In order to plan the various NOBIDAN activities, professional development opportunities, and events, NOBIDAN has several committees that we invite NOBIDAN members to volunteer and join. See below for more information about each committee as well as the bios of each committee chair. If interested in joining a committee, please email the committee chairs directly.  Contribute and enhance your skills and talents with NOBIDAN today!

Nominating Committee

Minerva Haugabrooks, PhD, RDN, LDN

Minerva Haugabrooks, PhD, RDN, LDN
Nominating Committee Chair-Elect

I am Minerva Haugabrooks PhD, RDN, LDN.  I serve as an Associate Professor of Health and Nutrition in Central Florida. I have thirty plus years of experience in education. Prior to this I worked as a Clinical and Community Dietitian. As an Associate Professor in my field I work with curriculum development, build online course content, implement and deliver virtual courses, and foster strong student engagement. My focus in nutrition and dietetics has been to strengthen my involvement with  on women’s and mature adult nutrition education. My classroom experience helps me deliver uncomplicated nutrition education to the underserved, underrepresented and those plagued with health inequities.

In my current position I serve on the Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness committee. I am an executive committee member for Public Health community Nutrition DPG, a volunteer board member with Parsons Community Circle, and with my local church. I spent many years as a consultant and I am familiar with the varied needs of my community working with community groups at the local health department in Sumter, Lake and Orange counties. I earned PhD in public health as a means to serve my community with more purpose and focus.

Patricia Brathwaite - Woerdings, EDD, MPH, RD, LD, FAND
Nominating Committee Member

Patricia Brathwaite, also known as Dr. Pat is a bilingual nutrition expert. Her passion and specialties are education and nephrology.  She works as a renal dietitian and is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. One of her daily responsibilities is to use the knowledge and experience gained over the years, to help others understand how imperative nutrition is to a healthy life. Knowledge is power and she decided to break the vicious circle of paucity of the knowledge about nutrition, as often as she can. 

Dr. Pat made it one of her priorities to be active within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and volunteers within organizations that can help support her passion. Elected to be on the Board of Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) for 4 years, has provided her with the unique opportunity to help improve the education of future dietitians.  For two years Dr. Pat served as the Delegate- at- Large for ACEND in the House of Delegates.  In addition she served as the President of the Miami Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2016-2017).  As the Chair of the Nominating Committee for NOBIDAN (2014-2015) together with the committee members, she was able to create a slate of candidates to be placed in the Academy national elections, resulting in a very strong Executive Committee.The combination of nutrition and education provides her the opportunity to lead, inspire, encourage and empower. 

House of Delegates (HOD) Representative

Lauren Swann

Lauren Swann, MS, RD, LDN 
MIG HOD Representative

Lauren Swann, MS, RD, LDN, is a B2B marketing communications consultant specializing in labeling regulations compliance - seasoned with a passion for cultural foodways - to effectively deliver accurate nutrition messages where food policy, consumer trends and public health meet, intersect or collide!

Lauren loves helping folks figure out the facts about food so they can decide what's good to eat! Notable accomplishments include published writing, book co-author, media appearances, public speaking and customized presentations. She was the first African-American awarded Outstanding Entrepreneur and later elected Chair of the Nutrition Entrepreneurs practice group. Lauren owns LinkedIn’s largest Food Labeling & Advertising and Cultural Foodways groups. She holds a Bachelor of Science In Medical Dietetics from Howard University and a Master of Science in Nutrition Communications from Boston University.

Communications Committee

The Communication Committee is responsible for providing timely and comprehensive information to NOBIDAN members about programs, workshops, upcoming meetings, activities, governmental issues through various communication channels, including our quarterly e-newsletter, social media, and email. See below for our Communication Committee leaders.

Nijya Noble, MS, RD
Communications Committee Chair

Nijya Noble has a passion for all things Fitness & Nutrition! Nijya is the owner of NK
Fitness and Nutrition, LLC, where she is a private practice Registered Dietitian and fitness
instructor. Nijya has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Athletic Training from Bowling Green
State University and a Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan, and Longevity from The
University of Southern California. Nijya was previously the staff dietitian at Meta (Facebook)
and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Nijya leads out in a CDC approved
virtual diabetes prevention program to help prevent the increase rates of diabetes within the
community. Nijya has a social media community with over 30 thousand followers where she
shares healthy recipes and nutrition tips. Nijya leads out in community nutrition and wellness
programs and is the communications chair for the National Organization of Blacks in Dietetics
and Nutrition. Nijya loves helping her clients reach their nutrition and fitness goals!

