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Faculty and Staff

Contact Nutrition  


Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center

855 S. New Street
West Chester, PA  19383

Dr. Christine Karpinski
Chair of Nutrition
Phone:  610-430-4406

Dr. Mary Beth Gilboy
Graduate Coordinator
Phone: 610-738-0559

Dr. Joanne Christaldi
Director, DPD Concentration (Undergraduate)
Phone: 610-436-1038

Dr. Kimberly Johnson
Director, Sustainable Food Systems
Management Concentration (Undergraduate)
Phone:  610-436-2215

Dr. Alessandra Sarcona
Director, Lifestyle Nutrition Concentration (Undergraduate)
Phone:  610-436-2483

Faculty and Staff


Dr. Joanne Christaldi earned her BS degree in Foods and Nutrition from the College of St. Elizabeth, dietetic internship, and an MS in Human Nutrition from the University of Delaware and PhD in Health Promotion and Behavior from the University of Georgia. She is a registered dietitian and previously worked for over seven years as a clinical dietitian. Dr. Christaldi earned a certificate in qualitative research methods and has completed research related to adult obesity prevention and food insecurity. In 2011, Dr. Christaldi earned the award of Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year from the Pennsylvania Dietetic Association.



  • Dr. Patricia G. Davidson, DCN, RDN, CDE, LDN, FAND

  • Associate Professor
  • 610-436-1066

Dr. Patricia Davidson comes to West Chester University with nearly 30 years of experience as a clinician, researcher, and educator. She is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and holds degrees from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University) (DCN, Doctor of Clinical Nutrition), Virginia Tech (MS, Nutrition and Food Science), Southern Illinois University (BS, Nutrition and Food Science). Her research skills were honed by seven years of medical research in Israel at the Rebecca Sieff Medical Center. Her research interests include the prevention and management of diabetes, applications of technology in diabetes management, and MNT. Her service to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has included coauthoring the Heart Failure Toolkit, chairing the Prediabetes Workgroup, president of NJDA, and several leadership positions. In 2011 she received the Carolyn Sebastianelli Distinguished Member Award from NJDA and the Distinguished Service Award of the Garden State Association of Diabetes Educators, and also served as their president


Dara Dirhan

  • Dr. Dara Dirhan, Ed.D., MPH, RD, LDN

  • Assistant Professor
  • 610-436-2528

Dr. Dara Dirhan is a proud alumna of West Chester University where she earned her BS in Nutrition and Dietetics, followed by her Masters in Public Health.  She completed her dietetic internship at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA and earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management with a concentration in Higher Education from Drexel University. She is a registered dietitian and previously worked in the corporate wellness arena. Dr. Dirhan has completed research in the area of dietary habits and behaviors of college students. She was recognized as the 2014 Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year by the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and was the recipient of the 2014-2015 Patsyjane O’Malley scholarship from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Mary Beth Gilboy

  • Dr. Mary Beth R. Gilboy, PhD, MPH, RD, LDN

  • Graduate Coordinator MS in Community Nutrition
  • 610-738-0559

Mary Beth Gilboy joined the Department of Health, West Chester University faculty in 2005. Dr. Gilboy is the Graduate Coordinator and teaches graduate courses in public health nutrition and maternal and child nutrition.. She teaches undergraduate courses in strategies in dietetic education, nutrition pedagogy and community nutrition. Dr. Gilboy’s research interests are school nutrition education, community nutrition and service learning in dietetics education. She is a registered and licensed dietitian and is currently active in a community health coalition, the Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Network and professional organizations. She holds degrees from Temple University (PhD, Health Education), University of North Carolina (MPH) and Marywood University (BS, Nutrition and Dietetics).



Dr. Amir Golmohamadi holds a PhD in Food Science and has gained valuable experiences in Child Nutrition and Feeding, working as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Idaho.

He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tehran and his master’s degree from Isfahan University of Technology in Iran. Prior to his PhD studies, he worked as a food quality assurance scientist at an international company and has several years of experience in academia in Food Science and Nutrition. His teaching experiences have been with diverse socio-economical youths and adults. Currently, he teaches Food Science courses (NTD 205, NTD 312, and NTD 410) in the Nutrition and Dietetics program at West Chester University.

