Save on registration for APHA 2024! Join us in Minneapolis ×

Fellowships and Awards

To help our members advance their academic and career interests, we offer fellowships to students and early-career professionals, and awards to professionals more settled in their careers. Information about applications is made available to Section members in our email digests and other routine communication.


Each year, we offer fellowships to students and early-career professionals (within two years of graduation) to attend the APHA Annual Meeting and jumpstart their involvement in our Section. In addition to becoming engaged in the public health nutrition advocacy work and other activities, fellows receive an award of up to $450 to pay expenses related to Annual Meeting attendance. The application deadline is July/August of each year.


Awards recognize outstanding achievements, celebrate innovation and commend excellent work in public health nutrition. The Food and Nutrition Section honors recipients during a reception at the APHA Annual Meeting each year. The criteria for each award and nomination guidelines are listed below. 

Catherine Cowell Award

This award recognizes excellence and achievement in administration, planning, mentoring, and team building in public health nutrition, including meeting the special needs of urban populations and young children.

Award Criteria:

  • Must have demonstrated consistent and extraordinary mentoring and professional support for public health nutrition (e.g., development of training and development programs, mentoring systems, recruitment and support programs, and advocacy for the nutrition profession).
  • Must have a strong track record and/or experience in planning and administering programs at the local level, especially those serving urban communities. Must have raised the quality of nutrition services and care for these populations through scholarly pursuits, research, education, and/or practice.
  • Must have demonstrated excellence and/or leadership in enhancing and advocating nutrition care and/or services (including culturally competent and linguistically appropriate care and interventions) to vulnerable groups.

Excellence in Dietary Guidance

This award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the area(s) of dietary guidance formulation, research, education, implementation, or policy change. This is not an annual award but is given in exceptional situations.

Award Criteria:

  • Must have been closely involved in designing and implementing nutrition guidance through scholarly pursuits, research, education, and/or practice.
  • Must have experience at the national, state, or local level in planning, developing, and implementing nutrition education and/or related projects of national significance.
  • Must have demonstrated record and/or experience in promoting the science of nutrition and nutrition education at the national or state level.

Mary C. Egan Award

This award recognizes the professional contributions and outstanding services of public health nutritionists. The services may include developing new approaches to public health nutrition, mentoring, nutrition education, and addressing special nutrition needs.

Award Criteria:

  • Must have demonstrated the use of imaginative and creative efforts to advance and promote nutrition at the national or state levels, especially services aimed at improving children's nutritional status (e.g., the promotion of nutrition policy, training programs, and research).
  • Must have a track record of advocacy to further the nutrition profession and integrate nutrition education and services into health promotion and prevention efforts through scholarly pursuits, research, education, and/or practice.
  • Must be able to produce evidence that efforts have resulted in coalescence between national, state, and/or community level constituents in demonstrating innovative and effective practices at the state or local level, including translation of research to practice and use of innovative methods of delivering services.

Sarah Samuels Memorial Award

This award recognizes the leadership of public health nutrition professionals in the field of nutrition policy. Individuals who conduct research to inform policy, who use environmental approaches to improve population nutrition and health, and who work with community partners to promote social justice.

Award Criteria:

  • Must have a record of service, conducted, fostered, or promoted nutrition research to inform policy at local, state, or national levels. 
  • Must have used policy solutions to improve population nutrition and health.
  • Must demonstrate efforts resulting in collaborations among national, state, and/or community level partners in demonstrating the value of research to policy efforts in public health nutrition.
  • Must have a track record of leadership in the public health nutrition profession.

Student Award

The Student Award recognizes the student whose Annual Meeting abstract received the highest score from Food and Nutrition Section abstract reviewers.

Nomination Guidelines for Awards

  • Nominees must be a member of APHA and of Food and Nutrition Section.
  • Nominees should have made significant contributions to public health nutrition (nominations must include specific examples and information to support each award's criterion).
  • Previous award recipients are eligible for those categories in which they have not received an award.