Experience Expert Instruction From Today's Leading Practitoners

Our faculty are accomplished researchers, outstanding educators and real-world practitioners with backgrounds in nutrition counseling, school-based obesity intervention programs, preventative healthcare and clinical dietetics. All full-time faculty are credentialed experts, all of whom have earned the highest degree in their field. They are published in peer-reviewed research publications, have received research grants and are active in professional organizations including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Our distinguished faculty pride themselves on the individual attention and career mentoring they offer students.

Catherine Arnold, Ed.D., M.S., R.D., L.D.N.
Department Chair and Professor, Nutrition
Dr. Catherine Arnold joined the faculty full-time in 1990. Formerly, she worked as a clinical dietitian, community educator, consultant dietitian, and adjunct faculty member, Dr. Arnold earned her doctorate in Educational Psychology and Graduate Certificate in Advanced Quantitative Methods in Education from Northern Illinois University, and Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Rush University. She completed Advanced Specialty Training Certificate in Adult Weight Management (by CDR).

Dr. Arnold's research interests include Determining Predictors of Health Behavior Change, Educational Assessment, and Nutrition Education Outcomes Research. To support her endeavors, she was successfully funded by five granting organizations for over $100,000. Her work is published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Over the past ten years she delivered over 40 presentations at local, state, and international conferences.

Dr. Arnold is a past President of the Illinois Dietetic Association (IDA) and West Suburban Dietetic Association, past co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of the IDA, and was recently appointed as a program reviewer by the by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Arnold was the recipient the Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Alumnae of the Year Award from her high school, and Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award from the IDA. She is listed in Whos's Who in Education, Whos's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World.


Bonnie Beezhold, Ph.D., CHES
Assistant Professor, Nutrition

Dr. Bonnie Beezhold joined the faculty full-time in 2011. Previously, she held positions as Clinical Assistant Professor in Nutrition at Arizona State University and Regional Research Interviewer. Dr. Beezhold earned her doctorate in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Wellness from the Arizona State University, with a focus on Nutrition. She earned a Master of Health Science degree in International Health, with a concentration in Human Nutrition, from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is certified as a Health Education Specialist by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.

Dr. Beezhold's research interests include the role of fats in mental health, food additives and ADHD-type symptoms, and complementary nutrition therapies. Dr. Beezhold is a member of the American Society for Nutrition and has regularly presented her research at their annual Federated American Societies of Experimental Biology conference. Her research is published in the Journal of Nutrition, Nutrition Journal, Nutrition, and the Journal of Attention Disorders.

Dr. Beezhold serves on the Executive Committee of the Trinity Christian College Board of Trustees. In 2010, she was awarded the Arizona State University Dean’s Clinical Track Scholarship in 2010.


Jan Dowell, M.S., M.H.S., R.D., C.S.S.D.
Instructor, Nutrition

Ms. Jan Dowell joined the Nutrition Department as an adjunct instructor in 2008. She is the owner of Dowell Nutrition Communications, LLC, providing sports nutrition services to teams and athletes, as well as continuing education programs for professional organizations. In addition, Jan works as a Wellness Dietitian for two hospitals in the Chicago area. Ms. Dowell earned a Masters in Health Education from Governors State University and a Masters in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics from Rosalind Franklin University/The Chicago Medical School. Ms. Dowell is an active marathon runner and Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, complimenting her Board Certification as a Specialist in Sport Dietetics (CSSD).


Julie M. Moreschi, M.S., R.D., L.D.N.
Dietetic Internship Director

Ms. Julie Moreschi joined the university in 1994 as an adjunct faculty member. In 1997 she was hired as the Dietetic Internship Director. Ms. Moreschi's prior positions include clinical dietitian, cafeteria manager, diet office manager, assistant foodservice director, internal management consultant, and consultant at a variety of health care organizations in Illinois and Minnesota. Ms. Moreschi earned her Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Rush University, and is currently in pursuit of her Ph.D. in Public Health at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Ms. Moreschi's professional interests lie primarily in the areas of community nutrition, maternal and child wellness, and obesity prevention and intervention from preconception through pre-K. To support her endeavors over the past 6 years, she has been involved with grant funding wellness interventions in West Chicago School District #33. Her research abstracts were accepted for publication and poster presentation through a peer-review process, and Ms. Moreschi is a chapter author in two textbooks: Managing Food And Nutrition Services for the Culinary, Hospitality, and Nutrition Professions and Nutrition and Public Health, 2nd Edition. In addition, she is as a reviewer for the Maternal and Child Health Journal.

Ms. Moreschi is a past President of the West Suburban Dietetic Association, past Chair of both the Strategic Planning Committee and CPI Committee of the Illinois Dietetic Association (IDA). She is on the advisory board and several committees for the obesity prevention coalition FORWARD (Fighting Obesity Reaching healthy Weight Among Residents of DuPage). Ms. Moreschi was the recipient of the Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award and Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award, both from the IDA.


Karen Plawecki, Ph.D., M.S., R.D., L.D.N.
Assistant Professor, Nutrition

Dr. Karen Plawecki joined the faculty full-time in 2012. Recently, she was the Director of the undergraduate program at the University of Illinois, Champaign. Prior positions include employment as the Director of a Metabolic Research Kitchen, Coordinator of wellness programs, Outpatient Dietitian, and Clinical Dietitian. Dr. Plawecki earned her doctorate in Nutrition from the University of Illinois, and Master of Science in Nutrition Science (Food Science emphasis) from Purdue University.

Dr. Plawecki's research interests include interventions for improvement of Calcium and Vitamin D status in humans.  To support her endeavors, she has been successfully funded by grants. She has delivered numerous presentations and her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Plawecki is a past President of the Illinois Dietetic Association (IDA) and Eastern Illinois Dietetic Association, past co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of the IDA, and serves as a Team Lead Reviewer for the by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Plawecki was inducted in the Purdue University Nutrition Science Hall of Fame. She is the recipient the Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award and Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award from the IDA, College of ACES Outstanding Instructor Award, and voted Outstanding Advisor/Mentor. She was listed in Whos's Who Among America's Teachers.

To learn more about the faculty of the Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness program, call us at 1-866-295-3104 or request more information here.