Nutrition Science Department Faculty Biographies

Nutrition Faculty 

Rayane AbuSabha

Rayane AbuSabha.JPG

RAYANE ABUSABHA, PhD, RD, Professor, Graduate Program Director, received her bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and Nutrition from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and her masters and doctoral degrees in Nutrition from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania. She completed her dietetics internship at Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA. Her postdoctoral work was in program evaluation and nutrition education and behavior.

As a Research Associate at The Pennsylvania State University, she was involved in a variety of research projects including studying the dietary patterns of older adults, evaluating distance learning media, and applying and evaluating facilitated nutrition education in WIC clinics.

Before joining Russell Sage, Dr. AbuSabha was the Executive Director of the Health Research Science Board at the New York State Department of Health working in the area of breast cancer research. She also served as a Social Science Research Analyst at the Office of Analysis, Nutrition and Evaluation, Food and Nutrition Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture where she worked on evaluating the WIC and Medicaid Programs. 

Dr. AbuSabha taught nutrition at Penn State for over a decade and provided instruction using traditional and distance-learning formats. 

She is widely published in the areas of nutrition education and community nutrition. She has authored articles in many journals including Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Health Education and Behavior, and Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences. She currently serves as the Post Chair of the Nutrition and Dietetics Educators and Preceptors (NDEP) and a member of the Council on Future Practice (CFP) Academy Groups. 

Dr. AbuSabha has received a number of awards including the 2010 Dannon Mid-Career Leadership Award. 

She teaches Nutrition & Disease Mgmt:Peds  NTR-549-35 and she teaches Directed MS Thesis Research NTR-691.  [email protected]

Eileen FitzPatrick

Nutrition Faculty

EILEEN FITZPATRICK, DrPH, RD, Assistant Professor, Chair, Nutrition Science Department, received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Tufts University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Russell Sage College and completed a Dietetic Internship at Sage Graduate School. She received a Masters of Public Health and a Doctorate in Public Health, from the School of Public Health, University at Albany.

Her previous work experience includes seven years of biochemical research at the Wadsworth Center for Labs and Research, New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). In addition, she has worked with the Division of Nutrition, NYSDOH, on participant retention in the New York State WIC program; the Bureau of Communicable Disease Control, NYSDOH evaluating foodborne illness; and the Obesity Prevention Program, NYSDOH, on interventions to improve breastfeeding rates in New York State.

Dr. FitzPatrick is co-author of numerous scientific publications and has presented original research at professional meetings including the New York State WIC Association and the American Public Health Association. Her current research includes evaluation of summer feeding programs. Dr. FitzPatrick is a full time faculty in the Nutrition Science Department. 

She teaches Nutritional Epidemiology NTR-553, Community Nutrition NTR-325 and ServSafe Essentials NTR-209-01.  [email protected]


Sonya Irish Hauser


SONYA IRISH HAUSER, PhD, Post-Baccalaureate Program Director and Assistant Professor, received Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology (Houghton College) and Nutrition Science (Russell Sage College), a Master of Science degree in Nutrition Communication (Tufts University), and a Doctoral degree in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition (Tufts University).

Her academic work includes research in the areas of childhood obesity, family and community approaches to obesity prevention, and use of multimedia and web-based technology in health promotion.  Other interests include environmental approaches to health behavior change and health and social marketing.  She has developed and tested various modes of dissemination for nutrition and physical activity curricula and most recently conducted research the USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). 

She has authored numerous scientific papers and speaks regularly at academic meetings and conferences.  As well, she writes and contributes to articles for popular press and consults for various public health organizations, community groups, food companies, and commodity boards on a regular and on-going basis.

She teaches Foundations of Nutrition NTR-201, Community Nurtrition Research  NTR-300-49, Nutrition Communication NTR-555 and Nutrition Programs and Interventions NTR-561.  [email protected]


Colleen McCrief

Colleen McCrief

COLLEEN MCCRIEF, MS, RD, Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics, received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition from Russell Sage College and completed a dietetic internship at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, TX. She received a Masters of Science in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University in Houston, TX. Ms.

McCrief began her career in Houston as a Clinical Dietitian at the VA Medical Center. Her clinical coverage focused on General Medicine and Liver Transplant.  She also spent time as Acting Clinical Manager and Acting Dietetic Internship Director. She was accepted into the Veterans Health Administration Leadership Development Institute in 2012.

Ms. McCrief has held leadership positions within the Houston Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as Secretary and Nominating Committee. Currently, she is the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors (NDEP) Line Editor and provides a number of lectures in the community including the annual Sodexo Clinical Symposium.

Professor McCrief is the DPD Director for the Department of Nutrition Science and teaches Nutrition Counseling NTR-507/407, Medical Nutrition Therapy II NTR-517/417, and Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy NTR-525.  [email protected]


Ryan Mitchell

Ryan Mitchell

RYAN MITCHELL, PhD, Associate Professor, received his Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from Pennsylvania State University and his Doctoral degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Davis. 

After completing his degree, Dr. Mitchell’s career has been focused on teaching and promoting undergraduate research.  He has taught numerous science courses including Metabolism and Bioenergetics while a lecturer in the Biochemistry and Biophysics Department at UC Davis, taught various Chemistry courses in the Los Rios Community College District, and taught Nutrition at DeVry University. 

