Melissa Davis Gutschall

First Name: 
Last Name: 
Davis Gutschall
Professor, Graduate Nutrition Program Director
PhD, Nutritional Sciences, Pennsylvania State University
574 Leon Levine Hall


Dr. Gutschall is a Professor in Nutrition and Foods and Director of Graduate Programs in Nutrition at Appalachian State University. She has taught nutrition for 15 years at the undergraduate and graduate levels, served as the Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics for 5 years, published a companion textbook for use with the introductory nutrition course, and serves as a Faculty Internship Coordinator for senior dietetics students. Dr. Gutschall received the 2012 Inaugural College of Health Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award, the 2016 Beaver College of Health Sciences Research Award, and the 2020 Cratis D. Williams Graduate School 100 Scholars Award. She was selected as the Outstanding Dietetics Educator for 2014 by the North Carolina Dietetics Association, for the Chancellor’s Inaugural Class of the Academic Leadership Development Program in 2015, and for the UNC-BRIDGES Academic Leadership Program for Women in 2021. Dr. Gutschall has been a registered dietitian for 20 years, and she continues to practice clinically on an interdisciplinary team providing care for children with special needs in the Appalachian Region. She has served with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Evidence Analysis Library and Simulation Task Force, and currently serves on the NCAND board; she has earned the status of Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her current research agenda is aimed at using her experience to bridge the gap between food insecurity and chronic illness in the rural population of Watauga County through a community-centered health initiative funded by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of NC, in collaboration with the Hunger and Health Coalition and UNC Health Appalachian.


  • PhD, Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, 2006
  • MS, Nutrition, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2002
  • Registered Dietitian (RD), 2001, Commission on Dietetic Registration
  • BS, Nutrition, The Pennsylvania State University, 1999

Current Courses Being Taught

  • NUT 4552/5552 Medical Terminology
  • NUT 4553 Medical Language for Health Professionals
  • NUT 4600 Professional Development
  • NUT 4900 Capstone Experience
  • NUT 5205 Maternal and Child Nutrition
  • NUT 5120 Professional Development
  • NUT 5475 Public Health Nutrition Capstone
  • NUT 5901 Research Project
  • NUT 5999 Thesis Research

Professional Affiliations / Organizations

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • North Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • North Carolina Public Health Association

Research Interests

Theory-based nutrition education programs for behavior change and maintenance among rural dwelling patients.

Selected Publications

  • Gutschall MD, Thompson KL, Visocky SH, Johnson KE, McRee CS. Historical Examination of Dietary Patterns in Rural Central/Southern Appalachia. In Press, Journal of Appalachian Studies, April, 2021.
  • Gutschall MD, Hege A, Farris AR, Young E, Furman M, Fox R. Creating and Sustaining a Community-Academic Partnership for Improving Nutrition Status, Food Security, and Chronic Disease Outcomes in Rural Appalachia. Journal of the Blue Cross NC Institute for Health and Human Services. 2021; 1 (Sustainable Health): 40-46.
  • Thompson KL, Gutschall MD, Cockerham KE. A Practical Quality Improvement Model for Developing Realistic Simulations for Dietetics Education. NDEP-LINE, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Newsletter for Dietetic Educators and Preceptors. 2020 (Fall): 11-19.
  • McArthur LH, Gutschall MD, Fasczewski KS, Jackson A. Food Insecurity among College Students with and without Medical Disorders at a University in Appalachia. J Appalach Health. 2020;2(2):36–48.
  • Thompson KL, Gutschall MD, Bliss A, Herman G, Zimmerman M, Kingry B, McMahan, S. "Developing and Pilot Testing a Population-focused Nutrition Screen Incorporating Social Determinants of Health: An Example from Rural Appalachia, United States". World Nutrition. 2020;11(2):74-89.
  • Thompson KL, Parrot JS, Chung M, Handu D, Gutschall M, Jewell ST, Byham-Gray L. Nutrition Specialists Have a Positive Impact on Weight Status Outcomes in Multi-Component Pediatric Weight Management Interventions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2019;119(5):799-817.
  • Marchetti, JM, Gutschall MD, Thompson KL. Counseling Strategies to Improve Nutrition Care for Rural Appalachian Patients. TICN. 2019;34(1):77-87.
  • Gutschall MD, Thompson KL. Getting Started: Designing and Using the Standardized Patient for Simulation Experiences. NDEP-LINE, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Newsletter for Dietetic Educators and Preceptors. 2017 (Summer): 4-10.
  • Gutschall MD, Thompson KL, Lawrence E. Addressing Health Disparities in Rural Nutrition Practice: A Qualitative Model from Rural Appalachia. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. 2017 (6): 1-16.
  • Crowe-White, K., Parrott, J. S., Stote, K. S., Gutschall, M. D., Davies, S. B., Droke, E., O'Neil, C. E., Wolfram, T. & Ziegler, P. Metabolic Impact of 100% Fruit Juice Consumption on Antioxidant/Oxidant Status and Lipid Profiles of Adults: An Evidence-Based Review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2017; 57(1):152-162.
  • Crowe-White, K, O'Neil, CE, Parrott, JS, Davies, SB, Droke, E, Gutschall, MD, Stote, KS, Wolfram, T, & Ziegler, P. Impact of 100% Fruit Juice Consumption on Diet and Weight Status of Children: An Evidence-based Review. In Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2016; 56(2): 871-884.