Food and Nutrition 2012 Section Awards

2012 APHA Food and Nutrition Section Awards


Please join us in congratulating all of the award recipients.

Sarah E. Samuels Award

Sarah E. Samuels, PhD, MPH is the recipient of the new Food & Nutrition Section award created in Sarah's honor and memory. The Sarah Samuels Memorial Award, Recognizing Outstanding Contributions for Policy, Advocacy, and Evaluation in Public Health Nutrition. 

Dr. Sarah Samuels was a leader and visionary in the field of public health, able to unite researchers and advocates in the development, evaluation, and ultimate adoption of health-promoting programs and policies. Trained in nutrition and public health, she was the founder and guiding light of Samuels & Associates, a public health research and policy firm focused on the design and evaluation of obesity prevention programs and policies aimed at reducing health disparities through environmental change. During her career, Dr. Samuels also supported food policy justice through programs including Project LEAN, the Healthy Eating Active Communities project, the Central California Obesity Prevention Program initiative, and the Strategic Alliance to Promote Healthy Food and Physical Activity Environments. She served for 9 years as a program officer for the Kaiser Family Foundation and chaired the Board of the California Food Policy Advocates in its infancy, playing a formative role in guiding the organization. She originated the concept of the “convening,” a joint meeting of researchers and policy-oriented stakeholders, designed to apply knowledge gained through research to policy development and application.  Skilled in both scientific and collaborative techniques, able to effectively link researchers and advocates, Sarah Samuels influenced state legislative policy on school competitive foods, physical education for school age children, after-school nutrition and physical activity standards, child care nutrition standards, and worksite vending policies. She was a post-doctoral Pew Health Policy Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco Institute for Health Policy Studies and served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. She received the Pioneer Award from the Public Health Institute in 2004, the Catherine Cowell Award from the Food and Nutrition Section of APHA in 2005 and was named UC Berkeley School of Public Health Alumna of the Year in 2012.


Mary C. Egan Award


Kathleen Koehler


Dr. Kathy Koehler has made an exceptional contribution in establishing the national science-based dietary intake objectives and ten-year targets to improve Americans’ health through the interagency collaboration effort of the Healthy People 2020 National Dietary Intake Objectives. As a result, she received the FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation Award in 2011. Additionally, she received the CFSAN/FDA Deputy Director of Operations Award in 2009, where she was involved in the conceiving, developing, and issuing a pioneering risk and benefit assessment and reviewing of research for commercial fish products. Dr. Koehler was also involved in estimating trans fat intake of the U.S. adults to establish the regulation of trans fatty acids in nutrition labeling, nutrient content claims, and health claims. She is also the Project Officer for policy research of front-of-package nutrition labeling. While Dr. Koehler was at the University of New Mexico, she was actively involved in the New Mexico Community Nutrition Council and served as President and other Officer positions in the New Mexico Community Nutrition Council and Society for Nutrition Education. The New Mexico Community Nutrition Council became an affiliate of the national Society for Nutrition Education (SNE) during her leadership. She was also an Executive Committee member of the New Mexico Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Board of Directors, an Editorial Consultant for SNAP School Nutrition Action Program for Albuquerque Public School, Library Committee Member for the Nutrition for the General Public, New Mexico Community Nutrition Council Library Committee at Santa Fe New Mexico, and a member of Physicians' Cholesterol Education Task Force, the New Mexico Affiliate of American Heart Association. Dr. Koehler has numerous presentations, publications, and book chapters in the areas of nutrition education, health promotion, and preventive efforts of food availability and food labeling for population at-risk.


Catherine Cowell Award


Dr. Hank Herrera, a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar and a Kellogg National Fellow, has improved the lives of many through his dedicated service to local communities. Hank currently serves as general manager for Dig Deep Farms & Produce, a project of the Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs Activities League. The goal of this project is to grow and sell healthy and affordable food to residents in Alameda County and to create sustainable, living wage jobs for community residents and to bring the social, community and economic benefits of a local food enterprise network.

Hank co-founded tela d’arweh, llc, a company focused on creating local food enterprise networks in low-income communities of color, as well as the Sacred Community Land Trust Inc., a non-profit organization aimed at preserving farmland and making it affordable to new farmers. He also founded the Center for Popular Research, Education, and Policy and serves on the Board of the Institute for Food and Development Policy – Food First, which is devoted to the elimination of the injustices that cause hunger. Hank has also served as the project manager at HOPE Collaborative – Health for Oakland, Its People and Environment. The collaborative is a systemic change initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation that envisions vibrant Oakland neighborhoods that provide equitable access to healthy and locally grown food.

Prior to moving to California, Hank was the managing director of the New York Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. He also served the predominantly African American and Puerto Rican neighborhoods in northeast Rochester, NY through a number of neighborhood revitalization projects. Hank co-founded the NorthEast Neighborhood Alliance and Greater Rochester Urban Bounty, a project dedicated to improving urban agriculture and regional food system infrastructure.


Student Abstract Award

Mary Kennelly

Mary Kennelly was selected for the 2012 Student Abstract Award by the American Public Health Association Food and Nutrition Section for her abstract FN 267823: “An oasis in a desert: Building on the SNAP retailer network to increase access to healthier food.” There were 76 Student Abstract Award applications this year, so we congratulate her for this accomplishment!

Mary attended Georgetown University, where she received a BS in Foreign Service in May 2004. She was also a member of the Varsity Crew Team at Georgetown. After undergraduate studies, Mary was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, where she educated Paraguayan families and youth on reproductive health and healthy living strategies. Mary currently attends both the Loyola University Chicago School of Law as a Juris Doctor Candidate, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, as a Master of Public Health Candidate, with a Health Policy and Systems focus. She was a Health Justice Project Fellow, Health Law Scholar, and she won the MPH Capstone Award for Outstanding Achievement. She enjoys intramural soccer, and also participates in the Latino Public Health Network as Treasurer.