OWIMS Exemplary Mentor Spotlight September 2013

Mara Vitolins, DrPH, MPH, RD, LDN


Vitolins Mara Z

Tenured Professor and Vice Chair

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology and Prevention 

Number of years at WFSM:  18


We would like to recognize Dr. Mara Vitolins, as an exemplary mentor in the OWIMS Mentoring Program! Dr. Vitolins, Professor and Vice Chair of the Public Health Sciences Department of Epidemiology & Prevention, who served as Interim Chair in 2012-2013, joined the OWIMS Mentoring Program in 2007. Since arriving at WFBMC 18 years ago, she has mentored 7 faculty and 11 post docs, assisting her Mentees in writing grants, manuscripts, submitting abstracts and preparing posters and presentation for scientific meetings.

Dr. Vitolins' Mentees had this to say about her:

  • "Dr. Vitolins generously shares with me her advice on balancing teaching, research and other responsibilities. [She] has been an extremely effective mentor for me and I respect and appreciate her friendly and constructive communication style and I value her perspective and suggestions about my career planning strategies."
  • "Dr. Vitolins is an extraordinary role model for fellows and junior faculty. [She] encourages creative, independent thought, and she reminds me not to give up on innovative research ideas, while at the same time providing me the guidance to create feasible outcomes."
  • "Dr. Vitolins' early investment in me has allowed me to develop a level of expertise that has made me a valued collaborator to others in the institution. Dr. Vitolins has made an indelible mark on my career and my development as an academician."

Dr. Vitolins' primary focus is conducting research lifestyle interventions to prevent and reduce risk for chronic disease.  In 2009, she was one of several authors on the 2009 Outstanding Journal Research Article: the Obesity Society titled, One-year weight losses in the LOOK AHEAD Study: factors associated with success. She received the Abbott Nutrition Award in Women's Health in 2010 and was the Inaugural Representative to the House of Delegates, Research Dietetic Practice Group, for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2012.  In addition to her professorial accomplishments, Dr. Vitolins is a graduate of the OWIMS Career Development for Women Leaders Program in 2008 and in 2009 was awarded the OWIMS Mid-Career Investigator Award.  

Thank you, Dr. Vitolins, for being an exemplary mentor!

Date:  September 2013 

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