Nutritional Sciences Majors to Represent HHD as Student Marshals

April 21, 2005

(University Park, Pa) — Two students who will receive bachelorís degrees in nutritional sciences have been named student marshals for the College of Health and Human Development.

Holly L. Hantz and Julie D. Ritchie will represent their classmates in the College during the spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14. Hantz and Ritchie are both Schreyer Scholars who will be graduating with 4.0 grade point averages.

image of Holly L. Hantz

Hantz, a native of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, is the daughter of Robert and Margaret Hantz. The member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Societyz has won numerous awards, including the Evan Pugh Scholar junior and senior awards and John W. Oswald Award from Penn State; the Alumni Recognition for Student Excellence and Student Service awards from the College of Health and Human Development (HHD); and the Outstanding Senior in Nutrition Award from the Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Society. She also has received the HHD Alumni Board Scholarship; the Lockheed Martin Scholarship for Women in Science and Engineering; the Kappa Omicron Nu Undergraduate Scholarship; the Alumni Board Life Promise Scholarship; the HHD Professional Development Endowment; and the Lillian VanDyke Scholarship in Nutrition. Her honors thesis, “Physiologically Attainable Concentrations of Lycopene Induce Mitochondrial Apoptosis in LNCaP Human Prostate Cancer Cells,” recently won first prize in the Collegeís honors thesis competition and was accepted for publication in Experimental Biology and Medicine earlier this year.

During the past year, she served as special events captain for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon. In this role, she was responsible for planning special events associated with THON, such as the THON 5K Run and the THON Celebration. As the result of her tireless commitment to the event, Hantz received the 2005 Rick Funk Scholarship Award for Leadership and Dedication to THON. Hantz also has been an active participant in the Collegeís Undergraduate Student Council and has risen steadily through the ranks of that organization — from program chair and THON dancer in 2002-2003, to vice president and THON chair in 2003-2004, to student council president this past year.

Hantz served as the undergraduate student representative for both the Health and Human Development Faculty Council and the HHD Undergraduate Program Council during the past year. She also has been a teaching assistant for an upper-division nutrition course; a peer educator for the HealthWorks Peer Education Program; a nutrition counselor for the Health Services Nutrition Clinic; a math and science tutor for the Volunteers in Public Schools Program; and a biology tutor for the comprehensive studies program. She was also a member of the inaugural Womenís Leadership Initiative class in 2003-2004 and a participant and student leader in the Collegeís JumpStart program.

Beginning this fall, Hantz will attend the University of California at Berkeley, where she will be pursuing a Ph.D. in molecular and biochemical nutrition.

image of Julie D. Ritchie

Ritchie, a native of Sunbury, Pennsylvania, is the daughter of Steven and Lee Ann Ritchie. The member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars has received several awards, including the Evan Pugh Scholar junior and senior awards from Penn State and the Academic Achievement Award from the Department of Nutritional Sciences. Ritchie also has received several scholarships, including the Weis Markets, Inc. Academic Scholarship; the Francis A. and Ruth A. Wodock Scholarship; the American Dietetic Association Foundation Scholarship; and the Genevieve P. Ho Award in Nutrition. Her honors thesis, “Foot-to-Foot Bioelectrical Impendance Analysis Validated in Older Adults,” recently won third prize in the Collegeís honors thesis competition and was accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association earlier this year.

Ritchie served a clinical dietetic and foodservice internship with Geisinger Medical Center in Danville; a community nutrition internship with Weis Markets in Sunbury; and clinical nutrition externships with Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg and St. Lukeís Hospital in Bethlehem. She also served as a research assistant for three faculty members in the Department of Nutritional Sciences: Drs. Sybil Kranz, Penny Kris-Etherton and Carla Miller.

Ritchie is a student member of both the Pennsylvania Dietetic Association and the American Dietetic Association. She has been actively involved in the Penn State Student Nutrition Association, serving as that organizationís community service chair in 2003-2004 and its secretary in 2004-2005, and she also has been actively involved in the HealthWorks Peer Education Program. Ritchie served as the programming coordinator for HealthWorks during the past year.

Ritchie was involved in several other activities at Penn State, including serving as a counselor for the Health Services Nutrition Clinic, a chemistry tutor in the Morgan Academic Support Center for Student-Athletes and a mentor in the Penn State Conversation Partners Program; and participating in the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon as a member of the Schreyer Honors College THON Team. She also has been actively involved in the community, serving as a volunteer for the Mount Nittany Medical Center, State College Area Food Bank and State College Area Meals on Wheels in State College; and Elijahís Soup Bowl Kitchen and the Haven Ministry Center Emergency Homeless Shelter in Sunbury.

Ritchie is one of only four students nationwide to be selected for the National Institutes of Health Dietetics Internship and will begin her one-year internship this fall that leads to her certification as a registered dietitian. After that, she hopes to attend law school and specialize in health law and public policy.

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Editors: For additional information, please contact Bill Hessert, director of college relations for the College of Health and Human Development, at (814) 863-4325 or swh4@psu.edu.