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SLU Nutrition and Dietetics Program Adds Unique Expertise with Two Adjunct Faculty

The Saint Louis University (SLU) Nutrition and Dietetics department recently expanded its faculty to include two new adjunct instructors beginning in the 2021-2022 academic year. John Athamanah, MS, MBA, RD, will teach Food Systems Management I and Denise Mueller, CSW and Certified Sommelier, will teach Catering/Bar and Beverage Management.

SLU ND Adjunct Instructors
SLU Nutrition and Dietetics department adds unique expertise with adjunct faculty members John Athamanah (left) and Denise Mueller (right).

Athamanah and Mueller will each bring unique experiences and areas of expertise to the SLU Nutrition and Dietetics department. In addition to previous teaching experience, Athamanah has been the manager of food service systems at numerous health care hospitals and medical centers, has been a chief clinical dietitian, and has master’s degrees in human nutrition and business administration. Mueller has experience as a director of hospitality, director of beverage services, author and business owner – in 2013, Mueller founded PreSomm, which is a leading institution in St. Louis for wine knowledge and wine service training.

Athamanah explained that he was excited to be involved with a program that provides so many opportunities for students.

“I am really excited about joining the SLU Nutrition and Dietetics faculty. The unique opportunity for our students to become both a registered dietitian and a chef allows us to truly be at the intersection of food and nutrition,” Athamanah said. “As someone that has been teaching for nearly 14 years and managing food/nutrition options even longer, the rare opportunity to contribute to a program like this is something I wanted to seize.”

Mueller was also eager to bring her experiences and skills to Nutrition and Dietetics program with such a rich tradition.

"I am thrilled to join the SLU Nutrition and Dietetics faculty this fall, and so thankful to my colleague from Les Dames d'Escoffier St. Louis for encouraging me to pursue the opportunity,” Mueller said. “Teaching the beverage and catering component of this track is a dream for me as a wine educator, and as someone with 18 years of experience designing beverage programs, leading hospitality teams and managing venues. I look forward to bringing next-level enthusiasm to this course - creating a sense of passion for planning, pairings and program management – and to this truly unique program."

SLU Nutrition and Dietetics Interim Chairperson Anthony Breitbach, Ph.D., ATC, FASAHP, FNAP, is excited about the unique skill sets each of these adjunct faculty members will bring to the department.

“We are fortunate to add these outstanding new faculty,” Dr. Breitbach said. “Denise and John’s professional accomplishments and expertise in the food and beverage industry provide our students an opportunity to learn from faculty experienced in practice.”

Find out more about the SLU Nutrition and Dietetics Program

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of more than 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.