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Press Release

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to Present 2013 Medallion Awards to Eight Members for Service to Academy, Dietetics Profession


Media Contacts: Ryan O'Malley, Allison MacMunn
800/877-1600, ext. 4769, 4802

CHICAGO – The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics will present its prestigious 2013 Medallion Awards to eight members in recognition of outstanding service and leadership to the Academy and the dietetics profession. Medallion Awards have been given each year since 1976. The winners will receive their awards on Sunday, October 20, during the Academy's Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, October 19 to 22 in Houston, Texas. The 2013 Medallion Award recipients are:

Suzanne C. Cryst, RDN, CSG, LD, Dayton, Ohio. Cryst has been an Academy member since 1978. She is the director of nutrition services at the Maria Joseph Nursing Rehab Center and previously was employed as a dietitian and department head at Washington Manor Retirement Community. A specialist in food and nutrition management, nutrition education, healthy aging and renal nutrition, Cryst is a past chair of the Dietetics in Health Care Facilities dietetic practice group; past president of the Ohio Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; and currently represents Ohio in the Academy’s House of Delegates. According to her colleagues, Cryst "is not only a well-known and highly respected registered dietitian within the state of Ohio, but also nationally. She has impressively served the dietetics profession through her various positions with not only her own profession but also allied health organizations; through her publications and presentations; and through her training to both dietetic interns and other health professionals."

Constance B. Diekman, MEd, RD, LD, CSSD, FADA, St. Louis, Mo. An Academy member since 1973, Diekman is the director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, providing nutrition information to students, faculty and staff. Diekman has served in many Academy leadership positions including president in 2007-2008; in the House of Delegates; and for nine years as an Academy media spokesperson. From 1995 to 2012, Diekman was the voice of the Academy's "Eating Right Minute" feature on Chicago’s WBBM-AM; and for 14 years she was a television nutrition reporter in St. Louis. In the words of her colleagues, Diekman "serves as a role model for dietetic professionals, particularly in non-traditional roles. She inspires those who know her to pursue excellence in nutrition science and the interpretation of that science into effective nutrition communications… She has played a leading role in pioneering the important role of registered dietitians as the nutrition experts."

Dayle M. Hayes, MS, RD, LD, Billings, Mont. Hayes has been an Academy member since 1982. An award-winning author, educator, speaker and consultant, she is dedicated to creating healthy environments in schools and communities. Hayes co-authored the Academy's position paper on "Nutrition Guidance for Healthy Children Ages 2 to 11 Years." Her honors have included the Montana Dietitian of the Year award; the Academy's award for Excellence in Consultation and Business Practice; and the 2012 Silver FAME Award as a Friend of Child Nutrition from the School Nutrition Association. Hayes has served on the Academy's Board of Directors, as past president of the Montana Dietetic Association and as past chair of the School Nutrition Services dietetic practice group. According to her colleagues, Hayes "showcased and positively built the reputation of registered dietitians to the outside world well before social media made it easy to make a name for yourself. Dayle literally helped make nutrition and healthy eating accessible to consumers long before you could find nutrition messages everywhere."

Mildred K. Mattfeldt-Beman, PhD, RD, LD, St. Louis, Mo. Mattfeldt-Beman has been an Academy member since 1972. She has taught at Saint Louis University since 1982 and since 2001 has chaired the department of nutrition and dietetics at the university's Doisy College of Health Sciences. As an innovative educator, Mattfeldt-Beman established one of the nation's first programs that combined culinary training with traditional dietetics education. Working with local schools, farmers and chefs, she created the award-winning Gardens to Tables Consortium – urban gardens that, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "acquaint students of all ages with the relationship between food, health and the personal fulfillment derived from laboring in the soil while promoting community and corporate collaborations," in the words of a colleague. Mattfeldt-Beman has also published numerous research papers on the nutritional management of hypertension, among other areas. In 1997, she received a lifetime achievement award from the Missouri Dietetic Association and in 2010 was named the Saint Louis University Women’s Commission "Woman of the Year."

Mary K. Molt, PhD, RD, LD, Manhattan, Kan. An Academy member since 1973, Molt is the associate director of housing and dining services at Kansas State University, where she is responsible for foodservice operations and leads a staff that supervises more than 100 full-time employees and 400 part-time student employees. Molt is also an assistant professor of hospitality management and dietetics. She has written or co-written the past seven editions of Food for 50 (Prentice Hall), "an unparalleled source for standardized quantity recipes" for nearly 70 years. Her awards include the foodservice industry’s highest operator honor, the International Foodservice Management Association’s Gold Plate (2012); the Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award, the National Association of College and University Food Services’ most prestigious honor (1995); and the Academy Foundation’s Award for Excellence in Management Practice (1997). According to a colleague, her "coordinated approach to dietetics education is unique nationally, and is especially suited for educators such as Dr. Molt who have the breadth of experience and ability to effectively integrate operations management with educational theory."

Nora K. Nyland, PhD, RD, CD, Provo, Utah. Nyland has been an Academy member since 1976. She is an associate professor of nutrition, dietetics and food science and the director of the didactic program in dietetics at Brigham Young University, where she has worked since 1982. An authority on dietetics education, Nyland's lengthy service to the Academy includes: member of the Dietetics Workforce Demand Study Task Force; chair of the Council on Future Practice; chair of the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education; a member of the House of Delegates; reviewer for the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; and president of the Utah Dietetic Association. She is a past recipient of the Academy's Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award and the Utah association’s Award of Merit. Colleagues say Nyland "is gifted with the ability to see the bigger scheme of things without losing the personal relationship with the real people who might be affected. She sees the positive outcomes much more brightly than the negative outcomes and can help others see them as well."

Dianne Kammerer Polly, JD, MS, RD, LDN, Memphis, Tenn. Polly has been an Academy member since 1975. A nutrition and legal consultant, she worked from 1991 to June 2013 at the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association as a dietitian and then director of a senior citizens' nutrition program; executive legal counsel and program executive; director of government affairs; and, since 2009, vice president for compliance and community relations. Polly is a past president of the Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and vice president of the Texas Dietetic Association. Her service to the Academy at the national level includes: member of the Legislative and Public Policy Committee; chair of the Ethics Committee; member of the Association Positions Committee; member of the House of Delegates; and chair of the House’s Mentoring Program. According to her colleagues, Polly demonstrates "a dedication to high standards of professional competence, ethics and leadership (and) a devotion to serving others… Her advanced practice portfolio represents an unwavering passion to live a life of purpose, to do worthwhile work and to make a difference."

Jamie S. Stang, PhD, MPH, RD, Minnetonka, Minn. An Academy member since 1986, Stang is an associate professor in the division of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health; and director of the university's Midwest Center for Lifelong Learning in Public Health and the Leadership Education and Training Program in MCH Nutrition. A nationally recognized authority on maternal and child health, Stang serves on the Academy's National Public Health Task Force, the Council on Future Practice and on the Minnesota affiliate's Public Policy Committee. She received the Academy's 2011 Excellence in Community Dietetics Award; and in 2005 was named the Academy's Public Health and Community Nutrition dietetic practice group's outstanding member. She directs the country's only national continuing education and training program devoted to the nutrition needs of women – from preconception through pregnancy – and infants and young children that combines aspects of both public health and clinical care. In the words of Stang’s colleagues: "It is exciting to see how one person can make such an impact in the lives of so many people."

For full bios and/or headshots of Medallion Award recipients, please contact the Academy's media relations department at or 312/899-4769


All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy's Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use "registered dietitian nutritionist" (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at