and prevention.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Dwight and enjoys long walks, Italian food, travel, and keeping current in diabetes and nutrition research.



Paula Kellogg Leibovitz, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCESPaula Kellogg Leibovitz, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES


Paula Kellogg Leibovitz, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES is the owner of PKL Consulting, which focuses on grant management and the development and delivery of community education programs. She serves as a Technical Consultant for the CT State Department on Aging and CT Department of Public Health. She has extensive experience in curriculum development, and has managed grants from the Maternal Child and Health Bureau, Office on Woman's Health and the Robert Wood Foundation. Paula is the former Director of the Dietetic Technician Program at Lincoln College of New England (formerly Briarwood College).

Paula served as treasurer of the DDPG Practice group and in numerous leadership positions for the Academy, including Commissioner for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), Dietetic Technician Program Representative on the ACEND Board of Directors and the CDR Representative for the Council on Future Practice. She is immediate past chair of the Examination Panel and Entry-Level Dietetics Practice Audit Committee for CDR.   She also served as CT Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President and was CT delegate for 6 six years.

Paula was appointed to the CT Diabetes Advisory Board and to the Connecticut Diabetes Partnership, Department of Public Health Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.   Additionally, she was one of the founders of the Southington Community Garden and serves as a mentor and volunteer for the garden program.  The project received the 2019 YMCA Healthy Living Award. 

She received the prestigious Academy Medallion Award in 2018.

Paula loves traveling, cooking and gardening and is a Master Gardener. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, Peter.



Laura Russell RD, CDCESLaura Russell, RDN, CDCES


Laura Russell is an RDN, CDCES and is the program coordinator at Endocrinology Clinic of Minneapolis. She has been an educator for over ten years and worked in various settings including research, inpatient care, telemedicine and out-patient clinics. Her expertise includes pregnancy and technology related to diabetes care. Laura enjoys teaching patients new skills and enjoys empowering them with the tools they need to reach their health goals. She is a contracted insulin pump trainer with all major pump companies. She has volunteered with Diabetes DPG for 8 years in various roles. She represented the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at a consensus conference on continuous glucose monitoring for American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists in Washington, DC. She also co-authored an article in OTCE entitled “Insulin Management and Advancing Practice of the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in Diabetes Care” in 2018. Laura enjoys trying new foods, cooking, gardening, attending sporting events and being outdoors with her husband and three young children.



David Trinkle, RD, CDE


David Trinkle is a Registered Dietitian who helps working people to live without a fear of diabetes.

Before starting as a Clinical Nutrition Manager, David worked 3 years as a Diabetes Educator and 5 years as an instructor for University of Phoenix. After a successful career helping people with Diabetes (both type 1 and type 2 Diabetes) and educate young minds in collegiate level education, David now educate people on how to live without fear of diabetes. David is pursuing his doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition and has Certified Diabetes Educator Certification.

David’s philosophy is “what you do (and eat) is who you are”. David embraces healthy eating habits with a touch of common sense to “live a little”.

David enjoys spending time with his new born daughter and paddleboarding.



Jennifer_Barr_1.jpgJennifer Barr, MPH, CDCES, RDN, LDN

Dietetic Practice Group Delegate

Jennifer is the Founder of Nutrition & Weight Management Centers in which her focuses are on diabetes, weight management and disordered eating. Prior to her practice medical nutrition therapy practice, Jennifer worked at Christiana Care Health System for 14 years as a Manager of a federally funded program called Moving Moms Forward, a statewide maternal child health initiative. Her many professional accomplishments include Past President, Delaware Dietetic Association, Young Dietitian of the Year and Outstanding Dietitian of the Year. Jennifer also is an Adjunct Instructor at West Chester University..

Jennifer has worked in community nutrition and weight management for over 18 years and is committed to improving the health of the community and eliminating barriers to care. Her work in community nutrition and weight management has earned her esteemed honors at the federal and state levels, leading to numerous grants that have allowed her to conduct important work in the public health sector.



Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN

Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN

Communications / Marketing Director

Constance Brown-Riggs—a former national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is the author of the Diabetes Guide to Enjoying Foods of the World; The African American Guide to Living Well With Diabetes, which received the Favorably Reviewed designation from the American Association of Diabetes Educators; and Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes. Constance Brown-Riggs—a former national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is the author of the Diabetes Guide to Enjoying Foods of the World; The African American Guide to Living Well With Diabetes, which received the Favorably Reviewed designation from the American Association of Diabetes Educators; and Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes.