Having done research for over 9 years Dr. Golmohamadi has been applying fundamentals of food engineering and food chemistry to improve human health and food safety. His ultimate goal in research is to develop foods with customized texture for children by combining tribology, sensory, and nutrition education.


Jeffery Harris

Dr. Harris is originally is from Southern California. He earned his B.A. in Biology at the University of California at San Diego, his M.P.H. in Nutrition and Health Education, and Dr.P.H. in Preventive Care at Loma Linda University, School of Public Health. Dr. Harris is a registered dietitian and teaches courses in research design, obesity, nutrition counseling, medical nutrition therapy, and advanced human nutrition.  Jeff has served as a research design and statistical consultant  and taught medical school courses.  He has written a number of professional publications on research design and statistics.  Jeff had his own nutrition practice for 13 years. Dr. Harris has been a faculty member at West Chester University since 1983.


Michael Holik

Dr. Michael Holik joins West Chester University after working as a full-time Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts Instructor in Missouri, at Ozarks Technical Community College, where he is also a proud alumna. Dr. Holik earned his BS degree in Hospitality Restaurant Administration from Missouri State University, and an MS degree in Technology Education from the University of Central Missouri, and an Ed.D. in Education Instructional Leadership from Lindenwood University. In addition to years of teaching experience, Dr. Holik has 21-years in management and leadership experience, auditing, and corporate training in the foodservice industry. Dr. Holik was recognized by the Governor of Missouri for the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016 and by Ozarks Technical Community College in 2015 for the Excellence in Education Award as a Full-time Faculty member.


Kim Johnson

Dr. Kimberly-Elizabeth Johnson earned a BS in Nutrition Science from Cornell University, and an MS in Child and Family Studies and PhD in Social Sciences with emphasis on food and nutrition policy through Syracuse University. She has clinical and food management experience in healthcare and over a decade of university teaching experience. Dr. Johnson researches public engagement in science and policy of food, nutrition, and food landscapes, and how it influences health and citizenship. Her work examines commodity-seed oils, dietary fats, and food processing using a bio-cultural and ecological approach. Dr. Johnson’s teaching interests include lifecycle and community nutrition, cultural and social theory of nutrition, food and nutrition policy and ethics, and food history. Using service learning in her classes, Dr. Johnson received a Chancellor’s Inspiration Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship from Syracuse University in 2013. Dr. Johnson is also committed to community projects in local and sustainable food systems.



  • Dr. Christine Karpinski, PhD, RD, CSSD, LDN

  • Chair of Nutrition, Associate Professor
  • 610-430-4406

Dr. Christine Karpinski is an exercise physiologist and registered dietitian and is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the department of Nutrition at West Chester University. Chris earned her BS at West Chester University in exercise science and played field hockey and lacrosse.  She earned her Master’s degree from Immaculata University and her PhD from Rutgers University with her doctoral research project involving the athletes at WCU. In addition to her teaching and Chair responsibilities, she provides nutrition education and services to the athletes at WCU and mentors undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in sports nutrition, and is a preceptor for Dietetic Interns wishing to do a sports nutrition rotation. Chris served on the Executive Committee of SCAN as the Director of Sports Dietetics – USA (SD-USA) from June 2013-May 2016. She is a member of ACSM, PINES, and CPSDA.  She has presented many times to many different groups on the topic of providing collegiate sports nutrition services on a budget, advocating for the critical need of sports dietitians in all college programs.  She is the editor-in-chief for “Sports Nutrition: A Handbook for Professionals”, 6th edition, which was just published in September 2017.  Chris enjoys working out, hiking, playing golf, gardening, and watching almost any sport.


Janet Lacey

  • Dr. Janet Lacey, DrPH, RD, LDN

  • Foods Laboratory Coordinator
  • 610-436-3176

Dr. Lacey is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Public Health. She teaches courses in macronutrients and micronutrients, food science, vegetarian nutrition, and food for mind and spirit. Her research interests include diet and behavior and the nutrition and health benefits of plant-based diets. She is a registered dietitian and holds Master's degrees in Counseling and School Psychology (UMASS Boston) and Food Science and Nutrition (UMASS Amherst). Dr. Lacey is the past chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is the author of Fields of Nourishment: Plant-based Recipes with their Nutrient Profiles.


