Lanningham-Foster named chair of Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition


AMES, Iowa – Lorraine Lanningham-Foster has been named chair of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University, effective July 1, 2022. 

She has been serving as the department’s interim chair since July 2021. 

“I am pleased Lorraine has accepted this role and thrilled to see her continue the work she started while serving as interim department chair,” said Daniel J. Robison, holder of the endowed dean’s chair in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Her extensive background and years of experience in the fields of food science and human nutrition will be a huge asset as she continues to steer the department along a path of continued innovation and preparing students for success in their future careers.” 

“Her depth and breadth of experience in teaching, research, extension and outreach make her a strong advocate for excellence in the field,” said Laura Dunn Jolly, dean and dean’s chair in the College of Human Sciences. “Lorraine’s vision for working collaboratively with students, faculty, staff and partners, as well as her passion for the student experience, will provide exemplary leadership for the future of the department.” 

Lanningham-Foster received her bachelor’s degree in nutrition/dietetics and master’s degree in food, nutrition and food service management from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also holds a doctorate degree in nutrition science from the University of Florida. 

She came to Iowa State in 2008 as an assistant professor, then served as associate chair of the department from 2018-2021. 

She has taught a number of undergraduate and graduate courses at Iowa State related to nutrition, obesity and weight management. Her research focuses on the relationship of pediatric obesity, nutrition and physical activity, with the goal of developing pediatric obesity intervention programs based on her scientific findings. 

During her time as interim department chair, Lanningham-Foster has led the department in improving communication, as well as implementing the new “You’re the Best!” peer-appreciation award. She also oversaw the launching and restructuring of the Master of Professional Practice in Dietetics graduate program and supported the RN-to-BSN Program through its accreditation process. 

“I am honored and excited to be selected as the next department chair of the FSHN department,” Lanningham-Foster said. “It will be a privilege to work with the extraordinary faculty, staff and students in my new role. I also look forward to engaging with Dean Jolly and Dean Robison on efforts in the colleges.” 

Lanningham-Foster succeeds Ruth MacDonald who served as department chair for 17 years before joining the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences administrative team. 

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is co-administered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Human Sciences. It offers six majors and five minors, as well as five graduate programs and an online certificate program. 

Brittney Rutherford, Human Sciences Communications, 515-294-8175, 

Whitney Baxter, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications, 515-294-2314,