Kendra Oo headshot taken in the UK student center

Kendra OoNorasak
Assistant Director Coordinated Program in Dietetics
Director of Community Outreach

Professional Profile

Kendra Oo is originally from Yangon, Burma (currently known as Myanmar) and she left the country in January 2014 to study abroad in the United States. In her first year at the University of Kentucky, she became the founding member and Development Chair of the Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky (CKUK), which has engaged 6,569 volunteers dedicating 17,000 hours of service to recover 28,420 lbs of food and serve 19,986 meals to the community. In 2016, Kendra was awarded the Summer Sustainability Undergraduate Research Fellowship. With the mentorship and support from her advisors (Dr. Tammy Stephenson and Amanda Hege), she developed a summer program called “Building Blocks of Healthy Kids” for underserved minority children between 6 and 11 years at the Embrace Methodist Church. During her undergraduate years, she served as the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment peer mentor for incoming freshman students and community cooking class co-instructor for elementary, middle, and high school students. Kendra was awarded International Provost Scholarship (2015), Academic Excellence Scholarship (2016), various scholarships from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (2015 – 2017), and Undergraduate Student of Distinction from the School of Human Environmental Sciences (2017).

During her time as a master’s student, she became the College Food Security Research Fellow which led her to use the findings from her master’s thesis research and develop a multi-dimensional, interdisciplinary project called, “Farm-to-Fork: Free Locally Sourced Lunch for Wildcats” as part of the CKUK Beyond the Meals Program. Farm-to-Fork is a free, weekly meal program for college students that integrates sustainable, nutritional, social, educational, and local elements. Under her leadership as the Program Manager, Farm-to-Fork has engaged 192 volunteers dedicating 783 hours to serve 2,843 meals to 1,012 college students from over 70 majors at the University of Kentucky since September 2018. In the meantime, she was appointed as the Community Nutrition Advocate of the Graduate Student Congress. Due to her academic excellence, leadership and service, she was awarded Graduate Student Health and Wellness Pillar Award from the Graduate Student Congress (2019) and Graduate Student of Distinction from the School of Human Environmental Sciences (2019).

Kendra is the New Member Chair and Diversity Liaison of the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition (HEN) Dietetics Practice Group as well as the Planning and Continuing Education Chair of the Bluegrass Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In her role, she recruits, trains, and leads a yearly AmeriCorps VISTA who acts as a Food Justice Manager. She also advises student organizations, such as CKUK and the Universities Fighting World Hunger Chapter at the University of Kentucky (UFWH-UK).

Course Instruction

  • DHN 101: Human Nutrition and Wellness (Summer)
  • DHN 212: Introductory Nutrition (Summer)
  • DHN 241: Food Service Sanitation (Summer)

Research

  • Sustainable food system
  • Food and nutrition security through the life cycle
  • Student engagement in research, outreach, and leadership opportunities

Education

  • B.S. Dietetics, University of Kentucky 2017
  • M.S. Nutrition and Food Systems, University of Kentucky 2019

Professional Licenses or Certifications:

  • Registered Dietitian (RD)
  • Kentucky Licensed Dietitian (LD)
  • Certified ServSafe® Instructor
  • Registered ServSafe® Examination Proctor

Areas of Interest

Academics, Research