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About the Department

As part of the School of Health Professions, the KU Department of Dietetics and Nutrition is located on the University of Kansas Medical Center campus in Kansas City, Kansas, where students benefit from the opportunity to interact with a large number of health care professionals and leading researchers.

The ADA-approved dietetic internship program was established in 1943 at the KU Medical Center with Ruth Gordon as its first department chair.

Ruth Gordon talks with a man in classroom

At right: Ruth Gordon, RD, was director and chair of the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition 1943-1972.

In 1962 the program began to offer a combined internship-master's program. In 1972, Elizabeth Frakes succeeded Gordon as department chair and the program became one of the charter members of the KU School of Allied Health (now named Health Professions) when it was formed in 1974.

In 1976, Bell Memorial Hospital plans were reviewed by Elizabeth McCune Frakes, MS, RD, Chair and Director, 1972-87, and James F. Halling, MS, RD, Chair and Director 1987-99.

At left: In 1976, Bell Memorial Hospital plans were reviewed by Elizabeth McCune Frakes, MS, RD, chair and director, 1972-87, and James F. Halling, MS, RD, chair and director 1987-99.

Jim Halling, MS, RD, assumed the chair position in 1987 and served until 1999 at which time Janice Harris, Ph.D., RD, was designated interim chair.

This was a time of great change on campus, as the university and hospital components separated for the first time and The University of Kansas Hospital became an independent organization.

In 2001 the dietetic internship became a graduate certificate program and a non-thesis option was approved for the master's program.

Harris served as department chair until 2005. She was succeeded by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., RD.

Sullivan, who first joined the department’s faculty in 1997, continues to lead the department today.


photo of 6 women in the class of 1964-1965

We hope that you enjoyed your educational experience in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition and that you increasingly value your KU education. Staying in touch with other alumni and with the department can be beneficial to you.

The best way to do this is to join the KU Alumni Association. Membership provides you with access to class notes, updates on the lives of your former classmates, current contact information and much more. Join Now.

Above: KU Dietetics and Nutrition, Class of 1964-65: (Top Row) Evette Abraham Hackman, Janet Johnson Walraven, Mary Anne Drake. (Bottom Row) Nancy Mohler, Beverly McCabe, Doris Sabin

Photos of former students are currently available for the classes below:

1957-58   |   1964-65   |   1966-67   |   1970-72   |   1972-73   |   1982-83   |   1985-86   |   1988-89   |   1989-90   |   1991-92   |   1992-93   |  1993-94   |   1994-95   |  1995-96   |   1996-97   |   1997-98   |   1998-99   |   1999-00   |   2000-01   |   2001-02   |   2002-03   |   2003-04   |   2004-05  |   2005-06  |  2006-07  |  2007-2008   |  2008-2009   |   2009-2010   |  2010-2011

Last modified: Sep 07, 2018

Departmental Vision:
Faculty are leaders and innovators in nutrition. Graduates are positioned to be leaders in research, education, practice and service.

Departmental Mission:
To conduct research in nutrition science and dietetics, and to produce exemplary graduates empowered to influence human health.

Update Your Info
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Class Notes
Provide updates for Kansas Alumni Magazine at the KU Alumni Office.

See Also:

About the University of Kansas Medical Center

University of Kansas (main campus in Lawrence, Kan.)

The University of Kansas Hospital