2017 Copher Award Winner

October 3, 2017

CHICAGO – Registered dietitian nutritionist Doris V. Derelian, PhD, JD, RDN, FADA, FAND, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' highest honor, the Marjorie Hulsizer Copher Award.

Derelian is a professor and past head of the department of food science and nutrition at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo, where she has spent the past 15 years educating the next generation of nutrition professionals. She will receive the Copher Award October 21 at the Opening Session of the Academy's Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in Chicago, Ill. The Academy is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.

In the words of her colleagues: "Doris is a gifted and visionary leader with a positive 'can-do' attitude that inspires creativity, confidence and collaboration."

The Marjorie Hulsizer Copher Award is named in honor of an early 20th-century pioneer in dietetics who was recognized by the British and French governments for her service in World War I. Copher served as chief dietitian at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. After her death, a gift from her husband to the Academy (then known as the American Dietetic Association) established the award in her honor.

Derelian has worked, taught and published in virtually all areas of dietetics practice, from foodservice management, clinical nutrition, private practice and public health to communications, business and industry, community nutrition and the education of health professionals. She has written and spoken extensively on public relations writing, business ethics, nutrition education and improving clinical practice. Previously, she was the president of Health Professions Training, providing nutrition education programs and materials.

An Academy member since 1969, Derelian was the Academy's President in 1994-1996. She has served as chair of the Academy's Commission on Dietetic Registration; speaker of the House of Delegates; chair of the Ethics Committee; and president of the California Dietetic Association (now the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). Derelian was a founding member of the Academy's Food and Culinary Professionals practice group.

Derelian received the Academy's 2014 Medallion Award for service to the organization and profession; delivered the Academy's 1999 Lenna Frances Cooper Memorial Lecture; and received the 1998 Delores Nyhus Memorial Award from the California Dietetic Association.

In her work as an education consultant, Derelian has advocated on behalf of registered dietitian nutritionists to state departments of education and promotes nutrition education as a key component of public education. She served on the California state legislature's Task Force on Health Promotion and Risk Prevention.

For creating nutrition education materials, Derelian has been honored with awards of excellence from the American School Food Service Association and the American Institute of Wine and Food. She has been active in organizations of attorneys, educational researchers, women executives, and women in education and science.

A graduate of California State University – Fresno, Derelian earned a master's degree and law degree from the University of California – Davis and a doctorate in educational psychology, learning and instruction from the University of California – Los Angeles.


Eligible journalists are welcome and encouraged to cover the Academy's conference. To pre-register for media credentials, visit www.eatrightfnce.org/fnce/media. For more information, call 800/877-1600, ext. 4769, or email media@eatright.org.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at eatright.org.