Dr. Rhona Hanning, a professor emeritus in the School of Public Health Sciences, is one of four to be named a 2024 Canadian Nutrition Society (CNS) Fellow, a distinction given in recognition of exemplary achievement in the field of nutrition.

The CNS comprises about 1,000 scientists and health professionals focused on nutrition. Hanning was nominated by her peers in CNS for her many contributions to the field of nutrition science, particularly those with an emphasis on community-based participatory research with Indigenous communities. Examples of her involvement include work to advance food sovereignty with the Williams Treaties First Nations, and the implementation and evaluation of school food programs in First Nations communities that enhance food skills and improve access to healthy, local and traditional foods.

Additional research highlights include the development of an electronic dietary questionnaire (WEB-Q) used dominantly in school-level surveillance to assess eating behaviours.

“It is a tremendous honour to be named a Fellow,” Hanning said. “I've been a member of CNS for more than 35 years and, along with my graduate students, participated in many of the annual conferences, webinars and committees.”

She has also been active on the CNS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee and a Fellow of Dietitians Canada, with ongoing research focused on decolonizing dietetic practice. Her career at the University of Waterloo included two appointments as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Health (2012-2013 and 2015-2020), and she served as the Faculty of Health Strategic Plan Implementation Lead to help advance Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.