Earn a degree in Nutritional Sciences

  • Food laboratory where students design and carry out food research.
  • Excellent preparation for pre-professional degree programs.
  • Personalized instruction in small classes.
  • Successful completion of coursework qualifies for natural science minor.




Become an expert in science-based nutrition and understand the role of food in health as your prepare for a career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

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Nutrition and Food Service Management

Gain knowledge in nutrition and food service management for a career working with specific age populations.

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Faculty Bios

Karen Schmitz, Ph.D., R.D.
Department Chair, Nutrition and Biomedical Sciences
Program Director, Graduate Programs in Nutrition

Ph.D. Michigan State University

M.S. Iowa State University

B.S. University of Iowa



Franciscan Center S217-U

Karen Schmitz, Ph.D., R.D.

Dr. Schmitz is a former Peace Corps volunteer who became interested in the field of nutrition while working as a high school science teacher in Lesotho, Africa. She is a Registered Dietitian who has worked in the areas of research, nutrition education and nutritional counseling. She enjoys teaching courses in Nutrition Assessment, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Advanced Human Nutrition and Experimental Foods and Research.

Karen has been active in many professional associations related to nutrition and dietetics, most recently serving as an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Position Paper editor and on the board of the Southeastern Michigan Dietetics Association. She has served as a reviewer for several nutrition textbooks and on advisory boards for dietetic internships. Her recent research includes collaborating with nursing faculty on the project titled, "Teaching Nutrition Screening and Assessment of the Geriatric Patient: An Inter-professional Approach."

In addition, she has worked with many students on research projects related to fat replacers, sugar substitutes, oil absorption and consumer acceptability of food products. Several of these students have presented their research and won awards at the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Conference.

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Laura Kull, MS, RDN, FAND
Program Director, Nutrition and Dietetics

M.S. University of Michigan

B.S. Michigan State University

Dietetic Internship, University of Michigan School of Public Health



Academic Building 1502A

Laura Kull, MS, RDN, FAND

Laura Freeland Kull, MS, RDN is the Director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program. She started at Madonna University as an adjunct faculty member in 1997 and joined as a full time faculty member and director in 2008. She completed her undergraduate degree in Dietetics at Michigan State University and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic Internship at University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Her interests include food system sustainability, environmental nutrition, food insecurity, community and life span nutrition.

Laura has worked in clinical nutrition specializing in nutrition support in the long term care population. She is an active member in the dietetics profession. She has served on the board of the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Michigan Nutrition and Dietetics Institute and the Southeastern Michigan Dietetic Association. She is the recipient of multiple awards including the Michigan Dietetic Association’s Outstanding Educator, the Michigan Dietetic Association’s Registered Dietitian of the Year, The Michigan Dietetic Association Award, the Southeastern Michigan Association Distinguished Service Award and the Volunteer of the Year for the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center.

Laura is also the faculty advisor of the Madonna University student government organizations: the Nutrition Network and the Food Recovery Network.

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