By Jeffrey Weisbord
Before becoming an expert in nutrition, Adelphi College of Nursing and Public Health Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the M.S. in Nutrition Program Diane Dembicki, Ph.D., was, of all things, an anthropologist. It was while working as a museum curator analyzing skeletal remains that she became intrigued by the repeated evidence of the effects of diet and disease on bones. Now, as a professor with a Ph.D. in Human Nutrition, Dr. Dembicki enjoys sharing her broad knowledge of health and nutrition in novel ways.
Dr. Dembicki teaches a variety of courses, including Nutrition in Nursing and Healing and the Arts. She hopes that her classes instill in her students the importance of staying active and applying moderation to their diets. Dr. Dembicki’s far-reaching experiences allow her to bring a unique perspective to the classroom. She shows slides of her travels to help her students connect to the material, and many of her classes are experiential, as she affirms that “students learn best by doing.” When teaching Healing and the Arts, for example, Dr. Dembicki brings therapy dogs to campus so that students can experience how the dogs relieve patients’ stress.
A resident of Dutchess County, New York, Dr. Dembicki commutes more than two hours to teach at Adelphi’s Manhattan Center. She is also the only professor to teach at three different Adelphi locations, including the Garden City campus and the Hudson Valley Center. Fittingly, the former anthropologist takes great joy in teaching so many students at such varied locations. “It’s a bit of a challenge,” she said, “but I appreciate the cultural diversity and the unique experiences from students on different campuses.”