Dr. Susan Steck, associate professor in epidemiology and biostatistics, has received the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year Award from the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Columbia-Midlands Dietetic Association. She was honored at the Academy’s 48th annual meeting in April and will be recognized in the summer edition of the Academy’s Palmetto Leaf publication.
[Photo: Dr. Susan Steck, pictured with colleagues, receives award]
After initially studying mathematics as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Steck shifted her focus to nutrition when she enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to earn master’s and doctoral degrees. She then completed back-to-back postdoctoral fellowships concentrating on cancer prevention and control: the first with her graduate school’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the second with the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program.
She returned to the University of North Carolina for her first academic appointment as an assistant professor before accepting a position at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health four years later. Since 2005, Dr. Steck has been building her research program and parallel expertise in examining the role of nutrition in cancer prevention and control. A core faculty member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program, her work explores ways to reduce health disparities related to common cancers (e.g., breast, prostate, colorectal).
A Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dr. Steck has been a registered dietitian since 1997. Her service to the Academy’s South Carolina affiliate includes serving as president-elect, president, and past president as well as co-chair of the annual meeting and abstracts chair. She also served as president and nominating chair for the Columbia-Midlands Dietetic Association, a district of the state affiliate.
“Through my work with the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, I have been inspired by the passion and dedication of dietetics professionals across the state of South Carolina,” she says. “Their tireless efforts to promote optimal nutrition for all and advocate for the dietetics profession are truly commendable.”
Dr. Steck has also prioritized preparing students to become future nutrition/cancer researchers. This commitment is evidenced by the Susan G. Komen grant she won to establish an interdisciplinary doctoral training program in breast cancer research as well as her recognition with the 2018 Distinguished Research Service Award and the 2016 Arnold School of Public Health James A. Keith Excellence in Teaching Award.
“Susan is well-regarded both at USC and nationally for her research in nutrition and cancer prevention and control, and she is a trusted colleague and advocate for nutrition at the university,” says health promotion, education, and behavior associate professor Dr. Christine Blake. “She is clearly dedicated to the field of nutrition, is an effective leader in the Academy, and is an exemplary nutrition professional who is highly deserving of the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year award.”