Newswise — May 19, 2014, Scottsdale, AZ—Many of the most advanced Sports Registered Dietitians in the U.S. will be among 300 convening May 19-22 in Scottsdale, Az for the 6th annual conference of the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA) at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton.

Prospects for a lifetime career in sports nutrition soared for RDs last month when the National Collegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA) voted to grant “unlimited meals and snacks” to athletes in 340 Division 1 schools. While the new rule is still subject to interpretation by college athletic conferences and, in some cases, individual schools, it is clear now that college directors of athletics and their coaching staffs have come to appreciate the measurable value that full-time sports nutrition professionals add to athletic programs (see stories related to “unlimited feeding” in the CPSDA Newsroom).

“NCAA made the landmark decision on April 24 that longtime Sports RDs have been waiting for since feeding rules were last changed in 1991, and it will forever change the landscape of college athletics," said CPSDA President Randy Bird, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Virginia. "It validates CPSDA’s purpose…we first convened to create our organization in 2009 for precisely this reason.” 

The CPSDA’s annual conference schedule features many of the top researchers and agenda-setters in the world of nutrition. And nine national awards recognizing special achievement in nutrition will be presented Wednesday evening, May 21, during the CPSDA’s annual awards banquet:

  • CPSDA Trailblazer Award: Dave Ellis, RD, CPSDA’s first President (2010-12)
  • CPSDA Excellence Award: Victoria Rosenfeld, RD, Princeton University
  • CPSDA Service Award: Caroline Mandel, RD, University of Michigan
  • Tom Osborne Award (for coach or administrator committed to nutrition): Mark Verstegen, Founder/President, EXOS (formerly Athletes Performance) in Phoenix, Az
  • EAS Academy Scholarship Award: Elizabeth “Beth” Miller, Florida State University
  • DuPont Nutrition & Health Scholarship Award: Robert J. Leonard, West Chester University
  • Muscle Milk Female Athlete of the Year: Elise Walch, Florida State University (volleyball)
  • Muscle Milk Male Athlete of the Year: Connor Barwin, professional football player
  • CPSDA Lifetime Member Award: Keith B. Wheeler, PhD., Abbott Labs/EAS Academy

Members of the media interested in attending the CPSDA conference, or would like to learn more about 2014 award recipients, are invited to call John LeGear, Director of Operations/Communications at (cell) 708-431-6919.