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Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award, formerly known as the Copher Award, is the highest honor the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics bestows on one of its members. The Award honors an Academy member who has contributed to the profession through extensive, active participation and service to the profession of nutrition and dietetics, both within and outside of the Academy. The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award is someone whose unique contributions have created new opportunities for registered dietitian nutritionists and nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered; inspired others to take on leadership roles; and promoted the Academy's mission, vision and goals.

View Nomination Tips and Guidance (PDF).


  1. A member of the Academy.
  2. Has demonstrated extensive Academy leadership and involvement at national, state and district levels.
  3. Has recognized professional competence in nutrition and dietetics practice such as:
    • writing (author, editor, etc.)
    • scientific research
    • management
    • education
    • clinical, community and/or legislative advocacy
  4. Has been a source of inspiration to other members to assume leadership roles.
  5. Has been a trailblazer for the profession, such as created new opportunities for dietitians or technicians.
  6. Has contributed uniquely to the advancement of the profession and/or promoted the Academy's mission, vision and values.
  7. Has demonstrated devotion to the high standards of the profession.

Scoring Criteria

  1. Academy leadership as evidenced by Academy participation and contribution at the national, state, dietetic practice and member interest (DPG/MIG) groups and district/local levels. (40 points total)
    • Academy National elected/appointed positions (20 points)
    • State/District and/or DPG/MIG elected/appointed positions (20 points)
  2. Professional excellence in nutrition and dietetics practice, such as publications (peer reviewed, books, book chapters), communications media savvy (websites, newspapers, TV, blogs, social networks), evidence-based guidelines/protocol development and dissemination (management, education, clinical, community). (16 points total)
    • Publications (8 points)
    • Communications media (3 points)
    • Evidence-based guidelines/protocol development and dissemination (5 points)
  3. Source of inspiration to other members to become advocates for dietetics and nutrition professionals and the profession at all levels of society (i.e., mentoring students or peers, inviting presentations within and outside the Academy, advocating public policy through legislative or regulatory activism). (15 points total)
    • Student or peer mentoring or preceptor for dietetics interns/students (5 points)
    • Invited presentations (5 points)
    • Public policy: legislative/regulatory activism (5 points)
  4. Sphere of influence that extends beyond that of the Academy and has contributed to expansion of opportunity for other members of the profession, as evidenced by service and leadership in appointment or election to non-governmental or governmental groups that impact nutrition and dietetic practice; national or global advocacy on issues germane to food, nutrition, health and the essential role of dietetics and nutrition professionals; membership in relevant professional associations beyond the Academy — "a widely recognized voice for the profession"; the reception of national and/or international professional recognition from colleagues, organizations, schools or colleges. (37 points total)
    • Appointment or election to non-Academy governmental or non-governmental panels, commissions, committees, organizations, societies that impact dietetic practice (17 points)
    • National or global advocacy on issues germane to food, nutrition, health and the essential role of dietetics and nutrition professionals (10 points)
    • National or international professional recognition (10 points)
  5. Advanced the profession and/or promoted the Academy's mission, vision and values through demonstrated devotion to the high standards of the profession. (10 points total)

Past Recipients

2022 Julie O'Sullivan Maillet
2021 Susan T. Borra
2020 Esther F. Myers
2019 Stella Hall Cash
2018 Judith A. Gilbride
2017 Doris V. Derelian
2016 Naomi Trostler
2015 Penny E. McConnell
2014 Ronni Chernoff
2013 Sachiko T. St. Jeor
2012 Kathleen Niedert
2011 Margaret Pipkin Garner
2010 M. Josephine Martin
2009 Jane V. White
2008 Judith L. Dodd
2007 Penny M. Kris-Etherton
2006 Polly A. Fitz
2005 Mary Abbott Hess
2004 Harriet H. Cloud
2003 Ruby P. Puckett
2002 Margaret L. Bogle
2001 F. Ann Gallagher
2000 Kenneth W. Wear
1999 Mary Lou South
1998 Susan Finn
1997 Audrey C. Wright
1996 Sara C. Parks
1995 Jack Bellick
1994 Janice Neville
1993 Esther Winterfeldt
1992 Kathleen Zolber
1991 Anita L. Owen
1990 Edna Page Langholz
1989 Marian Spears
1988 Annie L. Galbraith
1987 Arlene M. Wilson
1986 Aimee Moore
1985 Isabelle A. Hallahan
1984 Mary C. Egan
1983 Beatrice Donaldson David
1982 Marjorie M. Donnelly
1981 Ruby W. Linn
1980 Grance S. Shugart
1979 Frances E. Fischer
1978 Corinne H. Robinson
1977 Ruth M. Yakel
1976 Louise Hatch
1975 Katharine E. Manchester
1974 Margaret L. Ross
1973 Gertrude E. Miller
1972 Charlotte M. Young
1971 Edith A. Jones
1970 Miriam E. Lowenberg
1969 Levelle Wood
1968 Martha Nelson Lewis
1967 Doris Johnson
1966 Margaret A. Ohlson
1965 Fern W. Gleiser
1964 Beula Becker Marble
1963 M. Lute Troutt
1962 E. Neige Todhunter
1961 Mary W. Northrup
1960 Bessie Brooks West
1959 Dorothea F. Turner
1958 Helen A. Hunscher
1957 Anna Boller Beach
1956 Mary I. Barbar
1955 S. Margaret Gillam
1954 Lillian S. Coover
1953 Mable MacLachlan
1952 Lydia J. Roberts
1951 Lenna F. Cooper
1950 Mary de Garmo Bryan
1949 Fairfax T. Proudfit
1948 Grace Bulman
1947 Lulu G. Graves
1946 Mary P. Huddleson
1945 LT. Ruby Motley Armbrust

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