Over the course of her career, Constance has established herself as an expert in nutrition, diabetes, and the cultural issues that impact the health and health care of people of color. Her work has appeared in books for health professionals and health care consumers, and she has been a featured expert in national magazines, and in newspapers across the country. She also is a regular contributor to Today's Dietitian Magazine, also serving on the magazine's advisory board, and to

Constance is a former member of the board of directors for the American Association of Diabetes Educators, DCEs’ first social media and diversity chair, former member of NDEPs Promotion Taskforce,  past president of the New York State Dietetic Association and the Long Island Dietetic Association. Her professional honors include the Health Education Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Suffolk County Chapter, Inc., Award for Excellence in Consultation and Business Practice from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Distinguished Dietitian Award from the New York State Dietetic Association, and the Diabetes Educator of the Year award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Diabetes Care and Education Practice Group.

Learn more about her work at, follow her on twitter, and instagram, and on Facebook become a fan of Living Well With Diabetes



Mary Angela Niester, MPH, RDMary Angela Niester, MPH, RD

Membership Chair

Mary Angela is the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Site Coordinator for Southeast Michigan at St. Joseph Mercy Health System. In this role, she works to develop, execute and measure progress toward achieving the ADAPT (Advancing Diabetes Awareness and Prevention at Trinity Health) grants performance measures. Her prior public health and clinical diabetes and nutrition experiences have helped in this role as she builds relationships with various community organizations, EHR specialists and the area’s largest physician group to develop unique referral systems, data gathering and analysis and EHR charting template builds specific to DPP. She continues to develop approaches in growing and sustaining DPP within the health system including working closely with DPP Lifestyle Coaches in managing and facilitating face-to-face and distance learning classes. 

Mary Angela is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, serving as past Treasurer of the Diabetes DPG and as Newsletter Chair with the Religion MIG. She has held numerous leadership positions within the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics including Delegate, Conference Planning Committee Chair and President. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics at Central Michigan University and her Master of Public Health at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!).


Anna Parker, DCN, MS, RD, CDCESAnna Parker, DCN, MS, RD, CDCES, FAND

Professional Development Chair

Anna Parker DCN, MS, RD, CDCES, CCRC, FAND is a research dietitian with Anaheim Clinical Trials in Anaheim, California. She is team leader for all clinical trials for patients with diabetes, prediabetes and obesity. She is passionate about diabetes and devoted to diabetes research to help patients improve their diabetes control and live a better quality of life. Anna is a graduate of Rutgers University where she received her Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition.

During her graduate studies, she obtained grant funding from the Diabetes Dietetic Practice Group (DDPG) Karen Goldstein Memorial Grant for Diabetes Medical Nutrition Therapy to pursue a randomized clinical research trial to investigate the effect of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) compared with usual care on fasting plasma glucose values, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), serum lipid levels, and Diabetes Risk Score, from baseline to the end of a 12-week intervention in adults with overweight or obesity and prediabetes. Seventy-six subjects participated and the results were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has also published in the area of Evidence Based Practice in Dietetics.

Dr. Parker is also currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at Rutgers University in the clinical nutrition department. She has taught classes in preventive nutrition, advanced clinical nutrition, pharmacology, vitamin and mineral metabolism and human metabolism. She is dedicated to being a mentor for students and has also published articles with her graduate students. Dr. Parker promotes research and encourages her students to use evidence analysis.

Dr. Parker has served as Professional Development Chair for DDPG for the past three years. She has also served as research chair for DDPG before that.   She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; DDPG; Dominican University Alumni Association; and ACRP.  
She has received various honors and awards as the:  Diabetes DPG Publication Award, Huddleson Award, California Dietetic Association Excellence in Research Award, and the Pharma Times award for Beardsworth Citation for Patient Focus.  Dr. Parker has also served as a National Study Coordinator for Novo Nordisk contributing to the area of clinical research trials.


Mary Lou Perry, MS, RDN, CDCESMary Lou Perry, MS, RDN, CDCES

Publications Chair

Mary Lou Perry MS RDN CDCES is a registered dietitian and holds degrees from Radford and Virginia Tech.  She has over 30 years of working in the diabetes space, mostly at the University of Virginia in the department of Internal Medicine as a  program coordinator for an  ADA recognized program in Endocrine department. In the last  20 years, she has been part of an innovative interprofessional collaborative diabetes/cardiometabolic practice where her skills are fully integrated into the practice setting.  She is a preceptor and speaker for the  University of Virginia’s dietetic internship program and has served as an advisor for several Intern Capstone projects.  She has served in numerous capacities with the CBDCE (Certification Board for Diabetes Care and Education) as an exam reviewer and item writer. Additionally, she is an approved item writer for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  She has helped write items for EatRight prep, a preparation course for those re-entering practice or those qualifying for the registry exam.

