Barbara Robinson

Associate Professor,  College of Culinary Arts

Contact Information
My research focuses on the education of pediatricians with the intent of preventing obesity in early childhood.”


In 2010, I began teaching JWU Culinary Nutrition students; a few years later, I also began lecturing to PA students. Prior to joining the faculty, I was fortunate to hold rewarding positions as a clinical dietitian and managing dietitian, primarily at Hasbro Children's Hospital. It is gratifying for me to share clinical nutrition knowledge with future practitioners who also possess a strong culinary background. Our graduates show people how to make dietary improvements rather than simply advising them on changes. I was drawn to teach at JWU after mentoring numerous JWU students in the hospital environment and noting that JWU students differed from other students in that they exhibited more "grit" and a strong work ethic.

Throughout my career, I have held diverse consulting positions, most recently reviewing medical education nutrition modules for the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University. For over 20 years, I have been a clinical teaching associate at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where I was first introduced to Problem-Based Learning. I have also had the opportunity to conduct clinical research. As a longtime advocate for effective parenting and its role in establishing positive eating behaviors, beginning in infancy, my research has focused on the education of pediatricians with the intent of preventing obesity in early childhood. My clinical specialties include pediatric (particularly infant) nutrition and childhood overweight and managing tube feedings, as well as Medical Nutrition Therapy for celiac disease, Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis and food allergies, including eosinophilic esophagitis. I have also worked as a registered lobbyist and led the successful effort to secure Rhode Island Licensure for registered dietitians.

As a health professional who has cared for acutely ill patients, I have always made it a point to keep up with both current literature and best practices, and I bring this intention to the classroom setting. One of my core beliefs is that our students must always link research to practice and engage in lifelong learning. I challenge the students to think critically, as well as to supplement classroom learning with effective, out-of-class activities and study approaches. In their senior level classes, I expect the students to make efforts beyond what they have done in the past, so that they can achieve more and experience the results of their very hard work. Another aspect of my faculty role is student advising. Many of our students prepare for, apply to, and complete post-graduate dietetic internships. Along with collegues, I enjoy advising, assisting and encouraging students as they move through this process.

Areas of Expertise

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Early childhood nutrition
  • Food allergies
  • Probiotics


  • American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
    Certification of Advanced Practice in Nutritional for individuals with serious and complex medical issues.

Professional Memberships

  • American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 2000-present
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 1978-present

Courses Taught

  • NUTR3050 (Undergraduate) Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • NUTR4030 (Undergraduate) Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • NUTR4630 (Undergraduate) Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy