Member Spotlight - Ingrid Richards Adams


Ingrid Richards Adams, PhD, RD, LD, LDE


Tell us about your job.

I am an Associate Extension Professor in nutrition and weight management at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition. I develop and evaluate nutrition, physical activity, and healthy weight educational programs and interventions for individuals in the state of Kentucky. A significant part of my work is targeted towards populations who are disproportionately affected by obesity and chronic diseases, for example, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, as well as underserved (rural and low-income) populations. I teach a course in community nutrition where I used an inter-professional and service learning approach. I advise graduate students and direct their theses. My research interest is in behavioral change intervention where I develop program to bring about healthier lifestyle changes based on critical thinking strategies.


What do you find most interesting about your job?

I enjoy developing and evaluating interventions and presenting nutrition and wellness information to different target audiences. By doing this, I impart knowledge, but I am also impacted by the lives and experiences of those with whom I interact. This is a rewarding experience and one of the main reasons I love nutrition education.  


How did you get into this field?

I have two older sisters who encouraged me to get into nutrition after high school. I studied food and nutrition, chemistry, and biology at the high school level. I later completed an Associate Degree in Food and Nutrition and taught at the High school and University level for over 10 years.


Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago- a twin island (two island ruled by one government) country off the northern coast of Venezuela. Trinidad and Tobago is a multiracial and multiethnic country with 1.3 million individuals of African East Indian, Caucasian, Chinese and Spanish decent.


Where did you go to college and/or complete an intership?
I did a BS MS degree in Family and Consumer Sciences Education at The Ohio State University with specialization in Nutrition. At Iowa State University, I completed a PhD in Family and Consumer Sciences Education and a PhD in Nutritional Sciences. For my dissertation I combined both areas of study and developed a critical thinking approach to increase vegetables (dark green leafy, yellow-orange, cruciferous vegetables and tomatoes) in low-income children. During my postdoc, I worked on a project, A Human Feeding Study of a Novel Dietary Fiber. I completed my internship at the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension and at the University of Kentucky Good Samaritan Hospital.


Besides your profession, what are your hobbies?

I enjoy traveling, tennis, game nights with my family, and meeting people and hearing their stories.


What are your favorite foods?

I enjoy the diverse foods from my native Trinidad and Tobago such as pelau, roti and curry chicken, callaoo.


What is on your bucket list?

To attend each location where a tennis grand slam is held, beginning with the US open, then to Wimbledon, the French Open, and the Australian Open.


How long have you been a member of NEP, and why did you join?

I have been an NEP member for four years. I joined because the goal of NEP, to help individuals understand and utilize vital nutrition information, is aligned with what I do daily in my job. Additional, there are great opportunities to network with over 800 individuals who share a similar vision.


Any other interesting things you would like to share with NEP members?

I am excited about continuing the mission of NEP DPG by enhancing the communication and teaching skills of its members and promoting nutrition education for the public.


Interview by Pauline Williams