UM develops new doctoral program

Published 6:00 am Sunday, January 31, 2016

The University of Mississippi has been approved to start a Doctor of Philosophy program in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management that will offer concentrations in general nutrition, nutrition policy, sport nutrition and hospitality management.

Housed within the School of Applied Sciences, NHM has more than 500 students pursuing both undergraduate and graduate degrees in nutrition and hospitality management-related programs. The new doctoral program is a welcome addition, said David H. Holben, professor and chairman of NHM.

“This program not only showcases the expert professors in NHM and the work being done here at Ole Miss, but it will also develop new scholars who will leave a positive impact all over the nation,” Holben said. “The expertise of our faculty will attract students from Mississippi and beyond. Our faculty are known internationally for their scholarly work related to sport nutrition, food insecurity and childhood obesity.”

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The hospitality industry is the fourth-largest private-sector employer in the state, according to data compiled by the Mississippi Tourism Association. Meanwhile, dietitians and nutritionists held more than 67,000 jobs in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

For the NHM doctorate, students will complete 66 post-baccalaureate credit hours, including core requirements, program emphasis courses and 18 dissertation hours. The program will emphasize the science of nutrition and its application within academic, clinical and community settings.

The program strengthens the overall academic environment on the Ole Miss campus, said John Z. Kiss, dean of the UM Graduate School.

“The new doctorate in NHM is a great addition to our graduate offerings at UM,” he said. “I congratulate the School of Applied Sciences and the department for developing this high-quality, innovative degree. I am convinced that this exciting and highly relevant doctoral program will produce excellent scholars who will be in high demand as new faculty in leading universities throughout the U.S.”

Clinic benefits

The NHM department already sponsors the UM Nutrition Clinic which provides nutrition services for students, faculty, staff and the Oxford-Lafayette County community; Lenoir Dining, an educational food lab and restaurant where students gain experience in hospitality management; and the Center of Health and Sport Performance, which educates student-athletes on the importance of nutrition and diet.

“This program is a wonderful accomplishment of our many outstanding faculty and administrators at UM,” Provost Morris Stocks said. “We appreciate the efforts of the School of Applied Sciences and the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management to create a quality doctoral program in a critical area of study.”

The program is yet another stride taken to fulfill the school’s “scholar model” said Velmer Burton, dean of the School of Applied Sciences.

“The research and knowledge created and disseminated by the program’s faculty and graduate students will work to improve the lives and conditions of Mississippians and their communities,” Burton said.