Mary Lou’s involvement with DPG has been longstanding but not until the last 10 years has served in several roles within the practice group. Initially as a theme editor of an OTCE issue and subsequently as associate editor and editor. She developed “OTCE for Dummies” – a practical manual for anyone assuming the role of associate editor. She regularly assists the OTCE editorial team in finalizing CPE’s for the OTCE issue. She’ll move into Publications chair after serving as print coordinator for the past 4 years.  Additionally, she along with Dr. Kathy Briggs Early are co-editing the 2nd edition of Cultural Food Practices and facilitated the involvement of Diversify Dietetics co-founder Tamara Melton, MS RDN CPHIMS.  Known for her humor and innovative presentation style, she is a regular speaker at various state/affiliate diabetes and nutrition meetings. As part of a clinical ladder project on insulin injection technique, Mary Lou presenting her findings at a Research Summit  culminating in a presentation dressed as Lin Manual Miranda in full Hamilton Custom, and creating a hip-hop song so the audience could remember the most important components, it ended in a song “I’m not giving away your Shot!” 

Primary interests include weight inclusivity, insulin injection technique, patient advocacy, motivational interviewing, interprofessional practice, micro-learning opportunities, non-diet approaches, consumption of whole food plant based eating patterns, developing creative cooking demonstrations, medication assisted weight loss and nutritional counseling.



Shamera_R.jpgShamera Lashawn Robinson, MPH, RDN

IDEA Liaison

Shamera is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) dedicated to empowering individuals to prioritize wellness. As an outpatient dietitian, Shamera uses a patient-centered approach to counsel, educate, and deliver medical nutrition therapy needed for clients to reach their personal health goals. The only thing she enjoys more than nutrition education/counseling is translating complicated science into easily digestible (post-worthy) tips. Don’t forget to interact with Shamera on social media!



Wendy Castle MPH RD CDCESWendy Castle, MPH, RD, LD, CDCES

Nominating Committee Chair

Wendy Castle is a Licensed, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist with over a decade of experience in the health and wellness industry. She has a passion for nutrition and helping others find their way towards wellness. She specializes in diabetes education and management, weight loss, food sensitivities/allergies, kidney disease, GI disorders, heart disease and much, much more. Her approach is to help patients outline their goals, meet them where they are at, and guide them towards their definition of success.

Just a little background…She grew up in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois and completed her undergraduate program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Food Science and Human Nutrition. She then completed her dietetic internship at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and went on to earn her Master’s in Public Health at Missouri State University. She volunteers with the Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Diabetes Care and Education Specialist Practice Group, and coaches youth soccer. She is licensed in both the state of Missouri and Georgia. 


Amanda_K.jpgAmanda Kirpitch, MA, RDN, CDCES, CDN

Policy and Advocacy Leader

Amanda is the owner of Nutrition Perspective, LLC a private practice in New Jersey serving people with diabetes, eating disorders and cardiometabolic conditions with a focus on simplifying management and improving  relationships with food.  Amanda is also a certified pump and continuous glucose monitor trainer.  She is  passionate about helping people with diabetes and has been fortunate to speak on this topic both nationally and  internationally.

Prior to having her own practice, Amanda gained a wealth of experience working in diabetes at Columbia University in New York and Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

Amanda served as the chair of the Massachusetts chapter for the Association of Diabetes Educators from 2013-2014



Jason Roberts, RDN, LD, CDCES, FANDJason Roberts, RDN, LD, CDCES, FAND

Nutrition Services Payment Specialist 

Jason Roberts, RDN, LD, CDCES, FAND is an outpatient dietitian with the Department of Veteran Affairs in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is honored to work with our nation’s heroes to help them meet their nutrition and health related goals. He especially enjoys teaching Veterans cooking skills in the VA’s Healthy Teaching Kitchen.

Jason severed as affiliate president of the Ohio Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (OAND) during the 2018-2019 membership year. Most recently he served as the co-chair of the diversity task force and nomination chair for OAND. His first nutrition related volunteer position was with CADE (now ACEND) as a student representative.

