Newswise — May 17, 2012, St. Petersburg, Fla.—Six national awards recognizing special achievement in sports nutrition will be presented on the evening of May 18 by the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA) to three sports registered dietitians (Sports RDs), two college students, and the Director of Athletics from the University of Missouri during the awards banquet at the 4th Annual CPSDA Conference and Symposium in St. Pete Beach, Fla.

CPSDA was formed three years ago to unify Registered Dietitians who specialize working day-to-day with athletes competing at the highest levels of major college and professional sports, the Olympics, U.S. military and in law enforcement. Special recognition is awarded once per year by CPSDA for advancing the practical application of sports nutrition, and for raising awareness of the measurable benefits that Sports RDs contribute to the health and performance of athletes and others engaged in high-intensity activities.

Three of the six awards—for “Service,” “Perseverance” and “Trailblazer”—were presented for the first time last year. The other three are being awarded for the first time in 2012, including the “Tom Osborne Award,” presented in the name of the University of Nebraska’s Athletic Director and former three-time national championship coach who has been instrumental since 1982 in leveraging nutrition as an instrument of athletic performance to complement sports medicine and strength and conditioning.

Recipients of the 2012 CPSDA national awards are:

2012 CPSDA Service Award—Allison Maurer, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS

Allison Maurer, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS, Sports Dietitian since 2007 for the University of Tennessee, “in recognition of invaluable contributions and outstanding service given to her profession and CPSDA.” Maurer, who was elected to the 9-member CPSDA Board of Directors in March, is most widely noted among her peers for irrepressible enthusiasm in promoting the work of Sports RDs. She responsible for performance nutrition for the UT men's and women's athletic departments. Her duties include analyzing athletes' nutritional status, working with Team ENHANCE, creating meal plans and providing nutrition education on the team and one-on-one basis. Allison earned her bachelors of science degree in dietetics from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL and her masters in nutrition from Georgia State University in Atlanta. She spent three years at the University of Colorado (2004-2007) as nutritionist and assistant strength coach before arriving in Knoxville.

2012 CPSDA Perseverance Award—Joel Totoro, RD

Joel Totoro, RD, who left the New England Patriots this month to become full-time Sports RD for the University of Michigan, receives this award “in recognition of immeasurable enthusiasm and extraordinary dedication given to his profession and the CPSDA.” Totoro served eight years as both nutrition consultant and Sports RD for the NFL’s New England Patriots, who returned again to the Super Bowl in 2012. Ironically, he extolled the advantages of being a Sports RD for far fewer athletes while working in professional sports in the CPSDA documentary “Sports RDs Rising” shortly before accepting his new position, which will require him to work directly with approximately 600 athletes at UM. He graduated in 2002 from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in Allied Health/Dietetics before serving in a nutrition consulting capacity for Sodexho (food service), Eastern Connecticut Health Service, and South Coast Hospital Group in New England between 2002 and 2004.

2012 CPSDA Trailblazer Award—Michelle Rockwell, MS, RD, CSSD

Pioneers in sports nutrition are revered by their colleagues because the road to recognition and respect in the highly competitive athletic community has spanned three challenging decades, nearly all of that time working long hours in near anonymity. Veteran Sports RD Michelle Rockwell, MS, RD, CSSD, is a sports nutrition consultant who operates her own company “Michelle Rockwell Consulting” out of Raleigh-Durham, NC. She becomes the second recipient of the CPSDA Trailblazer Award “in recognition of the visionary goals and groundbreaking innovation brought to her profession and the CPSDA.” Rockwell was among the first five full-time Sports RDs in the U.S., having developed the first sports nutrition program at the University of Florida. Today she serves as nutrition consultant to athletic departments and professional

speaker, lecturer and writer. CPSDA recognizes Michelle in particular for defining and skillfully articulating the vital role that nutrition plays in sports.

EAS Academy Scholarship Award—Lauren Kort, University of Georgia

The first “EAS Academy Scholarship” to be awarded under the auspices of CPSDA will be presented to Lauren Kort, student of dietetics at the University of Georgia in Athens. Kort was chosen from many college applicants for “exemplifying dedication and determination to become a Sports RD and leading member of CPSDA.” Lauren met and exceeded the EAS scholarship requirements, which included academic accomplishment, leadership, community service, nutrition-related volunteer experience and a competitive background in sports.

Muscle Milk Student Athlete of the Year—Jeff Demps, University of Florida

The first CPSDA “Muscle Milk Student Athlete of the Year” Award presented under the auspices of CPSDA will be given to Jeff Demps, running back and track and field athlete at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Demps distinguished himself “for athletic accomplishment and academic achievement that reflect his dedication to sports nutrition,” and has demonstrated personal integrity befitting this honor, said University of Florida Sports RD Chelsea Zenner, who nominated Jeff.

Tom Osborne Award—Mike Alden, Director of Athletics, University of Missouri

The inaugural “Tom Osborne Award” will be presented to Mike Alden, Director of Athletics at the University of Missouri, “in recognition of unyielding support for the value of sports nutrition and contributions made to the growth of the CPSDA.” So named because of coach Osborne’s innovative use of nutrition for game-day preparation and recovery after exercise that led to three NCAA football championships for Nebraska in the 1990s, Alden was the unanimous choice by the CPSDA Board of Director for the work he and Missouri Sports RD Jana Heitmeyer have done together at Mizzou. Alden, who appears in the CPSDA documentary “Sports RDs Rising” released earlier this year, has headed up Missouri’s athletic department since 1998, during which time the Tigers have produced the most comprehensive run of academic and athletic success in school history. A former student-athlete, coach, and President of the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association, Alden incorporates three core values into the mission of intercollegiate athletics at Missouri: "Preparing Champions for Life through Academic Integrity; Social Responsibility; and Competitive Excellence." A native of west suburban Chicago, Mike has been asked to make a keynote address during the CPSDA awards banquet, a task that the gifted inspirational speaker willingly accepted.


Media contact: John LeGear, CPSDA Director of Operations/Communications

Cell: 708-431-6919 E-mail:

Contact: John LeGear (cell) 708-431-6919 E-mail

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