Our Staff: Nutrition Education


Dr. Sandra Sherman, Director of Nutrition Education
Sandra guides nutrition education at The Food Trust and is a co-principal investigator on our School Breakfast Policy Initiative partnership with Temple University's Center for Obesity Research and Education. Sandra holds master's degrees in community nutrition and in measurement, evaluation and statistics and a doctoral degree in nutrition education, and was the winner of the American Public Health Association's Catharine Cowell Award. She also helps guide The Food Trust’s nutrition education initiative in Cuenca, Ecuador. She likes to bike, hike and spend time with her family.


Heidi Gorniok, Associate Director of Nutrition Programming
Heidi oversees The Food Trust's youth-based programming work, pre-K through 12th grade, in schools and community settings across Southeastern Pennsylvania. One of Heidi's favorite things to do is go for long walks -- she even leads a walking group at the office!


Juliana Barcellos, Youth Program Project Coordinator
Juliana provides nutrition education to students and caregivers in Norristown, Pennsylvania. She has lived in four different countries: Brazil, England, Spain and the United States.

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Deborah Herskovitz, Senior Associate, Youth Nutrition Education
Deborah manages a dedicated group of educators who work with youth and caregivers to promote healthy eating and physical activity. She is a two-time winner of The Food Trust’s “People’s Trusty Award."


Paulette Carpenter, Youth Leadership Manager, HYPE Program
Paulette supports various HYPE youth councils across the Philadelphia, providing students with the tools and resources they need to promote healthy changes in their schools and communities. She also helps coordinate annual youth leadership summits for middle- and high-schoolers. Paulette loves to cook and enjoys all types of cuisines.

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Aunnalea Grove, Get HYPE Philly! Program Manager
Aunnalea supports the work of the Get HYPE Philly! collective and the 10 partners as they work together to promote healthy, positive youth development in Philadelphia. Aunnalea has her masters in Public Anthroplogy and enjoys exploring Philly parks, green spaces and the city's delicious food scene.


Cassandra Fox, Community Coordinator, RDN
Cassandra works to provide fun and exciting nutrition education to youth and adults in a variety of settings including schools, corner stores and community sites within the Lehigh Valley region. She is passionate about cooking, eating and all things culinary and has her master's degree in nutrition and dietetics from Marywood University in Scranton, PA.


Catharine Devigne, Senior Associate, Family and Youth Programming
Catharine oversees The Food Trust's early childhood, youth leadership and caregiver programming. She is also the liaison to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Catharine loves cooking with her 4-year-old daughter and encouraging her to try new foods.

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Jessica Weller, Youth Coordinator
Jessica teaches nutrition education in to students and their families in six schools in Norristown, PA. She has her master's degree in literacy. To stay physically active, Jessica plays in two soccer leagues twice a week.


Nichole Proctor-English, Program Manager, Adult Nutrition Education
Nichole oversees and supports a team of adult and community nutrition educators working in Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Reading, Norristown and Chester. She previously worked as an organic farmer for a land trust and a youth educator for a cooking and gardening program. Besides sustainable urban food and farming systems, her other passion in life is roller derby!


Rashida Padgett, Youth Nutrition Education Associate
Rashida provides nutrition education to students and caregivers in the School District of Philadelphia through fun classroom lessons, family workshops and cooking demos . She has a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University and is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC).  Rashida loves to cook, dance and play tennis.

Melissa Kowalczyk

Melissa Kowalczyk, Kindergarten Initiative Project Coordinator
Melissa supports the Kindergarten Initiative, working with a variety of School District of Philadelphia schools to educate kindergarteners and their families about healthy eating. In her free time, Melissa loves cooking and hiking the Wissahickon with her dog, Lucca.


Daniella Garcia, Youth Coordinator
Daniella works to empower Philadelphia youth to make healthy life choices through nutrition education. Her favorite hobby is baking.


Zachary Hunter, Youth Education Associate
Tachary teaches health and wellness concepts to promote lifestyle changes to help families have an improved quality of life.  Zachary has a degree in Exercise Science from West Chester and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. He spends much of his time enjoying the outdoors.

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Dena Greenstreet, Youth Nutrition Education Associate
Dena provides youth nutrition education programming in Philadelphia schools and works with school administrators to facilitate projects to make schools healthier, stronger communities. When she is not teaching, Dena is always working to learn more about the existing structures that impact food access and looking for what to read next. In her spare time, Dena loves to play guitar and volunteer with Girls Rock Philly.

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Katie Belazis, Community Coordinator
Katie works with schools to educate youth and their families about healthy eating, and works with teachers and community members to create healthier food environments. Katie has her master's degree in public health. In her spare time, she loves learning about weather and natural disasters.

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Gabriella Fontan, Youth Nutrition Education Associate
Gabriellea works to educate children and their caregivers on healthy eating habits and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. She is currently earining her master's degree in Public Administration from Widener University. Gabriella enjoys cooking and painting in her spare time.

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Caitlin Pfeifer, Youth Nutrition Education Associate
Caitlin provides nutrition education programming in Reading, Pennsylvania. She studied nutritional sciences and Spanish at Penn State University. In her free time, Caitlin loves to travel, take classes at the gym and cook.


Jonathan Delp, Adult Coordinator
Jonathan works to educate the next generation of mindful eaters and their caregivers. He competed his dietetic internship through Montana State University and has his bachelor's degree in nutrition and dietetics from Immaculata University. Jonathan is a Registered Dietitian (RD) through the CDR and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Lauren Dale, Camden Program Manager
Lauren guides the implementation of comprehensive nutrition education in select sites in Camden, New Jersey. As part of a collective impact, Lauren works with other community partners in New Jersey to create healthier lives for Camden’s residents. She also carries out the School Breakfast Policy Initiative, designed to help Philadelphia students to eat a healthy breakfast, and builds demand for healthy food in southern grocery stores. Lauren loves cycling, camping and cooking.

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Kathryn Berky, Youth Coordinator
Kathryn empowers youth to make healthy life choices through nutrition lessons, family workshops and healthy snacks. Kathryn loves surfing, snowboarding, climbing volcanoes and adventure in general!


Elise Coakley, Youth Nutrition Education Coordinator
Elise provides fun and engaging nutrition lessons to students, teachers, caregivers and the community in the William Penn School District. She has her bachelor's degree from West Chester University in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Elise loves to spend her extra time with her family.

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Becky Gullo, Youth Program Coordinator
Becky teaches youth-focused nutrition programs in the School District of Philadelphia. Becky is a Registered Dietetic Technician. Before joining The Food Trust, she spent three years working as a pastry chef.

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Becky Hooper Project Coordinator   
Becky provides nutrition education to students and caregivers throughout the School District of Philadelphia. She has her bachelor's degree in kinesiology and exercise science. Fun fact: Becky plays soccer every weekend!


Justin Erkess, Community Coordinator
Justin works in Philadelphia communities to teach children and their families about healthy eating in a fun and positive way.


Jacquie Smyth, Youth Coordinator
Jacquie works in Philadelphia communities to teach children and their families about healthy eating in a fun and positive way. In her spare time, Jacquie plays ice hockey.

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Katie Walsh, Youth Coordinator
Katie provides nutrition lessons to pre-K through seventh-grade youth in Reading, PA. Katie is from Mississippi and loves all things Southern. She is also trying to be more sustainable by canning, cardening and raising chickens!

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