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Irana Hawkins, PhD, MPH, RDN

Environmental nutrition researcher/author

Contributing Faculty Member, PhD program in Public Health, Walden University

Research Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Member of Speakers Bureau, and Washington State Coordinator, VNDPG

Dr. Hawkins presents at P-POD partly with the support of the Speakers Bureau of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Dietitian-educator Irana Hawkins, PhD, MPH, RDN completed her doctoral degree at Simmons College, Boston, where her research focused on understanding the role of plant-based diets in climate change mitigation, as well as the pro-environmental behaviors of Registered Dietitians. She earned a Master of Public Health degree in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at George Washington University, and her over-20-year career-span in dietetics and public health has ranged from training healthcare providers to creating improved health outcomes. She draws upon many years’ experience as a clinical dietitian serving surgery, trauma, cancer, cardiac, stroke, renal and mental health patients, and as a clinical preceptor teaching dietetic interns, medical residents and pharmacy students.

Dr. Hawkins is a Contributing Faculty Member in the PhD program in Public Health at Walden University, a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and an Instructor at the University of California Riverside’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Her research focuses on developing new knowledge to: (1) reduce impact on the natural environment, (2) understand the use of plant-based diets in dietetics practice and healthcare practice, and (3) foster inter-professional education and collaboration to create outcomes that benefit the public good. Along with colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she was awarded a grant from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation in conjunction with the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetics Practice Group (VNDPG), to understand the prevalence of vegetarian and vegan nutrition instruction at accredited dietetics programs in the United States. She also serves VNDPG as National Membership Chair, Washington State Coordinator, and a member of the national Speakers Bureau.

Dr. Hawkins is editing the forthcoming book Promoting Biodiversity in Food Systems (CRC Press). She is the principal author of nine articles and studies in peer-reviewed publications, and several textbook chapters, on subjects related to the impact of dietary choices on the natural environment, and is a Review Editor in Nutrition and Environmental Sustainability for the academic journal Frontiers in Nutrition. She is also a Nutrition Education Consultant with the Brookline MA Health Department, and a member of the collaborative educational and policy advocacy group Clinician Champions in Comprehensive Antibiotic Stewardship.

Dr. Hawkins’ activist contributions to her communities have ranged from creating nutrition education programs for the underserved, to mentoring teen students in environmental stewardship, to serving as a Native Plant Steward, a Master Recycler/Composter, a Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Advisor, a community nonprofit organization board member, and an elected official. She has continuously worked toward improving the natural environment and creating healthier communities, and finding innovative ways to support these efforts. She is constantly inspired by all those who strive to create a just and peaceful world for all the living beings and living systems of our planet.