Jeremy Embola, MS, DTR

Jeremy Embola, MS, DTR
Newsletter Editor

Jeremy Embola works in food quality assurance and enjoys learning about the interactions between micronutrients and phytochemicals and their impact on health. He has a bachelors in Dietetics from California State University, Chico and a Masters in Nutritional Science with an emphasis on Food Science from California State University, Long Beach. Additionally, he holds a publication in the Journal of Food Research disseminating the polyphenolic and antioxidant properties of a native Caribbean bark beverage. In his free time, he enjoys reading autobiographies about those who have overcome adversity, learning new languages and reading the latest research findings in nutrition and food science.

Membership Committee

Denine Rogers, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

Denine Rogers, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Membership Committee Chair

Denine Rogers is a fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has a Bachelor's Degree in Clinical Nutrition from Howard University and a Masters Degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine and a graduate certificate in Herbal Medicine at American College of Health Sciences. Ms. Rogers works full-time as a Telemedicine Nutritional Consultant with Anthem and is a Co-Chair of the Anthem e-Commerce Committee of APEX (African-American Professional Exchange). Denine runs a private practice Integrative & Functional Nutritional and Wellness business called Living Healthy - Ms. Rogers is also a Georgia Volunteer Master Gardener who teaches about herbs, gardening, and nutrition to the Douglas County local communities, schools, social and civic groups and writes for the local Sentinel Douglas County Newspaper. In addition to all of Denine's passionate pursuits, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two black labs dogs.

Mentorship Committee

The Mentorship Committee is responsible for coordinating NOBIDAN’s mentorship program and encourages networking and collaboration among NOBIDAN members. It also works with NOBIDAN’s Executive Committee to establish relationships with colleges and universities, particularly HBCUs, to enhance diversity in the field and better support students.

Rebecca Gills, RDN

Rebecca Gills, RDN
Mentoring Committee Member

Ashya (Asia) Trotter Walden, RD, LD, CDCES

Ashya (Asia) Trotter Walden, RD, LD, CDCES
Mentoring Committee Chair

Ashya (Asia) Trotter Walden is a Registered Dietitian who specializes in helping people with diabetes live a full life. She started her nutrition career in Deerfield Beach, Florida where she worked as a Nutrition Consultant. From there she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Keiser University. Prior to this, she had completed a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management from Ashford University.

She moved on to start her dietetics career at Marion General Hospital, where she served as the outpatient and home health dietitian. In 2018, Ashya moved into a new role as an outpatient dietitian for the Ohio Health Physician Group. She added to her professional experience by gaining her Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist credential in 2019. She continues to work for the Care Management Team at Ohio Health, as the Diabetes Program Coordinator. In April of 2020, Ashya founded her private practice, Fresh Essence LLC, where her goal remains to offer attainable nutrition therapy to those who need it most. Outside of work Ashya is a wife and mother , who enjoys spending time with family, singing, dancing and reading to continue her personal growth. As is happy to offer her hand in supporting NOBIDAN as the Mentorship Chair so that new and coming dietitians can experience success in their careers as she has.

Dr. Jennings RD Exam Study Group

Ebony White, RD, CD
Dr. Jennings RD Exam Study Group Lead

Ebony White is a second career Registered Dietitian Nutritionist supporting several ECEAP programs in the Puget Sound Region. She has a heart for pediatric/school age nutrition and food justice and advocacy. Ebony studied Nutrition and Dietetics at Seattle Pacific University. She is passionate about increasing diversity within the profession of dietetics and has served on the board for the Greater Seattle Dietetics Association. Ebony is a Pacific Northwest Native who enjoys live music, live comedy and spending quality time with her family. On any given weekend you can find her at a museum soaking up all of the history/art she can.

Deja Ivy, MS, RDN
Dr. Jennings RD Exam Study Group Lead

Deja Ivy, MS, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and published researcher. Her expertise sits at the intersection of nutrition and health equity. Deja was selected as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Leadership Scholar in January 2023. The Leadership Scholar role is a collaboration between Diversify Dietetics and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to research the dietetic educational pathway for Black aspiring RDNs. She believes more Black dietitians can help our communities make healthier food choices and reduce health disparities. Deja is also a part time clinical dietitian with Emory hospital. She enjoys educating patients on how to make nutrition work for them. 

Deja resides in Atlanta, loves cooking savory vegetarian recipes, and relishes spending time talking about nutrition in the community. 

Diversity Liaison

Christina Ashe, MS

Christina Ashe, MS
Diversity Liaison

Christina Ashe is a native of Pennsylvania who has made footprints in Richmond, Virginia, Brooklyn, New York, and has now made Washington D.C., her current home. She has acquired a bachelor's degree in Sports Marketing. Ten years of experience as a track and field athlete prepared her to coach at the collegiate level. With significant athletics experience, she acquired a personal trainer certification through The National Council of Strength and Fitness NCSF. Fitness fueled her desire to include nutrition education into her skill set, realizing food is fuel, medicine, and life. She has acquired her master's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, simultaneously completing the Dietetic Program for Dietetics courses. I help individuals improve their physical wellness focusing on the importance of gut health using nutritional therapy and providing guidance to create unique habits to achieve health goals without restrictions. I help provide access to help individuals improve their health by providing an equal opportunity to acquire optimal health and advocate diversifying dietetics.

