Title: Retired Nutrition Educator and Assistant Dean
Company: University of Maryland
Location: Berwyn Heights, Maryland, United States
Richard August Ahrens, PhD, Retired Nutrition Educator and Assistant Dean at the University of Maryland, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in nutrition education and academic administration.
Growing up on a farm, Dr. Ahrens desired to treat sick animals, which led to his involvement in the field of nutrition. Discovering that nutrition was an emerging and active research field, he attended the University of Wisconsin, from whom he earned a Bachelor of Science in 1958. Subsequently, he received a Doctor of Philosophy in nutrition from the University of California, Davis in 1963. At the inception of his career, he joined the United States Department of Agriculture as a research physiologist, maintaining the role until 1966. The same year, he joined the faculty at the University of Maryland in College Park, where he remained until his retirement in 2001.
Beginning in 1966, Dr. Ahrens served as an associate professor for nine years before escalating to the rank of full professor. Maintaining his professorship until 1999, he served the final year of his tenure at the University of Maryland as the assistant dean of the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources. During his time spent at the University of Maryland, he also coordinated the graduate program in nutritional sciences from 1989 to 1992. Additionally, he excelled as the manager of the Open Workstation Laboratory from 1993 to 1999. Alongside his primary roles, Dr. Ahrens was a visiting professor at Egerton University in Kenya in the late 1980s and a visiting lecturer at the University of London in 1972. He also chaired the Maryland Board of Dietetic Practice from 1990 to 1994.
Demonstrating versatility in his field, Dr. Ahrens has authored or co-authored several books, including “Nutrition for Health” in 1970, “Food and the Consumer” in 1973, and “Creative Wok Cooking” and “Creative Crepe Cooking” in 1976. He has also contributed myriad articles to professional journals. Civically engaged as well, he has sat on the directing committee of the Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Maryland, was an election judge for Prince Georges County, Maryland, for 16 years, and served on the town council for three years.
A fellow of the American College of Nutrition and a past president of the Maryland Home Economic Association, Dr. Ahrens also served as a member of the American Dietetic Association, the American Institute of Nutrition and Sigma Xi. To attest to his resounding success, he received an Excellence in Instruction Award from the College Agricultural chapter of the University of Maryland College Park Alumni Association in 1993. He has also earned several grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Nutrition Foundation. Looking toward the future, he intends to travel often.
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