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Released October 20, 2004


HATTIESBURG -Southern Miss recently named Dr. Deborah Carr director of the Applied Research Division of the National Food Service Management Institute.

"Dr. Carr brings a broad perspective to the role of director," said Dr. Peter Fos, dean of the College of Health. "[Her] professional background and experience is characterized by serving as a food service director at the local school district level, as well as a national representative on the executive board of the American School Food Service Association. This perspective, in addition to eight years of experience conducting research on child nutrition programs, uniquely qualifies Dr. Carr to provide leadership for the National Food Service Management Institute's research division and to contribute to its vision of promoting excellence in child nutrition programs."

A true Golden Eagles fan, Carr earned a bachelor's degree in nutrition and dietetics, a master's degree in institution management and a doctorate in nutrition and food systems with a minor in adult education, all at Southern Miss.

"This is an exciting opportunity for me to serve as director of this division," Carr said. "I came to the Applied Research Division in 1995, having served in different capacities during the past 10 years."

The National Food Service Management Institute's mission is "to provide information and services that promote the continuous improvement of child nutrition programs," and to lead the charge in providing education, research and resources to promote excellence in such programs. As a national center, the institute provides information, conducts applied research, and offers training and education opportunities using appropriate technology, serving programs such as school lunch, school breakfast, summer feeding, and child and adult care. Congress first authorized NFSMI in 1989, and permanently did so in 1994.

As reported on its Web site (, a USDA grant supports the total operation of the National Food Service Management Institute. The Applied Research Division at The University of Southern Mississippi is a cooperative arrangement between the University of Mississippi and The University of Southern Mississippi. The Applied Research Division staff includes a director, an administrative assistant, three research scientists, a NFSMI scholar (competitively selected from a national pool of researchers), part-time secretarial support, two graduate research assistants, and opportunities to contract with a diverse group of national researchers. Projects are conducted nationwide related to the National School Lunch Program, National School Breakfast, NSLP After-school Care Snack Service, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

When Carr joined Applied Research, she brought 20 years of experience as a health care and school nutrition administrator with her. She said this job provides her with a great deal of joy by working with an organization that has a mission to support making a difference for all child nutrition programs and working with a talented and committed staff.

"We are very fortunate to have the Applied Research Division that is the research arm of a national institute in the Yelverton House at Southern Miss," she said. "Many of our applied research efforts have focused on financial management, customer service, human resources, program operations, and child care. These efforts link back to supporting continuous improvement of the programs we serve.

"I have a passion for child nutrition programs, and the work of the Applied Research Division provides opportunities to contribute information that promotes excellence for such programs that serve children throughout the United States. With the support received for this cooperative agreement between The University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Mississippi, I look forward to a bright future here at Southern Miss," Carr said.


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November 23, 2004 9:23 AM