Research Committee

The Research Committee serves as a liaison between the Academy and NOBIDAN to track, report or disseminate pertinent information that affects the NOBIDAN membership or the public. The committee also helps to organize NOBIDAN FNCE Spotlight Sessions and assists with recruiting NOBIDAN members to submit abstracts and poster sessions to FNCE(R). The Research Committee is open to new members and new ideas.  If interested in getting involved or sharing ideas, please contact the Research Committee Co-Chairs using The Academy’s Leadership Directory.

Jen Cadenhead, PhD, MS, MPHIL, RD
Research Committee Co-Chair

Dr. Jen Cadenhead, a behavioral and nutrition research scientist, studies the interplay between diet quality, ultra-processed food consumption and nutrition security with health outcomes. She is a Research Assistant Professor and Executive Director at the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education and Policy in the Program in Nutrition at Teacher College, Columbia University. Her work at the Tisch Food Center utilizes large databases and qualitative methods to study the impact of federal and local government food policies on children’s health and nutrition security. Prior to joining Teachers College, she spent over a dozen years as an actuarial consultant utilizing large databases to predict liabilities and assets for pension plans and has spent more than 20 years volunteering in the community with an emphasis on providing nutrition education and more access to gardening in schools and food pantries. She received her B.S. degree in mathematics and sociology from Duke University. She obtained clinical training at a variety of institutions including New York Presbyterian Hospital and research training at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. Her masters and doctoral studies were focused on behavioral nutrition in public health nutrition and nutritional epidemiology, from Teachers College, Columbia University. 


Rojean Williams, MS, RD

Rojean serves as Wellness Consultant for Hebni Nutrition Consultants Inc. and health educator for the federal government. Rojean has well over 30 years of professional training and experience in promoting and implementing health and wellness to various populations all over the country. Believing in the power to change, Rojean encourages individuals to focus on their personal concepts and beliefs towards healthy living.

Rojean earned a B.S. in Food Science/Human Nutrition from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida in 1983. Ms. Williams obtained her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetic Service at Florida International University In Miami, Florida in 1984.

Public Policy Committee

Patricia Lynch, PhD, RD, LDN
Public Policy Committee Chair

Patricia Lynch is Associate Professor and Director of Didactic Program in Dietetics at the Virginia State University where she works collaboratively in a multidisciplinary research, outreach, and educational environment focusing on nutrition and health disparities in underserved populations.  Dr. Lynch has taught Nutrition and Food Science for more than 15 years at several institutions (Meredith College in Raleigh, NC; North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC; Vance-Granville Community College in Henderson, NC; North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC.; Virginia State University in Petersburg, VA). She has participated on more than 10 thesis committees and several research grants over $1.2 million.  Her work experience encompasses positions in food corporations such as Miller Brewing Company, Kraft Foods, Sara Lee Bakeries, and Ball Corporation. She has spent more than 10 years in the Long Term/Acute Care industry. Dr. Lynch has also worked in the Nutrition Programs at the State level and as a Renal Dietitian at Fresenius Kidney Care.  Dr. Lynch completed her Doctorate in Nutrition from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Her research and outreach continues to focus on community nutrition interventions to alleviate health disparities.  She completed her M.S. degree in Food and Nutritional Science from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC where her research involved lipid oxidation in food products.  She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, National Kidney Foundation, North Carolina Council on Renal Nutrition, American Public Health Association, and National Organization of Blacks in Dietetics and Nutrition and has participated in numerous seminars, health fairs, and conference presentations.

Sponsorship Coordinator

Bridget Harvey Elliott, MS, RD

Bridget Harvey Elliott, MS, RD
Sponsorship Coordinator

Bridget Harvey-Elliott, Registered Dietitian, is the Director of Nutrition Services for Conejo Valley Senior Concerns, a 501c3 non-profit. In this role, Bridget oversees the Meals on Wheels program for the cities of Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park, CA, and serves as the Nutrition Site Manager for the Adult Day Care program. Bridget holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from UCLA and earned her Master’s degree in Nutrition from CA State University, Northridge. Bridget has 35 years in the field of nutrition and dietetics. Her experiences include the development and implementation of computer software for use in the areas of Clinical Nutrition and Foodservice, management of the 6500 members professional organization for Registered Dietitians in California, and is a Community College Nutrition Instructor.