Professional Development and Research

Professional Development Team

Alefiya Faizullabhoy, MS, RD, CDE, CDN (Webinar Chair) has more than 14 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian and has been a Certified Diabetes Educator since the past 10 years. Alefiya has experience in the pediatric as also the pregnancy population. Currently, she works in a busy Endocrinology outpatient practice in a large New York based Health system. Her work with adults is focused on weight management in patients with pre diabetes and diabetes. Alefiya is passionate about promoting healthy food choices and disease prevention. She also teaches nutrition and diabetes wellness classes, precepts dietetic interns and allied health professionals interested in obtaining their CDE credentials. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling and dabbling in home renovation projects.


Madhuri Tripurana, MS RD CD (Bariatric Subunit Chair) received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Food Science and Nutrition from Central Washington University. She currently works as a Clinical Nutrition Manager at Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco, WA.  She has been an RD since 2006 and was instrumental in starting  Eastern Washington’s first Outpatient Bariatric Nutrition Education program. She precepts dietetic interns  from WSU and CWU and is actively involved in promoting various wellness events in the community. 

TBD (Pediatric Subunit Chair) 

Julie Schwartz, MS, RDN, CSOWM, CSSD, LD, NBC-HWC, cEP (Coaching and Wellness Subunit Chair) is a Certified Health & Wellness Coach and owner of Balanced Nutrition Coach. She has over 25 years of experience guiding individuals, groups, and companies in healthy lifestyle and wellness initiatives to live their best lives. Julie has held numerous leadership roles within the WM DPG including Newsletter Editor, Treasurer, Chair-Elect, Chair and Past-Chair, and Delegate to the HOD. Julie also serves on the CDR for Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management exam workgroup.

Nadea Minet, MS, RDN, LDN (Quick Guide Resource Co-Coordinator) has working in the field of Bariatrics for 9 years, and I love connecting with professionals and patients alike. I actively participate in providing education to the patients and serving in the community at various health and wellness events and conferences across the country. It’s my mission to make a healthy lifestyle something fun, enjoyable, and maintainable.


Samantha Stavola, MHA, RDN, LD (Quick Guide Resource Co-Coordinator) is a Register Dietitian/Nutritionist with over 9 years of professional experience in the Bariatric industry. She served as the Council on Practice chair for the Philadelphia Dietetic Association 2015-2017. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree from La Salle University and Master’s Degree in Health Administration from Drexel University. She holds Adult Weight Management Certificates In-Training Level 1 and 2 from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Sam has also been a guest speaker at international conferences and is working on authoring several book chapters for an international publication.


Research Team

Shelly Summar, MSEd, RD, LD (Newsletter CPEU Editor) serves as the manager of Weighing In, a program at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, working to lead community collaboration to support healthy lifestyles. She has over 25 years of experience treating children and families for nutrition related issues. She received her undergraduate degree in Nutritional Sciences from Kansas State University and her Masters in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kansas. She also completed a Certificate of Training in Childhood & Adol Weight Management.


Jacob T. Mey, PhD, RD (Newsletter Assistant CPEU Editor) completed nutrition and dietetic training at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. He completed doctoral training in Kinesiology and Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he investigated skeletal muscle in diabetes. Jake is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the lab of Dr. John P Kirwan at Pennington Biomedical Research Center where he investigates ketones and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle and whole-body metabolic health. He is a passionate advocate for the RD profession and encourages all health professionals to be active members on social media.


Brenda Davy, PhD, RDN is a Professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise at Virginia Tech. She conducts research investigating the role of diet and physical activity behaviors in the prevention and treatment of obesity and related conditions. She is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) and The Obesity Society (FTOS), and serves on the Board of Editors for the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.