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Shelly Nickols-Richardson

Shelly Nickols-Richardson
Associate Dean and Director of Extension

111 Mumford Hall 1301 W Gregory Dr Urbana IL 61801

Program Areas
Extension Administration and Leadership

Dr. Sharon M. “Shelly” Nickols-Richardson, PhD, RD, serves as an associate dean and director of Extension and Outreach in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois. In this role, Dr. Nickols-Richardson defines the strategic vision for Illinois Extension and leads a team of passionate faculty and staff in their efforts to positively impact the lives of Illinois families. She joined the faculty at UIUC in July 2013 as Professor and Head of the Food Science Human Nutrition Department. She has taught courses in the areas of Community Nutrition, Nutrition Across the Life Span, Nutritional Assessment, Alternative and Complementary Nutrition Therapies, and Maternal and Child Nutrition.

Previous Experience

Dr. Nickols-Richardson was an Assistant (1998-2003) and Associate Professor (2003-2006) in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise at Virginia Tech where she was an affiliate of the Center for Gerontology and served as the Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics. She was an Associate (2007-2011) and Full Professor (2011-2013) in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University, where she directed the BONE Laboratory and served as the Professor-in-Charge (2008-2013) of the Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences.

Dr. Nickols-Richardson has also served in leadership roles for several professional organizations, including President of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (2008-2009), Member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and Associate Research Editor of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2011-2013).

Research Interests

Dr. Nickols-Richardson’s research focuses on determinants of obesity prevention and body weight regulation across the life span to lower the burden of chronic diseases, ranging from metabolic syndrome to osteoporosis. She studies the impact of weight loss, weight loss diets, and restrained eating on bone and body composition.


  • Ph.D. in Nutrition, University of Georgia in Athens
  • M.S. in Nutrition, University of Georgia in Athens
  • B.S. in Food, Nutrition and Institution Administration, Oklahoma State University

Awards and Honors

  • Abbott Award in Women’s Health, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, 2015
  • Emily Quinn Pou Professional Achievement Award, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 2011
  • Fellow, Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Academic Leadership Program (ALP), The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, and CIC, Champaign, IL, 2010-2011
  • Participant, Dannon Institute’s Academic Mid-Career Nutrition Leadership Institute, The Dannon Institute, White Plains, NY, 2010
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Human Environmental Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 2009
  • Early Career Excellence in Teaching Award, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, Washington, DC, 2006
  • Pacesetter Award, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 2003
  • Clifton Garvin Fellowship, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, 2002

Recent Media Coverage

Recent Publications

  • Nikolaus CJ, Nickols-Richardson SM, Ellison B. Wasted food: a qualitative study of U.S. young adults' perceptions, beliefs and behaviors. Appetite. 2018 Jul 28. pii: S0195-6663(17)31136-4 [E-pub ahead of print]. 
  • Rivera RL, Dunne J, Maulding MK, Wang Q, Savaiano DA, Nickols-Richardson SM, Eicher-Miller HA. Exploring the association of urban or rural county status and environmental, nutrition- and lifestyle-related resources with the efficacy of SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education) to improve food security. Public Health Nutr. 2018;21:957-966.
  • Nikolaus CJ, Graziose MM, Nickols-Richardson SM. Feasibility of a grocery store tour for parents and their adolescents: a randomized controlled pilot study. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2017;49:827-837.
  • Oakley AR, Nelson SA, Nickols-Richardson SM. Peer-led culinary skills intervention for adolescents: pilot study of the impact on knowledge, attitude, and self-efficacy. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2017;49:852-857.
  • Manero J, Phillips C, Ellison B, Lee SY, Nickols-Richardson SM, Chapman-Novakofski KM. Influence of seasoning on vegetable selection, liking and intent to purchase. Appetite. 2017;116:239-245.

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