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Professor to Advocate for Young Nutrition Professionals

By Reese Colaluca
University of Mississippi

Nadeeja Wijayatunga, an assistant professor of nutrition and hospitality management at the University of Mississippi, will join the board of directors for the American Society of Nutrition, a leading global authority in nutrition science, for 2022-23.

Wijayatunga will serve as the early career representative and past chair of the early career nutrition interest group.

“I am honored to represent the University of Mississippi at the national level,” she said. “It is an honor and a privilege to be working with pioneers in nutrition and I look forward to being an advocate for early career professionals in nutrition.”

The director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Lab is passionate about mentoring, providing mentorship to undergraduate and graduate students who study in her lab. Additionally, she is a volunteer mentor for Sri Lankan students through the Sustain Education Foundations’ ScholarX program in Sri Lanka. 

“I am where I am today thanks to the guidance and encouragement by my family, teachers and my mentors,” Wijayatunga said. “I have been able to achieve things because I try to be proactive, patient and resilient.

“I also do things that make me leave my comfort zone because one will grow more when there are challenges.”

This is not the first time Wijayatunga has taken on a leadership position with the society. She has served as chair, vice chair and as an at-large delegate on the early career nutrition interest group. She also serves on the dissemination subcommittee of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Council on Research. 

“We are honored as a department to have Dr. Wijayatunga serve in this capacity as a director for the American Society of Nutrition,” said Cindy Choi, chair of the Ole Miss Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management. “We pride our department’s faculty and staff in being well-rounded individuals who are involved in different organizations within the nutrition and hospitality management world.”

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