Cristen L. Harris, PhD, RD



Current Roles

Dr. Harris is an assistant professor and director of the Master of Science in Nutrition / Didactic Program in Dietetics (MSN-DPD) program in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science.


  • BS in medical dietetics from the Ohio State University in 1992
  • MS in exercise physiology from the University of Miami in 1996
  • PhD in nutrition from Florida International University in 2008

Past Experience

Dr. Harris draws her experience from a variety of areas, including private practice, where she has provided individual nutrition counseling and consulted to business and industry. She has served as an exercise physiologist in an outpatient fitness and rehabilitation setting, worked as a consultant nutritionist at a vegan health destination resort and spa, delivered clinical nutritional care in long-term care and hospital settings, and conducted clinical research.

Prior to moving to Washington, Dr. Harris was a featured guest on several TV news and radio stations in South Florida. She was a featured speaker for marathon training groups, professional association conferences and corporate wellness functions. Dr. Harris has authored several articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Eating Behaviors, consumer publications such as Today's Diet and Nutrition, and professional publications such as Ostomy Wound Management.

Classes Taught

Dr. Harris teaches in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. Her courses include Biostatistics, Nutrition in the Life Cycle, Nutritional Counseling, and Sports Nutrition for Nutritionists.


Dr. Harris has special interests in sports nutrition, weight management, maternal nutrition, the psychology of eating and feeding behaviors, body image and disordered eating, wellness, fitness and disease prevention. Dr. Harris is certified as a clinical exercise specialist by the American College of Sports Medicine, is a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics and holds a certificate of training in adult weight management. She is also a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In her personal life, Dr. Harris enjoys spending time with her family, including three children. Her favorite activities include hiking, walking, running, weight-training, swimming, yoga, baking and watching movies.


As an educator, Dr. Harris views herself as an enthusiastic facilitator of learning with a passion for nutrition, fitness, and optimal health. She strives to ignite this passion within her students.

Cristen L. Harris, PhD, RD

Cristen L. Harris, PhD, RD

Cristen L. Harris, PhD, RD
School of Natural Health Arts & Sciences
Department of Nutrition & Exercise Science