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Ryley-Jeffs Memorial Award

The Ryley-Jeffs Memorial Award is the highest recognition that the Board of Dietitians of Canada can bestow on a member*. 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.

The Board of Directors is honoured to announce Dr. Debbie MacLellan as the 2020 Ryley-Jeffs Memorial Award recipient.

Debbie MacLellan has a BSc (Home Economics) from the University of PEI, a MSc (Nutrition) from the University of Alberta, and a PhD from the University of Saskatchewan. She became a professional dietitian in 1983. During her career, Dr. MacLellan worked as an administrative, clinical and community dietitian, while spending the majority of it as an innovator in dietetic education at the University of Prince Edward Island. As Chair of the Department of Applied Human Sciences, she oversaw the renewal and refocusing of the program to prepare students for the future of dietetic practice.

Later in her career, Dr. MacLellan accepted high profile positions including the Dean of Science of UPEI and President of the University of Canada in Cairo. Dr. MacLellan was one of two Canadian experts who led the development of an internationally accepted definition of evidence-based practice using a DELPHI process and input from dietitians from across the globe. The definition was the first of its kind for dietetics and served to standardize the understanding of this important concept.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the 2020 National Conference, Dr. MacLellan will present the Ryley-Jeffs Lecture in Montreal in 2021. Her lecture will draw on her experiences facing the exciting and challenging issues of her career and the knowledge and abilities she acquired as a dietitian and educator.

Find out more about Dr. MacLellan and next year's presentation

*Starting in 2023, this award will no longer be selected by the Board of Directors.  More details to come.
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