Dr. Deborah Abel, clinical assistant professor of Dietetics & Nutrition at the Florida International University Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work received the prestigious 2016 Rickard Leadership in Pediatric Nutrition Award from the Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. This annual award is presented to a former alumna or graduate student who has made outstanding contributions to the field of pediatric nutrition.
At Florida International, Dr. Abel developed a Pediatric Nutrition Graduate Certificate Program that is fully online and available anywhere in the world. She is a 2012 graduate of the PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences program at Indiana University and in 2003, completed the Pediatric Nutrition Fellowship at Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis. Upon completion of the Fellowship, Dr. Abel was the pediatric clinical dietitian in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit for 10 years. In this position, she developed a nutritional care system at the bedside that was patented. During her doctoral work, she assisted Dr. Karyl Rickard and Dr. Sue Brady in creating the national, eLearning Leadership in Pediatric Nutrition’ Graduate Certificate Program.
Dr. Fatma Huffman, professor and chair of Dietetics & Nutrition, said, “Her overall teaching performance has been rated as ‘outstanding.’ Student evaluations were consistently 100 percent excellent for all her courses. It is rare that I see this kind of evaluation… Dr. Abel seems to capture the attention and the hearts of her students.”
According to Dr. Rickard, “Dr. Abel’s accomplishments as a passionate leader and educator in the field of pediatric nutrition are remarkable. She is uniquely position to continue to make significant leadership contributions to the field of pediatric nutrition.”