Faculty Member Honored as Outstanding Dietetics Educator

Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognizes Janie Cole for contributions to the field

Janie Cole

OXFORD, Miss. – Janie Cole, a registered dietitian, nutritionist and director of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at the University of Mississippi, has been named the state’s 2020 Outstanding Dietetics Educator.

This award, given by the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recognizes the teaching, mentoring and leadership activities of faculty in accredited dietetics education programs.

Kathy Knight, UM professor of nutrition and hospitality management and recipient of this award in 2018, is thrilled to see her colleague recognized this year.

“It is especially gratifying to see Janie Cole win this award because not only is she a fantastic instructor in our department; she is also one of our alumni,” Knight said. “Janie is so deserving of this award.

“She genuinely cares about each her students and works so hard to ensure that each of them has informative, challenging and career-building experiences in their supervised practices.”

A two-time Ole Miss graduate, Cole earned her bachelor’s degree in family sciences and a master’s degree in dietetics. She manages the UM Nutrition Clinic, providing nutritional services throughout the campus and surrounding communities.

Cole joined the UM staff in 2008 as education and training specialist for the National Food Service Management Institute, now known as the Institute of Child Nutrition. Besides her work with the Coordinated Program in Dietetics, she is an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management.

Her experience, along with her connection to students and industry professionals, allows her to do more in the classroom.

“Janie is an outstanding instructor who is excellent at building relationships – a skill that is necessary to mentor future nutrition professionals and to maintain clinical sites for our students to gain their experiences,” said Melinda Valliant, chair and professor of nutrition and hospitality management, who garnered this award in 2008.

Cole said she is honored and humbled by the award.

“For me, working with dietetic students is the most rewarding job there is,” she said. “Then to get an award for doing something you love? It just doesn’t get any better than this.”

One of Cole’s students, Natalie Williams, of Meridian, joined her in being recognized by the academy this year, taking home the award for the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2020 Outstanding Dietetic Student.

For more information about the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, visit https://nhm.olemiss.edu/.