Kara Cucinotta

Associate Professor

JWU Faculty Since 2013

Dietetics and Applied Nutrition Department Chair Kara Cucinotta

Contact Info


A graduate of Boston University, Johnson & Wales University and Maryland University of Integrative Health, Kara Cucinotta, D.C.N., M.S., RDN, LDN, CNSC, has practiced dietetics since 2009, working with adult and pediatric patients and clients in inpatient hospitals, outpatient clinics, and a private practice for nutrition counseling. She has expertise in nutrition support, pediatric nutrition, integrative health and lifestyle medicine.

Since joining Johnson & Wales as an instructor in 2013, Cucinotta has encouraged an actively engaged classroom, utilizing a variety of teaching methods and real-life examples. Students can expect to learn and develop skills through interactive demonstrations, hands-on practice, and interprofessional collaboration opportunities.


  • D.C.N., Maryland University of Integrative Health
  • M.S., Nutrition, Boston University
  • B.S., Culinary Nutrition, Johnson & Wales University
  • A.S., Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales University

Students enrolled in the MS in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics (MSCND) program are provided with exciting, hands-on opportunities for interprofessional collaboration and experiential learning experiences, including a unique culinary nutrition lab. Graduates of the MSCND program will lead the way as the Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist of the future: experts in nutrition science, dietetics, and 'food as medicine'.

Teaching Interests

Pediatric nutrition
Maternal health
Medical Nutrition Therapy
Nutrition assessment techniques
Nutrition support (enteral and parenteral nutrition)
Critical care nutrition
Integrative health
Lifestyle medicine

Scholarly Interests

Patient-centered health outcomes
Interprofessional education
Integrative health


  • DIET4630: Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • DIET3030: Nutrition Assessment
  • DIET1020: Introduction to Nutrition & Dietetics Professions
  • SCI1050: Nutrition

Extra Curricular Roles

JWU College of Health & Wellness Outcomes Assessment Committee
JWU College of Food Innovation & Technology Outcomes Assessment Committee
JWU360 Health & Wellness Subcommittee
University Outcomes Assessment Committee
JWU Nutrition & Dietetics Advisory Board
Peer Reviewer, Topics in Clinical Nutrition
New York-Presbyterian Dietetic Internship Advisory Board


Professional Affiliations

American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN)
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)
Rhode Island Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (RIAND)
Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors (NDEP)
Dietitians in Integrative & Functional Medicine Dietetic Practice Group
Dietitians in Medical Nutrition Therapy Dietetic Practice Group
Research Dietetic Practice Group
Nutrition Educators of Health Professionals Dietetic Practice Group
Nutrition Education for the Public Dietetic Practice Group
Food and Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group



  • Cucinotta, K; Simon, R. (2023, April). Interprofessional Education Opportunities to Meet Dietetics Core Knowledge Requirements [Presentation]. JWU University Scholarship & Best Practices Expo, Providence, RI.
  • Cucinotta, K. (2023, March). 2022 Standards Implementation Through Interprofessional Education Opportunities. [Round table discussion]. 2023 Nutrition and Dietetics Educators and Preceptors (NDEP) Conference, Omaha, NE.
  • Cucinotta, K. (2021, April). Impact of a Medical Home Dietitian/Nutritionist on Health Outcomes in Adults with Diabetes:  Retrospective Cohort Study Design. Poster session presented at the Maryland University of Integrative Health Research Symposium, Laurel, MD.
  • Han-Wen, O., Elia, D., Cucinotta, K. (2019, April). A dietary and botanical approach to the treatment of SIBO: A case report. Poster session presented at the Maryland University of Integrative Health Research Symposium, Laurel, MD.

Honors And Awards

  • Outstanding Dietitian of the Year, RI Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, 2022-23
  • Student Research Poster Award, MUIH Research Symposium, 2019
  • Faculty of the Year, College of Health and Wellness, 2017-2018
  • National Honor Society

Q&A with Kara

At JWU, education is not confined to the four walls of the classroom. You’re not going to spend four years with your nose buried in a book, learning theories you may never get a chance to apply — you’re going to get out there and apply them, be it through internships, group projects, leadership opportunities, competitions and more.

How Did You Get Started?

After completing my Master's degree and Dietetic Internship, my first job was working as a Pediatric Clinical Dietitian at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, RI. I worked there for 7 years in various roles, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. While I was still working full time as a clinical dietitian, I started teaching introductory nutrition courses as an adjunct in 2013. In 2015, I was hired full time as an Assistant Professor in the Culinary Nutrition Department in the College of Culinary Arts (now the College of Food Innovation and Technology).

What Is Your Favorite Teaching Moment?

My favorite part about teaching is watching the lightbulb click on for students when they understand a difficult topic! I absolutely love teaching and am so humbled that I am able to be part of the journey for future nutrition professionals.

What Advice Do You Have For Incoming Freshmen?

Four years may seem like a long time, but it goes by in the blink of an eye! Use your time wisely and remember to keep a good work-school-life balance. Get involved with clubs and student organizations, make new friends, gain real life experience through jobs, internships and volunteering, and use the resources available on campus to help you succeed!

What College Do You Teach In?

College of Health & Wellness