Linda Houtkooper, Professional Achievement 2018

Linda Houtkooper Ph.D., RDN, FACSM joined the faculty of the Nutritional Sciences Department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona in 1986. She is a Cooperative Extension (CE) Specialist and Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. She was Head of the Nutritional Sciences Department for 5 years and an Associate Director of Cooperative Extension for Family, Consumer and Health Sciences program for 8 years.


Dr. Houtkooper’s education and research programs focus on the integration of nutrition and physical activity to promote optimal health, osteoporosis prevention, and sports performance. She has developed and conducted outreach education programs, authored numerous publications, instructional manuals and books as well as presenting lectures, workshops, and seminars for various professional conferences at the international, national, and state levels.


Linda provided leadership for expansion of CE programs into the health area through her role as Assistant to the Director of CE for the Community Health Advancement Program (CHAPS). This strategic effort of CE to engage county-based CE faculty this  with state specialists and faculty in the College of Medicine and Public Health (COPH) to offer nutrition and CE programs and promote health and prevent chronic diseases, enabled CHAPS partnership to reach over 1 million people statewide. Another successful program, Walk Across Arizona developed into a statewide program to encourage individuals and families to increase their physical activity.


Dr. Houtkooper also co-directed large, multi-site research studies focused on bone health including the Bone Estrogen and Strength Training (BEST) study.  She was the director of the nutrition component of the Combined Events Athlete Development Program, sponsored by USA Track & Field and developed methods and models for accurate assessment of body composition in children and elite multi-event athletes in USA Track & Field development programs.  


Linda’s service to CALS and the University is extensive.  She has chaired or been on the committees of more than 42 masters and doctoral students as well as mentored other students and new Extension faculty. She has served on numerous professional and non-profit boards & served on numerous CALS Search and Screen & tenure review Committees, CALS Diversity Committee and the Dean’s Advisory Committee.  Linda exemplifies what it means to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle & has led by example.  Dr. Linda Houtkooper is a truly exceptional individual who meets the highest standards of what it means to be an Extension Specialist and Professor.

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