Through his work as Director of the undergraduate research program in the UC Davis College of Engineering and as Coordinator of the NSF-funded California Alliance for Minority Participation, he also spent a number of years promoting the diversity of  undergraduate students participating in Math, Science and Engineering Research. Later, as the Higher Education Coordinator at the Center for Biophotonics at UC Davis, Dr. Mitchell mentored undergraduate students and facilitated their engagement in biophotonics research.

Dr. Mitchell has authored numerous papers and spoken on a wide variety topics for organizations such as the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Health Information Management Association.  Equal to his passion for educating a diverse student body is Dr. Mitchell’s passion for promoting active lifestyles.  With over 20 years of experience as a USA Cycling Federation elite amateur cyclist, and years of experience mountaineering in extreme environments, Dr. Mitchell enjoys field testing the best nutritional and physiological concepts.  His research are in the relationship between metabolism and sports performance.

Dr. Mitchell teaches Nutrition Metabolism II: Micronutrients NTR-503/403.  [email protected]

Michelle Morgan

Michelle Morgan

MICHELLE MORGAN, MS, RD, Director, Dietetic Internship received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition Science from Russell Sage College and completed her Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics from New York University.

While working towards her Master’s Degree, Michelle concurrently completed a clinically focused Dietetic Internship at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Bronx VA). Prior to joining the Sage community, Michelle worked in the clinical setting at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City.

Michelle teaches the lecture courses required for the Dietetic Internship Certificate
and organizes all practicum placements. Michelle also manages the online Nutrition Science course for The School of Professional and Continuing Education. Michelle is currently President of the Hudson Valley Dietetic Association. [email protected]



Dorian Longton

Dorian LongtonDorian Longton, RD, CDN Dietetic Internship Coordinator,
Dorian received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Russell Sage College as well as completed the Sage Dietetic Internship at Sage Graduate School.

Dorian’s background is in Public Health Nutrition. She worked as a contract RD with the New York State Department of Health in the Division of Nutrition, Bureau of Supplemental Food Programs, NYS WIC. During her time with WIC, Dorian was assigned to the Contract Management team where she oversaw nearly 40 permanent and temporary WIC sites within the state. She provided support and training to staff, managed federal/state grants, maintained monthly and quarterly reports, upheld state and federal policies, and provided technical assistance both remotely and in the field to ensure WIC agencies are providing participant centered nutrition services.

Dorian hopes her excitement for dietetics and education will inspire those around her to be lifelong learners. Dorian’s interests are to earn her Masters of Science in the near future and to write a cookbook with her chef husband.



Gail Sokol


CHEF GAIL SOKOL, BA, MBA, CC, Adjunct Instructor, received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and English from Union College, and received a Master of Business Administration from Russell Sage College. After several years, she returned to school to pursue her passion for culinary arts, earning an Associate in Occupational Studies from Schenectady County Community College and becoming a Certified Culinarian.

She teaches courses in Nutrition, Baking, and Sanitation for Schenectady County Community College’s Culinary Arts program, and is the director of SCCC’s Children’s Cooking and Baking Program. She has worked as a Pastry Chef in a number of local restaurants, and has served as an Assistant Chef for two national television cooking shows. Moreover, she organized and hosted Feed Your Brain with Chef Gail Sokol, a local children’s television series.

Chef Sokol has won or placed in nearly ten culinary competitions, demonstrating her skills in subjects from baking to garde manger. Chef Sokol is the author of About Professional Baking, a professional baking textbook, and is featured in its accompanying DVD series. She is a member of the American Culinary Federation and a ServSafe Certified Proctor and Instructor through the National Restaurant Association.

Chef Sokol teaches NTR-211 Introduction to Food science and NTR-211 Labs, Quantity Food Production NTR-314.  [email protected]


Christine Sloat

CHRISTINE SLOAT, MS, RD, CDN, Adjunct Professor, received her bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from the University of Delaware and completed her dietetic internship and a Master of Science degree in Applied Nutrition at the Sage Graduate Schools.

She is currently the founder and owner of Nutritious Notions LLC, a nutrition consulting firm and private practice. Christine works with clients of all ages in her outpatient office, focusing mainly on weight management, diabetes and gastrointestinal health. 

She regularly consults for and contributes a nutrition blog to the Stewart’s Shops website. Her research interests lie in the areas of childhood obesity and community nutrition.


Angel Surdin

ANGEL SURDIN, MS, MFA, RYT, Adjunct Professor, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a Master of Fine Arts degree in English-Creative Writing Nonfiction from the Ohio State University in Columbus, and a Master of Science degree in Applied Nutrition from the Sage Graduate Schools in Troy, New York.  Additionally, she completed her 200-Hour Yoga Teaching Certification at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Ms. Surdin began her teaching career in the field of English, teaching writing courses, as well as courses in professional development, and group dynamics.

While pursuing her MS in Applied Nutrition, she completed a year-long internship with the New York State Public Health Association (NYPHA) wherein she contributed to public health projects related to tobacco cessation, e-cigarettes, and childhood obesity prevention. Ms. Surdin also worked on the first NYSPHA Day at the Capitol, a now annual event designed to call attention to public health legislation at the state level.

In addition to teaching writing courses at Hudson Valley Community College, and Nutrition courses at Russell Sage College, Ms. Surdin also leads a public health grant-funded project aimed reducing rates of pediatric asthma attacks.  Her personal research interests involve examining the ways food, politics, and culture intersect – or collide – and how those interactions affect both individual wellness and public health.