Associate Dean for Student Success, Associate Professor
Westlake Hall 204
Ph.D., Nutritional Sciences - University of Connecticut
M.S., Family and Consumer Sciences - Eastern Illinois University
B.S., Foods, Nutrition, and Dietetics - Bradley University
After graduating from Bradley with my undergraduate degree, I completed by dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. From that experience, I discovered that my professional interests lie in community nutrition and nutrition education. During my PhD, I was able to conduct multiple community nutrition interventions for low-income preschool aged children and families. Personally, I enjoy spending time reading, gardening, and running.
I love being in the classroom with students! I’m always trying new activities to teach students about food and nutrition. When I enter a classroom, I see my role as a facilitator of activities to help students learn about the content in a fun and engaging way. I have taught many different classes during my time at Bradley in both the graduate and undergraduate programs including:
- FCS 202: Food & Nutrition
- FCS 410: Advanced Nutrition
- FCS 541: Research Methods in Nutrition & Dietetics
- FCS 501: Community Nutrition Intervention
Most of my research is focused on food parenting, or how parents and children interact around mealtimes and/or food. I find it fascinating how the behaviors of parents around food and mealtimes can have such an intense impact on the way children eat, view food, and raise children themselves in the future. I tend to focus on the dad’s role in the family because the definition of what it means to be a “good father” has changed throughout time. Some of my favorite studies I have done are below:
- Vollmer, R. L. (2021). The Relationship between Parental Food Parenting Practices & Child Eating Behavior: A Comparison of Mothers and Fathers. Appetite, 162, DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2021.105193
- Vollmer, R. L., Adamsons, K., Mobley, A. R. (2019). Recruitment, Engagement, and Retention of Fathers in Nutrition Education and Obesity Research. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2019.07.006
- Greenhill, E. & Vollmer R. L. (2019). Perceptions of a Father’s Role during a Couple’s First Pregnancy. Journal of Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 48, 52-64.
- Vollmer, R. L. (2018) An exploration of how fathers attempt to prevent childhood obesity in their families. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 50, 283-288.
- Vollmer, R. L, Adamsons, K., Foster, J. S., Mobley A. R. (2015). Investigating relationships between paternal perception of the role of the father and paternal feeding practices. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 24, 3734-3741.
- Vollmer, R. L, Adamsons, K., Foster, J. S., Mobley, A. R. (2015). Association of fathers’ feeding practices and feeding style on preschool age children’s diet quality, eating behavior and body mass index. Appetite, 89, 274-281.
- Vollmer, R. L, Adamsons, K., Gorin, A., Foster, J. S., Mobley A. R. (2015). Investigating the relationship of body mass index, diet quality, and physical activity level between fathers and their preschool-aged children. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, 115, 919-926.
I also conduct research on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Because I love teaching so much and I love to try new things, I decided it would be fun to research them! I mostly investigate the role flipped learning plays on student learning, but I am also interested in student motivation to learn, ungrading, and the fear of failure. Below are some examples of my work in this area:
- Vollmer, R. L. & Drake, T. (2020). Exploration of Dietetic Graduate Students’ Experience in a Flipped Course Using Learning Reflections. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 52, 407-414.
- Vollmer, R. L. & Drake, T. (2020). The Use of Guided Reading Questions as a Scaffolding Technique in a Flipped Graduate Metabolism Class. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 52, S24.
A new interest of mine is college student food insecurity. Our students should not have to choose between buying textbooks and buying food. In collaboration with others on campus and in the community, we have started to explore some possible ways to help students avoid hunger and food insecurity in order to promote student success.
- Drake, T. & Vollmer, R. L. (2021). Food Security at a Private, Midwestern University During COVID-19. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 53, S49.
On-campus, I participate in service in my department, college, and university. Currently, in my department I am serving as the C.C. Wheeler Institute Director and on the curriculum committee. In EHS, I serve on the curriculum & regulations committee and the strategic planning committee, chair the Recruitment, Admissions, and Retention committee, and chair the Student Advisory Council. I also serve as chair of the university Sub-Committee on Curriculum.
Off-campus, I like to partner with non-profits that work to provide nutrition education and minimize food insecurity. Additionally, I am active in leadership positions in the professional organization, Society for Nutrition Education & Behavior.
Licensures and Certifications
Registered Dietitian (RD)