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Faculty & Staff Profiles

Associate Professor, Applied Health Sciences

Health Sciences Campus

Faculty photo for Joanne Kouba
  • I am a registered dietitian and faculty member in the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health at Loyola University Chicago. My work focuses on promoting health through food and nutrition. This takes several paths, including directing graduate programs by preparing future dietitians, coordinating nutrition services for adolescents at a school-based health center of a large high school, research related to community food access, and serving on the School Wellness Advisory Board of the Chicago Public Schools. There are many rewarding aspects of my work, but one that I most enjoy is reconnecting with my students and following their careers either through social medial networks, professional association meetings, or at a farmer's market!

    Research Interests

    Promoting quality of life of individuals, families, and communities through optimal food and nutrition.

    • BS in Food Science and Nutrition, Michigan State University
    • MS in Nutrition, New York University
    • PhD in Public Health, University of Illinois Chicago

    What prompted you to pursue your field?

    I wanted a profession that served humanity and promoted health. After considering various health care careers, I selected dietetics because food and nutrition are integral to our lives on many levels, encompassing normal growth and development, disease prevention, emotional and mental well-being, social connections, culture, creativity, economics, policy and the environment.

    Why is this area of study important at this point in time?

    Dietetic practice translates science into solutions for health with a food and nutrition focus. With both junk food and junk science readily available, it is important for consumers to have evidence-based information to guide their lifestyle behaviors and health decisions. Dietitians can do this at the individual, organizational, and policy levels. 

    What called you to or attracted you to Loyola?

    The alignment of the Loyola mission of social justice and health equity with the optimizing human potential through optimal nutrition.


    • Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Mood in Women with Type 2 Diabetes Penckofer,S.; Byrn,M.; Adams,W.; Emanuele,M. A.; Mumby,P.; Kouba,J.; Wallis,D. E. Journal of diabetes research 2017 ;2017:8232863
    • Does knowledge of coronary artery calcium affect cardiovascular risk perception, likelihood of taking action, and health-promoting behavior change? Johnson,J. E.; Gulanick,M.; Penckofer,S.; Kouba,J. The Journal of cardiovascular nursing 2015 ;30(1):15-25
    • A university--school collaboration to enhance healthy choices among children.Suarez-Balcazar, Y; Kouba, J; Jones, LM; Lukyanova, VV Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community 2014 ;42(2)
    • Pediatric obesity and asthma quality of life Velsor-Friedrich,B.; Militello,L. K.; Kouba,J.; Harrison,P. R.; Manion,A.; Doumit,R. The Nursing clinics of North America 2013 ;48(2):259-270
    • Efficacy of the I Can Control Asthma and Nutrition Now (ICAN) Pilot Program on Health Outcomes in High School Students With Asthma Kouba,J.; Velsor-Friedrich,B.; Militello,L.; Harrison,P. R.; Becklenberg,A.; White,B.; Surya,S.; Ahmed,A. The Journal of school nursing : the official publication of the National Association of School Nurses 2013 ;29(3):235-247
    • Vitamin D and depression: where is all the sunshine?. Penckofer,S.; Kouba,J.; Byrn,M.; Estwing Ferrans,C. Issues in Mental Health Nursing 2010 ;31(6):385-393
    • Vitamin D and diabetes: let the sunshine in Penckofer,S.; Kouba,J.; Wallis,D. E.; Emanuele,M. A. The Diabetes educator 2008 ;34(6):939-40, 942, 944 passim
    • Nutrition update. Vitamin D and diabetes: let the sunshine in Penckofer,S.; Kouba,J.; Wallis,D. E.; Emanuele,M. A. Diabetes Educator 2008 ;34(6):939-40, 942, 944 passim (58 ref)
    • Introducing systems change in the schools: the case of school luncheons and vending machines. Suarez-Balcazar,Y.; Redmond,L.; Kouba,J.; Hellwig,M.; Davis,R.; Martinez,L. I.; Jones,L. American Journal of Community Psychology 2007 ;39(3-4):335-345
    • Cool Foods: Evaluation of Salad Bars and Nutrition Education in Two Chicago Public Schools Kouba,J.; Suarez-Balcazar,Y. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2006 ;106(8, Supplement 1):A9-A9
    • A comparison of the availability and affordability of a market basket in two communities in the Chicago area. Block,D.; Kouba,J. Public health nutrition 2006 ;9(7):837-845