Dr. Debbie MacLellan named the Ryley-Jeffs Memorial Award recipient by Dietitians of Canada

The highest recognition of Dietitian of Canada, this award is granted to an individual who “exemplifies the ideals demonstrated by two Canadian pioneers in the profession.”
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A mature woman in red and blue academic robe helps three younger woman as they put the finishing touches putting on their own academic robes
Dr. MacLellan, as Dean of Science, preparing for UPEI Convocation 2015

Dietitians of Canada (DC) has named Dr. Debbie MacLellan the recipient of the Ryley-Jeffs Memorial Award. Dr. MacLellan is a professor emeritus in UPEI’s Department of Applied Human Science. She is a former department chair, dean of science, and past president of the University of Canada in Cairo, Egypt.

The Ryley-Jeffs Memorial Award is the highest honour bestowed by Dietitians of Canada. This award of distinction is granted to an individual who exemplifies the ideals demonstrated by two Canadian pioneers in the profession, Violet Ryley and Kathleen Jeffs.

In notifying Dr. MacLellan of the award, the board of Dietitians of Canada noted, “you have demonstrated vision and a pioneering spirit throughout your career. You have shown great passion for the profession through your work and leadership, and we want you to share that with DC members.”

In their letter of nomination, Dr. MacLellan’s colleagues praised her for her leadership, saying, “Debbie’s passion and research into the client-centred approach was innovative and impacted many dietetic students, dietitians, and academics to look at nutrition counseling differently. Debbie has always been forward thinking. When the new competencies came out that no longer clearly identified three classic areas of dietetics, she was quick to embrace this broader way of thinking about dietetic practice and training and led changes in our integrated internship program at UPEI in response to these changes.”

The recipient of the Ryley-Jeffs award typically gives a formal address at DC’s annual conference in June. Due to COVID-19 protocols, Dr. MacLellan will instead give her presentation to the virtual conference in May. Her presentation title is titled “How did a dietitian from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, become president of the first Canadian university in Egypt.” Her presentation will focus on developing the leadership skills needed to advance in her profession in the areas of clinical, community, public health, administration, or education practices.

Congratulations, Dr. MacLellan!

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