Nutritional sciences faculty member establishes new endowment

September 01, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Celebrating 25 years as a Penn State faculty member in the College of Health and Human Development on Sept. 1, Barbara Rolls, professor and Helen A. Guthrie Chair of Nutritional Sciences, marked the occasion by establishing a new endowment to benefit graduate students.

The Barbara J. Rolls Graduate Scholarship in Nutritional Sciences will promote the department’s efforts to recruit top students and reward those who are excelling in the nutritional sciences graduate programs. Funds from the scholarship will help to offset resources lost from diminished federal support for the sciences.

“Being a graduate student is a costly proposition. Students have lots of expenses, and a scholarship can ease that burden,” Rolls said. “We have a history of great students in nutrition at Penn State, but we cannot continue to depend on government agency funding to support them.”

Rolls will take advantage of the University’s new Graduate Scholarship Matching Program, a featured giving opportunity of the University-wide fundraising campaign, "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence." When donors make a gift of at least $125,000 for a graduate scholarship or $200,000 for a graduate fellowship, the University will provide a permanent 1:1 match, doubling the endowment principal and the funds available to graduate students in perpetuity. This opportunity is available through June 30, 2018, or until all matching funds have been expended.

“This is a wonderful chance to invest in our graduate students and do something proactive in response to the tremendous pullback in federal funding for research. I hope others take advantage of this opportunity,” Rolls said.

An internationally recognized scholar in the field of nutrition, Rolls has authored more than 250 scientific articles and six books, including "Thirst," "The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan: Feel Full on Fewer Calories," "The Volumetrics Eating Plan," and "The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet." Volumetrics remains in the top two within the weight loss category for U.S. News & World Reports rankings for best diet books.

Among other honors and positions, Rolls is past president of both the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior and the Obesity Society, and she has been a member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

“Barbara Rolls is the quintessential translational scholar who has used her scientific acumen to address the obesity epidemic by developing a nationally recognized, evidence-based approach to weight loss that really works. Along the way, she has also mentored many students and young scientists who have themselves gone on to make their mark in nutritional sciences,” said Ann C. Crouter, Raymond E. and Erin S. Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development. “With this wonderful gift Barbara demonstrates once again her commitment to students, to her outstanding department, and to the University community. The long-term impact of her philanthropy will be significant as Barbara J. Rolls Graduate Scholarship recipients join the department and go on to make contributions to the field of nutritional sciences for decades to come.”

Rolls said, “I feel a sense of pride and teamwork in our department. The faculty are collegial and supportive of one another. We have so many outstanding students, and having the resources to support and encourage them is critical. I have reached a point where it is time to give back, to celebrate my career and what I have been able to accomplish at Penn State, and I am happy to be able to do this.”

Gifts like the Barbara J. Rolls Graduate Scholarship in Nutritional Sciences have been essential to the success of the University’s historic land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence" is focused on the three key imperatives of a public university. Private support will keep the doors to higher education open and enable students to graduate on time and on track to success; create transformative experiences on Penn State campuses and around the globe that tap the full potential of Penn Staters to make a difference; and impact the world through discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship.

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  • Barbara J. Rolls

    Barbara J. Rolls, professor and Helen A. Guthrie Chair of Nutritional Sciences

    IMAGE: Rob Peeler

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 05, 2017