Sydeena Isaacs

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Last Name: 
Assistant Professor
551 Leon Levine Hall


Dr. Isaacs is an Assistant Professor in nutrition and a registered dietitian. She is a native and lifelong resident of Watauga County and two-time alumna of Appalachian State University. Dr. Isaacs started teaching in the Nutrition Department as an adjunct faculty member in 2014 and fulltime in 2021. Before earning her doctorate, she worked as the lead clinical dietitian and patient services manager at a small, rural, critical access designated hospital in Western North Carolina. In this role, she provided nutrition care for acute care patients, facilitated nutrition education courses for cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation patients, and provided outpatient nutrition services for three surrounding rural counties. She also designed and implemented multiple clinical and foodservice quality assessment performance improvement projects, implemented and managed a department wide patient meal-delivery service program, initiated multiple departmental policy changes to enhance and streamline clinical nutrition services, and served as a dietetic internship preceptor for 3 years. Dr. Isaacs’ research has focused on understanding and reducing barriers to access and utilization of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in rural Appalachian North Carolina. She has presented her work as several local, state, and national conferences, including the 2019 and 2020 National WIC Association Annual Conferences, the 2019 North Carolina WIC Conference, and the 2019 North Carolina Public Health Association Conference.


  • PhD, Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2020
  • MS, Nutrition, Appalachian State University, 2013
  • Registered Dietitian (RD), 2013, Commission on Dietetic Registration
  • BS, Nutrition and Foods, Concentration in Dietetics, Appalachian State University, 2011

Nutrition and Health Care Management Faculty Profiles Appalachian State University Current Courses Being Taught

  • NUT 2202 Nutrition and Health (Fall)
  • NUT 4509 Quantity Food Production (Fall and Spring)
  • NUT 3120 Intermediate Nutrition (Spring)

Professional Affiliations Organizations

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • North Carolina Dietetic Association
  • National WIC Association
  • North Carolina Public Health Association
  • American Society for Nutrition

Research Interests

  • Social determinants of health and health equity in rural communities
  • Nutrition policy and practices to improve access to nutritious food in rural communities
  • Rural maternal and child health with a focus on childhood obesity prevention strategies.

Selected Publications

Isaacs, S.E., Shriver, L.H., Paynter, A.L. (2021) Characteristics, Perceptions, and Dietary Intakes of WIC
Participants in Rural Appalachia. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. DOI:

Isaacs, S.E., Shriver, L.H., Haldeman, L. (2020) Qualitative Examination of Maternal Barriers and Perceptions
to Participation in a Federal Supplemental Nutrition Program in Rural Appalachia. Journal of Appalachian
Health, 2:39.