Chisom Blessing Okoli

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Nutritional Sciences

PhD Student


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
M.Sc Nutrition & Exercise Physiology University of Missouri, Columbia 2019
B.Sc Nutrition & Dietetics University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria 2013


My research focuses on childhood obesity. I am currently in the childhood obesity nutrition intervention laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Cotwright Caree. We use innovative and interactive methods such a entertainment learning, food demos in educating children on the importance of healthy eating such as increasing fruits and vegetable consumption, reducing SSBs intake, increasing water consumption.


Teaching appearances: 

  • FDNS 4510/6510 (Nutrition related to Human life cycle): (1 semester , Fall 2021, UGA)
  • FDNS 4660/6660 (Food and Nutrition Education Methods): (1 semester, Fall 2021, UGA): Developed recipe and taught student how to conduct food demo to target audience (Guest speaker)
  • FDNS FDNS 4630- Cultural Aspects of Foods and Nutrition (2 semesters, Fall 2019 & 2020, UGA): As a guest speaker on African cutlure and conducted food demo on an African dish.


Award Name Awarded By Year Awarded
Leila A. Mize Ritchie Endowment Fund FACS, UGA 2021
Mary Swartz Rose Memorial Graduate Scholarship The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (AND) 2021
FACS Fund for Excellence FACS, UGA 2021
Glenn and Helen Burton Feeding the Hungry Scholarship FACS, UGA 2021
NOPREN Student research scholarship NOPREN, CDC 2021
Summer Research Grant UGA's Graduate School 2021
Owens Institute for Behavioral Research (OIBR) grant OIBR, Institute, UGA 2021
UGA Obesity Initiative Statistical Consulting Grant UGA Obesity Initiative 2020
Cooking Matters Inc. Grant Share Our Strength 2020
Virginia Wilbanks Kilgore Scholarship College of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens 2019
Deaton's Institute Seed Grant Deaton's Scholar's Institute, Columbia, Missouri 2018
Best graduating student in Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, Set "2013" University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria 2014


Organization Title Year(s) Service Type
Graduate Student Organization (GSO, Department of Nutritional Sciences Secretary 2021 Deparmental
African Graduate Professionals Student Association (AGPSA, University of Missouri, Columbia) Public Relation Officer (PRO) 2018 Community

Advisory Committee

Dr. Caree J. Cotwright, PhD, RDN


Dr. Janani R. Thapa, PhD

Dr. Jennifer Thompson, PhD

Dr. Sun Joo Ahn, PhD

Areas of Expertise

Data collection (Quantitative and qualitative)

Data analysis

Research reporting

Project design/ development

intervention implementation

Current Research

Our lab's current research focuses on developing nutriton education message centered on decreasing sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) consumption among children and their families within the community.

Job Description

Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) working in Dr. Cotwright's Childhood obesity prevention (CHOP) Lab. Currently, we conducted statewide focus groups among Black families to understand perceptions and barriers to consuming and serving sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) to their young children. Findings from this study has informed the development of beverage messages, which we have tested to use in a statewide campaign (SHIFT). SHIFT is aimed to encourage parents consume and serve more water and other healthy beverages to their children over SSBs.

Additionally, I am working on my dissertation centered on developing a parent-focused eLearning beverage training to improve healthy beverage comsumption among Black families. 

My job role include: recruiting participants, conducting focus groups & interviews, provide feedbacks via detailed reports, analysis of data (quantitative and qualitative), literature review, writing and submission of paper for publication, intervention development  & design, grant writing and food demos.

Journal Articles

Cotwright CJ, Alvis C, de Jesus Jimenez F, Farmer P, Okoli C, Delane J, Cox GO (2020). Improving willingness to try fruits and vegetables among low-income children through use of characters, Health Equity 4:1, 84–90, DOI: 10.1089/heq.2019.0113


Cotwright CJ, Alvis C, de Jesus Jimenez F, Farmer P, Okoli C, Delane J, Cox GO (2020). Improving willingness to try fruits and vegetables among low-income children through use of characters, Health Equity 4:1, 84–90, DOI: 10.1089/heq.2019.0113.

Chisom Ezemaduka (2019). Association between Iodine status and insulin resistance in the US population using NHANES data (2011-2012).

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