Jason is a proud recipient of the Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year in 2014. He also received the Recent Graduate Achievement Award from the University of Cincinnati in 2012.

Jason loves spending time outdoors, running, biking, hiking or just being with loved ones.



Dawn Menning, MS, RD, CDCESDawn Menning, MS, RD, CDCES

Social Media Chair

Dawn Menning is the Director of Clinical Services at Canary Health. She oversees the delivery of the digital Prevent Diabetes program to ensure quality, engagement, and user satisfaction. Dawn leads a team of lifestyle coaches that promote behavior change and improve participant outcomes.  Prior to her current position she served as Associate Director, Educational Content for the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists and was a Master Lifestyle Coach Trainer for the diabetes prevention program. Dawn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist with over 20 years of experience in diabetes prevention and management. She completed her Bachelor of Science Degree at Michigan State University and her Masters Degree in Nutrition Education at Rosalind Franklin University.

Dawn lives in Southern California with her husband, son, and standard poodle. In her free time, she enjoys running, biking, and spending time at the beach with her family. Find Dawn on LinkedIn at



Cathy Huang, MPH, RDNCathy Huang, MPH, RDN

Web Chair

Cathy graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Clinical Nutrition from the University of California, Davis, and completed her dietetic internship and Master of Public Health at the University of Washington. She began her involvement with this DPG during her dietetic internship and had been the Web Editor for several years. She is excited to now be serving her second year as the Web Chair.

Cathy has experience in a variety of nutrition settings, including in post-acute care, long-term care, and community nutrition. Cathy currently works for the City and County of San Francisco coordinating nutrition services and overseeing contracts with community food programs. Outside of dietetics, Cathy enjoys travelling and spending time with loved ones. Some of her travel highlights in the recent years include scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, caving in a glow worm cave, taking a paella cooking class in Spain, and bungy jumping at the "World Home of Bungy."



Laura Yatvin, MPH, RDN, CDCESLaura Yatvin, MPH, RDN, CDCES

Awards Chair

Laura Yatvin MPH, RDN, CDCES brings over 30 years of nutrition experience in a variety of clinical, education and pharmaceutical positions. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont and a Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois. She currently works at Kensington Hospital in Philadelphia, serving a diverse and Latino population. She began her involvement with DDPG as Membership Chair, spent several years as an associate editor developing carb counting handouts for various cultures and now will serve as the Awards Chair. Laura is the Lead for the Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of ACDES. In the past, she has worked as a consultant for Novo Nordisk, Sanofi Aventis, VMS and Lily. She enjoys painting in watercolor and acrylic, tries to keep fit with yoga and barre exercise and spends time in her garden.


Cassie-Verdi_1.jpgCassie Verdi, MPH, RD

Corporate Relations Manager

Cassie is a registered dietitian specializing in nutrition communications, public health programming, health professional education, and culinary nutrition. In her current role, she works closely with DDPG’s leadership team to build relationships with industry collaborators, and to secure sponsorships that support the practice of DDPG’s membership.

Her previous work experience includes several years at FoodMinds, a division of Padilla, where she managed and implemented nutrition communication programs for food and beverage clients. Prior to working at Padilla, she was the Associate Director of Nutrition at the American Diabetes Association. She is the co-author of two books published by the American Diabetes Association: 21 Things you Need to Know About Diabetes and Nutrition and The Diabetes Superfoods Cookbook and Meal Planner. She is currently working on her third book.

Cassie completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Miami University, and she completed her Dietetic Internship and Master of Public Health degree at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Outside of her work in nutrition, Cassie is busy at home with her three little girls. When she has the time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, trying new restaurants, long-distance running, cycling, and spending time outdoors with her family.



DCE_2015_Linda.jpgLinda Flanagan Vahl

Executive Manager

Linda began her career at the Academy as Manager of Professional Development with CDR in 1999, working with CPE Accredited Providers and recertification/credentialing.  Linda has been a DPG Manager since 2007, and enjoys working with volunteer leaders. Linda has a BA in Urban Studies/Public Policy from DePaul University in Chicago. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, tennis and volunteering in her community. She served on her local high school Board of Education for 8 years, and served on her local H.S. Education Foundation devoted to scholarship fundraising. Linda enjoys time with her husband, 2 daughters, 2 sons & cat 30 minutes southwest of Chicago.