Nutrition and Dietetic Advisory Board

Advisory Committee Mission and Vision: The board exists to assist the faculty, staff, and students of Miami University in ensuring an optimal educational experience.
The purpose of the Nutrition and Dietetic Advisory Board is to assist and support the Miami University didactic program in dietetics and graduate program combined with a dietetic internship.
The board serves in an advisory role that provides direction for the program. It also enhances the programs documented excellence, student success and community engagement.

Karen Bakies, RDN, LD, FAND

Karen BakiesVice President, Nutrition Affairs, American Dairy Association Mideast

Karen Bakies is a registered and licensed dietitian and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics working with the American Dairy Association Mideast, the local affiliate for the National Dairy Council.  As the Vice President of Nutrition Affairs, she oversees state-wide partnerships and acts as a resource for health professionals, consumer leaders, media and the dairy industry.  Karen is the former president and delegate of the Ohio Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is the current delegate for Nutrition Education for the Public practice group.  She has been acknowledged by the Ohio Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics with the “Member Merit Award” and the “Presidents Award” and “Outstanding Member” Award for Nutrition Education for the Public. Karen graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and completed her dietetic internship in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Ashley Sweeney Davis, MA, RDN, LD

Ashley Sweeney DavisChief, Elder Connections Division at Ohio Department of Aging

Ashley Sweeny Davis is Chief of the Ohio Department of Aging’s (ODA) Elder Connections Division. Having joined the department in 2017, Ashley serves as a critical member of the executive staff team and leads the division administering Older Americans Act programs and other healthy aging initiatives. A key author of Ohio’s Strategic Action Plan on Aging (SAPA) and the federally required State Plan on Aging, Ashley oversees efforts to support the development and implementation of a statewide, comprehensive, and coordinated system of services and supports for older adults and caregivers.

Ashley has served in a public health capacity for more than a decade. Prior to her leadership at ODA, Ashley managed programs at the Ohio Department of Health aimed at creating healthy communities across the state. Ashley has vast local- and state-level subject matter expertise in areas including community conditions, healthy living, and access to care. Ashley’s personal and professional passions include a focus on addressing social determinants of health, food insecurity and malnutrition, transportation, housing, and ensuring health equity for all Ohioans.

In 2021, Ashley was awarded the Ohio Commendation Medal presented by Ohio Governor DeWine and was recognized as a public health champion, having led the planning and implementation of COVID-19 vaccine clinics in affordable senior housing locations across the state resulting in thousands of older Ohioans receiving critical vaccinations, social isolation screenings, and wrap-around services. Ashley is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and received a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Miami University and a master’s degree in wellness management from Ball State University.

Janine Faber, MEd, RDN, LD

Janine FaberNutrition Communications Consultant, Janine Faber Nutrition, LLC

Janine is the Owner of Janine Faber Nutrition, LLC focusing on retail and product marketing, health professional outreach, and community education. With an extensive background in retail nutrition, she provides sound nutrition solutions via engaging media segments, cooking demonstrations, and presentations leading to improved health outcomes, increased store and product loyalty, and positive sales results.

- Awarded Produce for Better Health Supermarket Dietitian of the Year (2014)
- Awarded Ohio Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year (2008)
- Awarded Kentucky Beef Council Outstanding Service Award (2013)

With over 14 years of experience in the retail industry as a dietitian for Kroger and Meijer, Janine has extensive experience working with businesses, brands, and consumers. She enjoys inspiring others through nutritious meals and tips via tv segments, presentations, social media, cooking demonstrations, and written articles and blogs. Janine has been featured in 100+ media segments on local FOX, ABC, CBS stations and their affiliates.

Janine is also very active in the nutrition community as a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Greater Cincinnati Dietetic Association, and Ohio Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is the past Director of Sponsorship for the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetic Practice Group with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a past President of the Ohio Nutrition Council.

Janine earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Miami University and attended Virginia Tech's Dietetic internship in Northern Virginia. She completed her Master of Education in Health Promotion at the University of Cincinnati.

