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Alison K. Ventura, PhD

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Assistant Professor

Academic Background


  • Monell Chemical Senses Center
    Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2008-2011
  • The Pennsylvania State University
    Ph.D., in Human Development and Family Studies, 2008
  • The Pennsylvania State University
    M. S., in Human Development and Family Studies, 2005
  • The Pennsylvania State University
    M.S., in Nutrition Sciences, 2005
  • University of California, Davis
    B.S., Psychology with a Biology Emphasis, Minor in Community Nutrition, 2003

Sample Courses


  • Women's Health
  • Lifestyle Prescriptions for Wellness
  • Senior Project Report

Teaching Philosophy


My goal as an educator and mentor is to produce students who understand course content, but also have the creativity, confidence, and ambition to venture beyond what is known to develop new interpretations of and discoveries about their worlds. Through classroom-, research-, and community-based opportunities for learning, I hope to inspire students to be passionate about health promotion and to understand the role they can play in improving the health of their communities and the world around them.

Research and Interests


My research aims to understand how feeding experiences and growth trajectories during early childhood affect the development of eating behaviors and weight status across the life course. A key focus of my research is on the bidirectional influences between children and parents, and how child characteristics influence, and are influenced by, parent characteristics and behaviors. The overarching goal of my current research is to identify potential targets for obesity prevention programs.

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