Lynn Couch

  • Dr. Lynn Monahan Couch, DCN, MPH, RD, LDN

  • Assistant Professor
  • 610-738-3897

Lynn Monahan Couch is a native of Iowa. She received her B.S. in clinical dietetics from the University of California-Berkeley, a Master's of Public Health (M.P.H.) with an emphasis in Integrative Health at West Chester University and a Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition (D.C.N.) at Rutgers University (formally, UMDNJ). She is a registered dietitian and an assistant professor at West Chester University where she teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Dr. Monahan's research interests are clinical nutrition, particularly endocrine disorders, public and community nutrition, food policy and food systems.


Dr. Sarcona

  • Dr. Alessandra Sarcona, EdD, RDN, CSSD

  • Assistant Professor
  • 610-436-2483

Dr. Sandy Sarcona is an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition. Prior to coming to West Chester University, she was a Dietetic Internship Director at Long Island University (LIU), Post. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics (Food and Nutrition) from East Carolina University, Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and a Doctorate in Education from LIU, Post. Dr. Sarcona is a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics and has previous work experience in clinical dietetics, wellness and sports nutrition. She has completed research on effective preceptors in dietetics and has conducted numerous preceptor training workshops.  Dr. Sarcona is a registered dietitian and teaches courses in nutrition assessment and nutrition capstone in the graduate program, and advanced nutrition, professional skills in dietetics and medical nutrition therapy in the undergraduate curriculum.


Jeanie Subach

  • Dr. Jeanie Subach EdD, MA, RD, CSSD, LDN

  • Student Dietetic Association Advisor

Jeanie Subach is a Registered Dietitian, Board Certified Sports Specialist Dietitian, and faculty member in the Department of Nutrition at West Chester University. In this position, she is the advisor to the Student Dietetic Association and Nutrition Director for Campabilites, a camp for visually impaired students. She earned a B.S in Home Economics and a Masters in Nutrition Education from Immaculata University. Jeanie completed her doctoral studies in Educational Leadership and Management at Capella University. Her dissertation on the impact of nutrition intervention on young adults with cognitive and/or physical disabilities was completed with the Adapted Physical Activity program at the university.

Jeanie is the sports nutritionist for the Philadelphia 76ers, starting with the team in 1989. She held the role of team nutritionist for the Philadelphia Eagles under coach Andy Reid from 1999-2013 and for the Philadelphia Flyers from 1989 to 1997. Jeanie acts as the nutrition preceptor for the Sports Medicine Fellows in the Crozer Keystone Sport Medicine fellowship program. She is on the editorial review board for the publication The Physician and Sports Medicine.

Jeanie was the creator and facilitator of numerous nutrition-based programs at Penn Wood and Glen Acres Elementary schools in the West Chester Area School District. She is a frequent presenter on nutrition at areas schools and universities. Jeanie has acted as spokesperson for numerous food companies, including Campbell Soup, Green Giant, General Mills and the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Council. In addition she was a spokesperson for the NFL Fuelup to Play 60 program – a program designed to educate school-age children on proper nutrition.

Jeanie has a passion for food, cooking, gardening and entertaining, and is said to be happiest when in the kitchen!


Sandra Walz

  • Dr. Sandra Walz, PhD, RD, LDN

  • Nutrition Minor Advisor
  • 610-436-3113

Sandi Walz, a Minnesota native, joined the West Chester University of Pennsylvania faculty in 1995. She is an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition. Dr. Walz holds degrees from North Dakota State University (BS degrees, Home Economics/nutrition, Corporate/Community Fitness; MS degree, Nutrition) and Kansas State University (PhD, Hospitality Management). She is a Registered Dietitian and Reiki Master Teacher with experience in problem- and adventure-based learning, foodservice management, community and sports nutrition, adult and childhood obesity, and integrative health.

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