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Dr. Catherine Arnold, MS, EdD, RDN, LDN

Department Chair and Professor


Phone: 630-829-6534  |  Send Dr. Arnold an Email  |  Office: KN 224 E

Dr. Catherine Arnold joined the faculty full-time in 1990. Her positions include Professor, Department Chair, and former Assistant to the Provost for University Assessment. Prior to teaching full-time, she worked as a clinical dietitian, community educator, consultant dietitian, and adjunct faculty member, Dr. Arnold earned her doctorate in Educational Psychology and Graduate Certificate in Advanced Quantitative Methods in Education from Northern Illinois University, and Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Rush University. She completed Advanced Specialty Training Certificate in Adult Weight Management (by CDR) and Leadership (Leadership Institute of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).

Dr. Arnold's research interests include Determining Predictors of health behavior change, self-efficacy and motivation, and student leadership, engagement, and learning. To support her endeavors, she received funding from five granting organizations for over $100,000, as well as a $210,000 grant from the USDA NIFA to support a Multicultural Scholars Program in Nutrition and Dietetics. Her work is published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Arnold delivered over 40 presentations at local, state, and international conferences.

Dr. Arnold is a past President of the Illinois Dietetic Association (IDA) and West Suburban Dietetic Association, past co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of the IDA, and was appointed as a program reviewer by the by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Arnold was the recipient the Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Alumnae of the Year Award from her high school, and Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award from the IDA. She is listed in Whos's Who in Education, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World. Dr. Arnold was the recipient of the Judith Ann Whinfrey Distinguished Faculty Award for Leadership by Benedictine University (2019).

Dr. Bonnie Beezhold, PhD, MHS, CHES

Associate Professor


Phone: 630-829-6528  |  Send Dr. Beezhold an Email  |  Office: KN 224 D

Bonnie Beezhold, Ph.D., M.H.S., C.H.E.S.

Dr. Beezhold joined the tenure-track faculty in 2011. She earned a Master of Health Science degree in International Health (Nutrition focus) from Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Ph.D. from the interdisciplinary Physical Activity, Nutrition and Wellness doctoral program (Nutrition focus) at Arizona State University. She is certified as a Health Education Specialist (CHES) by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, and leads the department's health education concentration. Dr. Beezhold primarily teaches and mentors graduate students in the MSNW program, but also teaches the undergraduate Health and Nutrition Education course. She is interested in fostering a greater public health perspective among undergraduate and graduate Nutrition students.

Dr. Beezhold's main research focus investigates the link between diet pattern and parameters of mental health in healthy populations, particularly comparing the vegan and omnivore diet. Another research avenue explores health outcomes associated with the hunter-gatherer diet compared to the modern diet. As a member of the American Society for Nutrition, she presents her research annually at the Experimental Biology conference, and her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Beezhold regularly acts as a peer reviewer for numerous nutrition and medical journals such as the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Pediatrics. She is also a member of the American Public Health Association and the National Wellness Institute.


Ms. Nikki DeWalt, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietetic Internship Director


Phone: 630-829-6548  |  Send Ms. DeWalt an Email  |  Office: KN 224 C

Nikki completed her undergraduate DPD at Bradley University and MS/DI at Eastern Illinois University.
She has been a clinical dietitian, clinical nutrition manager and has worked in the role of preceptor to students in hospital settings. She has spent the last few years working as a renal dietitian in an independent dialysis unit managing the anemia and bone and mineral disease component of ESRD and doing the patient education. Nikki has taught nutrition as an adjunct instructor and has received her Advanced Specialty Training Certificate in Adult Weight Management. 
Nikki is excited for the future of this profession and has a special interest in community nutrition and sustainability. 
She has two young boys and can be found at a baseball field, soccer field or football field when not at work.

Dr. Annie Lin, PhD, RDN, LDN

Assistant Professor


  |  Send Dr. Lin an Email  |  Office: KN 224 G

Dr. Annie W. Lin joined the Department of Nutrition as an Assistant Professor in 2020. She completed a joint MS/RD program at Rush University and a PhD in Human Nutrition at Cornell University (minoring in nutritional epidemiology, physiology). She was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the NCI-funded T32 Behavioral and Psychosocial Research Training Program in Cancer Prevention and Control at Northwestern University. She currently holds a dual appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University.

