Patrick Stover, PhD’90 (BIOC)
The American Society for Nutrition has elected Patrick Stover, PhD’90 (BIOC), president of the national organization that seeks to bring to together top researchers, clinicians and industry leaders to advance the understanding and application of nutrition. He plans to use his term as president to increase engagement between the diverse institutions that study nutrition by promoting collaboration between chemists, physicians, economists, politicians and others who make up the field.
Stover, professor and director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, said in an article for ASN’s newsletter that he will rely on his experience engaging students and academic departments as he seeks to create greater cohesiveness across the diverse field of nutrition. “Individuals, especially academics, have lots of choices these days, and one of the questions is how do you create loyalty – that is, establish real, firm connections between your organization and your membership.”
He has identified five initiatives that he hopes will increase ASN’s value to its members and foster a sense of belonging in the organization. He hopes to strengthen ASN’s connections with academic departments, develop a system of graduate student organizations around the world, expand ASN’s global visibility and authority, assure that ASN programming meets the diverse needs of its members and develop a new strategic plan for the organization.
These goals make clear just how expansive the field of nutrition is, as well as how important ASN’s role is in promoting collaboration and communication among its members. “We need to reach out to all members of the society and think about how we’re going to position ourselves as the leading authority in nutrition and the go-to academic home for nutrition research,” Stover said.
He wants the organization to move away from expressing its own, sometimes divisive, opinions and ideas, as was the case in the past when nutritional information was often based on opinion rather than evidence-based science. Rather, he sees ASN’s role as a “trusted and neutral broker” that promotes the exchange of ideas between members.
“People who want blue bananas can argue for blue bananas and people who want yellow bananas can argue for yellow bananas. We just look at the merits of those arguments and identify what we need to move forward to solve those problems.”
By promoting inclusiveness and collaboration, Stover aims to make the organization a home for everyone during his time as ASN’s president and welcomes faculty, practitioners and students with an interest in nutrition to engage with the organization and attend its scientific meetings.
By Jack Carmichael