Christopher Howell, DSc, MSc, MPAS, PA-C, MBA, DFAAPA

Christopher HowellAssociate Professor and Miami University Physician Associate Program Director

Dr. Christopher Howell is a Miami University Associate Professor and Program Director for the Physician Associate Studies program. He has held several positions in clinical practice, education, and leadership over the last twenty years. During his time in the military, he had the privilege of being a site director for clinical placement and education for physician assistant education, adjunct clinical professor, and healthcare administrator. Following his fellowship, he began to focus more on emergency medicine and critical care, point-of-care ultrasound, clinical research, and PA education.

Julie Kennel, PhD, RDN, LD

Julie KennelClinical Associate Professor The Ohio State University

Julie Kennel is a clinical associate professor of human nutrition, director of the Human Nutrition dietetic internship and co-director of the Masters in Dietetics and Nutrition. In her research, she focuses on the promotion of healthy eating through theory-based behavior change strategies, fruit and vegetable intake, qualitative research for intervention design, and instrument validation. She is involved in clinical projects designed to improve processes to enhance client/customer outcomes as well as projects that emphasize the value of registered dietitians in practice.

Amy L. Macechko, MAT, OCPS

Amy MacechkoAmy has served as the Health & Wellness Coordinator for the Talawanda School District (Oxford, OH) since 2006.  Her primary responsibility includes chairing the Health Coordinating Council, which seeks to minimize the non-academic barriers to student learning through policy, practice, and programming efforts.   Her work focuses on multiple facets of wellness, specifically drug prevention, mental/social/emotional health, and the promotion of active living and healthy eating.  In this position, Amy also serves as Project Coordinator for the Coalition for a Healthy Community - Oxford Area.  As Coordinator, she provides administrative support for the community-based organization, including strategic planning, training, grant writing, and evaluation support.  In this role, Amy also serves as a liaison between the greater Oxford Area and the District to cultivate partnerships that support health and wellness.

Amy received a BA in Psychology from Miami University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from National-Louis University in Wheaton, Illinois.  Prior to this position, Amy taught high school psychology and sociology.  She is an Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist.

Sherry Martin

Sherry MartinExecutive Director Talawanda Oxford Pantry and Social Services

Sherry Martin manages and directs the day-to-day operations of the Talawanda Oxford Pantry &
Social Services (TOPSS). Sherry is currently working toward a graduate degree in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program. She worked at Miami University for 18 years, including 7 years in the Office of the Dean of Students before becoming the Executive Director for TOPSS.

Iris Puthoff

Iris PuthoffMiami University Kinesiology, Nutrition and Health Graduate Student

Iris Puthoff is a graduate student in the Miami University Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Health with an Exercise and Health Science Concentration Combined with a Dietetic Internship Program. She graduated from Miami University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science degree double majoring in nutrition and public health and was on the President’s or Dean’s List every semester.

Iris is a graduate fellow in the Miami University Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Health Department Graduate Teaching Assistantship Program. She is completing a dietetic internship through Miami University which will allow her to sit for the registered dietitian exam and become a registered dietitian nutritionist.

Allison Ruffin, MHA, RDN, LD, CLC

Alison RuffinDayton Children’s Hospital Director Clinical Nutrition and Lactation

Alison Ruffin is the Director of the Dayton Children’s Hospital Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Program leading a team of clinical pediatric dietitians, dietetic technicians, lactation specialists, and clinical nutrition lab technicians.
She completed her Master of Health Administration at Ohio University and her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics at Miami University.

Laura Walters MS, RD, LD

Laura WaltersNetwork Director of Clinical Nutrition at Kettering Health Network.

Laura Walters has her bachelor's degree in Dietetics from the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Dietetic Internship from Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati and Her Master of Science in Applied Nutrition from University of New England.

Laura's dietetic experiences include administrative responsibilities as assistant director of food service in a small community hospital, school food service, WIC experience, Nursing homes, as well as clinical inpatient nutrition experiences in both adult ICUs and infant ICU. "If I could offer any advice, don't be afraid to take any opportunities that comes your way even if you think it isn't what you want, as these opportunities will be your guide to your future."