Cassandra Nikolaus, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
- PhD, Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- MS, Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- BS, Dietetics, Central Washington University
- AA, Nutrition, Everett Community College
- March 2021 – Present; Research Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Education and Clinical Sciences, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine & Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health, Washington State University (Seattle, WA)
- July 2019 – February 2021; Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health, Washington State University (Seattle, WA)
Select Research Articles
Nikolaus CJ, Kownacki C, Darvesh Z, McCaffrey J. (2021). Technical assistance provided by SNAP-Ed implementing staff is related to improvements in the food pantry consumer nutrition environment. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. doi: 1016/j.jneb.2021.05.005.
Nikolaus CJ, Ellison B & Nickols-Richardson SM. (2019). Are estimates of food insecurity among college students accurate? Comparison of assessment protocols. PLOS ONE, 14(4), e0215161. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215161.
Nikolaus CJ, Nickols-Richardson SM & Ellison B. (2018). Wasted food: A qualitative study of U.S. young adults’ perceptions, beliefs and behaviors. Appetite, 130(1), 70-78. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.07.026.
Nikolaus CJ, Muzaffar H & Nickols-Richardson SM. (2016). Grocery store (or supermarket) tours as an effective nutrition education medium: A systematic review. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 48(8), 544-554. doi:10.1016/j.jneb.2016.05.016.
Dr. Cassandra Nikolaus has formal training in human nutrition and promoting healthy behaviors, having completed a PhD and MS in nutrition at the University of Illinois after earning a BS in dietetics from Central Washington University. Dr. Nikolaus was a first-generation college student and the first in her family to earn a graduate degree. The long-term goal of her research is to bridge the gap between “what we know” and “what we do” about food insecurity. Currently, studies align with one of three areas of interest: 1) revitalization of local food systems to increase diet quality and wellbeing among Native communities and families, 2) integration of food insecurity screening into healthcare services to better address chronic diseases, and 3) advancements in the charitable food system to increase equity and empowerment of clients. Dr. Nikolaus uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to address research questions related to each of these interests. Dr. Nikolaus regularly mentors undergraduate and graduate students; those interested in learning more about research or mentorship opportunities are invited to email Dr. Nikolaus directly.