Newswise — In 2015, Melanie Burns, PhD, RDN was named Outstanding DPD Educator in Illinois, Outstanding DPD Educator in Region 5, and the LCBAS Dean’s Undergraduate Research Mentor Award winner. To add to her accomplishments, Dr. Burns is the 2017 recipient of the SNEB Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Nutrition in Higher Education Award.

Currently, Dr. Burns serves as the Interim Chair and MSND Coordinator for the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University and teaches several courses at the University. Although her career has slightly shifted from teaching, colleague Jeanette Andrade PhD, RDN, LDN says Dr. Burns still has a true passion and expertise within the area.

“Melanie firmly believes that teaching is an art, molding and shaping the thoughts, behaviors, and skills of future professionals,” Dr. Andrade said. “In her many years of teaching, she has built her ‘bag of tricks’ to enhance the learning of others, recognizing that learners all learn differently, so she needs to teach accordingly.”

Since 1992, Dr. Burns has been involved within SNEB, serving in roles such as the Division of Higher Education Chair from 2006-2007. Additionally, she has also served as a research abstract reviewer and the coordinator of the abstract review. Through her twenty-five year involvement with SNEB, she has provided various learning opportunities through presenting posters at annual conferences and providing presentations on various research conducted with her students at EIU.

Dr. Burns encourages upcoming nutrition educators to locate and utilize resources wisely, one of which being membership in SNEB. “Depending on your educational background, you might know lots about the subject of nutrition, but being an effective educator of that content brings the need for a new skill set.”


The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Nutrition in Higher Education Award is presented to recognize outstanding SNEB members for their scholarly contributions to and student engagement in higher education. This award is designed to honor exemplary nutrition faculty who motivate college students learning through innovative and effective teaching methods.  Photos and information on past award recipients is online at