Newswise — CHICAGO –Stella H. Cash, senior advisor to the president and provost for international engagement at Michigan State University, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Marjorie Hulsizer Copher Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. 

The Copher Award is named for an early 20th-century pioneer in dietetics who was recognized by the British and French governments for her service in World War I. Following the war, Marjorie Hulsizer Copher served as chief dietitian at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. After her death, a gift from Copher’s husband to the Academy (then known as the American Dietetic Association) established the award in her honor. 

Cash, a resident of Bath, Mich., has been an Academy member since 1978. Her innumerable contributions to the Academy and the nutrition and dietetics profession include, in a partial list: member of the Board of Directors; member of the House of Delegates representing Michigan; chair of the Council on Professional Issues; president of the Academy’s Michigan affiliate; member of the Committee on Promoting Diversity; member of the Educational Competencies Steering Committee; member and chair of the Academy’s political action committee; member and chair of the Academy’s Foundation Board of Directors; and member of the Awards and Honors Committee. In addition, Cash was honored with the Academy’s 1997 Medallion Award for service to the nutrition and dietetics profession; and received the 1999 Distinguished Service Award from the Dietetic Educators of Practice. 

Cash worked for more than 25 years as director of the dietetics education program at Michigan State University and an advisor and mentor to students, retiring in 2010. She has published research in numerous areas including best practices for dietetics students and the creation and dissemination of new education standards and competencies for the profession. Cash received the 2015 Spartan Hero Award from the Mid-Michigan Spartans Alumni Club in recognition of her contributions to the university, and the 2012 Athena Award from the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

In 2007, Cash became MSU’s vice president of alumni engagement and executive director of the university’s alumni association, serving as the face of the university to 500,000 MSU alumni worldwide. In 2010, Cash was appointed executive director of strategic partnerships, and then vice president of development and strategic partnerships, at Sparrow Health Systems, a health care organization serving the mid-Michigan population and a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. In 2017, she was appointed as a senior advisor to the president and provost for international engagement at MSU. 

In nominating Cash for the Copher Award, the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics wrote: “Stella has the same pioneering spirit of never-ending energy and vision that the founding members of our organization had. Stella walks in those same footsteps with that same confidence and motivation. It takes members like Stella who have the spirit, dedication and drive to propel us into our next one hundred years of success.” 

In the words of a colleague: “We all love and honor Stella through our own determination to further our profession in the same fashion that she has. Whether or not she is aware of it, she not only changed my life forever, but she changed the lives of many, many others.” 

Cash is a graduate of Arkansas State Teachers College, and earned master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas and Michigan State University. 


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Representing more than 100,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at