There is no better ambassador for the study of nutrition than Carol A. DeNysschen. She has infectious enthusiasm for the field, and for educating tomorrow’s health professionals.
“During my undergraduate work at Cornell University, I was exposed to the amazing field of nutrition,” she said. “Within that exposure was an introduction to the world of public health from the viewpoint of nutrition, and the impact lifestyle changes can make on the health of a population. I noted an increasing passion for learning more and knew I first needed to become registered as a dietitian and practice the skills learned. Once registered and in the field, I was exposed to so many areas of health, health behaviors and the impact of choices on disease.”
DeNysschen’s next stop was at the University at Minnesota where she earned a master of public health degree.
By this time, she realized that there was yet another component she needed to incorporate into her already extensive education: exercise. “Because I have enjoyed physical activity my whole life, I wanted to help those who didn’t experience the benefits of an active lifestyle,” she said. “You need to educate on the benefits of physical exercise in order for a person to make the choice to partake in the behavior in a routine and beneficial pattern. I wanted to learn more about exercise science and how it impacts a person’s physiology.”
She arrived at UB after searching for a doctoral program that provided expertise in both exercise science and nutrition. “UB provided this unique combination at an advanced degree level.”
While at UB, DeNysschen was impressed with the caliber of instruction and of scholarship. “People had a deep desire to learn, and not just the basics but to learn the depth of the material,” she said. “The instructors impressed me with their knowledge and ability to convey this in interesting and essential ways.”
Soon after graduating, DeNysschen began teaching at Buffalo State College, where today she is an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics. “My UB education prepared me to branch out in research, to look for opportunities to be involved in research and to collaborate with community institutions,” she said. “I was fully prepared to start teaching at Buffalo State because I was awarded the wonderful opportunity to teach at UB. From that experience, I entered academia on a much firmer platform and with much more confidence.”
Still closely connected with UB, DeNysschen works with the Dietetic Internship and is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. She is also working with the department and Roswell Park Cancer Institute on research with breast cancer patients. Additionally, DyNysschen is an adjunct professor with UB’s School of Nursing.