Her research program focuses on using technology-assisted strategies to promote healthy dietary behaviors in the context of cancer prevention and treatment. Dr. Lin is currently leading several collaborations that investigate how to effectively facilitate conversations about health promotion between patients and clinicians via technology. With the support of undergraduate research assistants and collaborators, she hopes to encourage successful translation of nutrition research into clinical practice.

Dr. Lin’s peer-reviewed publications can be found here

Ms. Carrie Slezak, MS, RDN, LDN



Phone: 630-829-1144  |  Send Ms. Slezak an Email  |  Office: Kindlon 224B

Ms. Carrie Slezak joined the Department of Nutrition as Instructor and nutrition laboratory coordinator in 2018. She completed her undergraduate DPD at Illinois State University and MS/DI at Eastern Illinois University. Carrie has been an instructor in the undergraduate nutrition and dietetics field for over 5 years. Prior to higher education she worked as a clinical nutrition manager, renal dietitian, clinical dietitian and long-term care dietitian. She also has experience in the role of preceptor to students in hospital settings. Carrie has recently obtained her dual role status as servsafe instructor/proctor through the national restaurant association. She is well seasoned in all areas of the dietetics profession with a special interest in medical nutrition therapy in the critical care, renal and NICU setting. Carrie is passionate about creating a classroom that simulates the “real-life” scenarios dietitians and managers face in the workplace.

Dr. Paula Sochacki, MPH, EdD, RDN, LDN

Assistant Professor


Phone: 630-829-6597  |  Send Dr. Sochacki an Email  |  Office: KN 224 F

Dr. Paula Milas Sochacki joined the university as an adjunct faculty in 2007. In 2017, she was hired full-time as an Assistant Professor and the DPD Program Director. Recently she was Assistant Professor at Dominican University for the undergraduate program. Her previous clinical work experience were primarily within the area of renal and transplant nutrition at the University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago and Fresenius Medical Care North America. She has also been fortunate to work in a wide variety of clinical and community nutrition settings throughout the Chicago-land area.
Dr. Sochacki completed her doctoral degree at Northern Illinois University where her research interests focused on Leadership, Diversity and Career Pathway development of Dietitians. She also received her Master in Public Health (Concentration in Community Nutrition) from Benedictine University. She has been involved in a variety of capacities at both the district and state level. Her recent professional leadership positions are: the West Suburban Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (WSAND) Past-President, Committee Chair and Programming Committee Member. Within the Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (IAND) she has continued to be involved as being the Membership Committee Co-Chair and as a Planning Committee Member for the IAND Spring Assembly.  
Dr. Sochacki has been the recipient of the: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Scholarship for Doctoral Research, the Dietitian of the Year (2016-2017) and Young Dietitian of the Year (2010-2011) both awarded from Illinois by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Recipient of the Leadership Award in Adult and Higher Education by Northern Illinois University, and was the recipient of the Benedictine University undergraduate commencement Procopian Award.
Dr. Sochacki is passionate about the importance of continuing professional development and the role of leadership within one's professional organization. Her ongoing participation has been evident, and she hopes to encourage all nutrition professionals to acquire influential positions of leadership; where their "voices" can be heard and they can impact decisions related to the future growth of the dietetics and nutrition profession.

Adjunct Faculty

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Name Department Email
Carol Bennett, MPH, RDN, LDN Nutrition
Jan Dowell, MS, MHS, RDN, CSSD Nutrition
Lynn Dugan, MS, RDN, LDN Nutrition
David Grotto, MS, RDN, LDN Nutrition
Annie Murphy, MPH, RDN, LDN Nutrition
Teresa Pangan, PhD, RDN Nutrition
Monica Pawasarat, MS, RDN, LDN Nutrition
Laurie Schubert, PhD, RDN, LDN Nutrition
Department of Nutrition
Benedictine University

Catherine Arnold, MS, EdD, RD.
Department Chair


Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 224
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6595