Dr. Joyce (Jen) Nickelson
Jen Nickelson is an associate professor of health science at The University of Alabama. She has been a registered dietitian since 1995 and worked in acute and long-term care settings where she observed the influence of poor nutrition on chronic disease. Wanting to take a preventative approach to disease management, she earned a PhD in public health from the University of South Florida. Drawing on this foundation, she applies community-based participatory research approaches to identify and address the community’s expressed needs. Dr. Nickelson leads the Health-Lab, a partnership of community members and UA students, formed to address the needs of an underserved community in Tuscaloosa County. The Health Lab is currently focusing on diabetes management, health literacy, and environmental health issues while providing students with applied community health experience. Her research interests also include examining the role of the physical and social environment on health, particularly the influence of parental feeding practices on the development on children’s eating behaviors and childhood obesity.