Students at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health voted last month to select the school’s most innovative classroom teachers.

First presented in February 2012, the Teaching Innovation Awards honor faculty members who students feel “improve the learning environment at the Gillings School by integrating new technologies, engaging students in interactive activities, employing creative assessment methods, and introducing and incorporating progressive curriculum ideas into the classroom.”

The awards recognize one early-to-mid-career faculty member from each department/program. Out of the 55 professors in the Department of Nutrition, Dr. Meyer stood as the 2021 winner among her colleagues.

Katie Meyer, ScD, is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Meyer is a nutritional and cardiovascular disease epidemiologist. She was nominated for this award by students in her Nutritional Epidemiology for Masters Students (NUTR765) course. The course introduces basic methods of dietary assessment, reviews various topics in nutrition epidemiology, and teaches the skills needed for critical evaluation of the nutritional epidemiologic literature.

“Historically, we had a single nutritional epidemiology course comprising both masters and doctoral students. This posed challenges as the needs of these two student groups differ appreciably. Two years ago, the department made the decision to create dedicated courses for masters and doctoral students. This change has allowed us to spend more time reviewing general concepts, from epidemiology and biostatistics, that are needed to advance to understanding some unique analytic approaches used in nutritional epidemiology. In addition, we took the opportunity to rework the structure of the class to enhance interactive engagement through the use of polling and group discussion.” -Katie Meyer, ScD

In their nomination letters, students shared high praise for the achievements and influence that these instructors had on their learning experiences.

“Katie has gone above and beyond to create an intellectually engaging, relevant and tailored nutritional epidemiology course. She integrates unique activities into the course to help us apply concepts, including opportunities to use nutrition research tools on ourselves or design hypothetical nutrition research studies based on certain constraints. She is frequently checking in to assess our understanding and adapting the course to ensure we’re able to grasp key concepts. Katie is truly a joy to learn from and has a great attitude and sense of humor.” (Gillings School honors 6 faculty members for teaching innovation – UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health)

The NRI is honored to have Dr. Meyer working with us and molding the minds of the next generation. She is an integral part of the NRI’s mission to lead the field of Precision Nutrition research. Her work in the lab and the classroom reflects her ingenuity and dedication to excellence.

Congratulations, Dr. Meyer!

Meyer is a nutritional and cardiovascular disease epidemiologist. Her research focuses on diet-related health behaviors and nutritional risk factors for cardiometabolic disease. She is a recent recipient of a Research Scientist Development Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to study the gut microbiome, nutrient metabolites, and cardiovascular disease in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study (CARDIA).

Posted: May 5, 2022