Patricia  Terry
Professor Emerita
School of Public Health
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
 CHS Building 1

Dr. Patricia Terry joined the Samford faculty in August 1990 in the Department of Home Economics, which eventually became the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics.

She served as director of the undergraduate Didactic Program in Dietetics for 23 years and three times as department chair under a variety of department names. She was also the only full-time nutrition professor for 20 of her 30 years.

Dr. Terry was instrumental in moving the department to the new College of Health Sciences and helping establish and recruit faculty for the Samford Dietetic Internship and the Master of Science in Nutrition graduate program. She directed the two Samford Food Production Labs and created The Samford Wellness Kitchen, a community teaching kitchen.

Dr. Terry has been a registered and licensed dietitian since 1975. She spent 12 years as a missionary and community nutritionist in Venezuela. Her book, Made for Paradise: God’s Original Plan for Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Rest (2007), was a result of seeing the benefits of healthy eating and living during her time in Latin America.

In 2006, the Patricia H. Terry Scholarship in Nutrition and Dietetics was established for nutrition majors in the department who exemplify leadership in community service and cross-cultural ministry. For 20 years, she expanded student experiences by teaching food, culture, and society classes in London and Costa Rica.

Dr. Terry said, “One of the greatest highlights of my Samford career was seeing our graduates become professionals in many areas using their food, nutrition and dietetics degrees — from hospital dietitians, sports dietitians, community nutritionists, cooperative extension service, child nutrition, food service management, public health nutritionists, teachers, professors, researchers, food scientists, consultants, missionaries, diplomats, chefs, restaurant owners, journalists, pharmacists, nurses, doctors, veterinarians, physical therapists, and the list goes on."

Dr. Terry was named as an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Outstanding Educator in 2011 and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2014. For 18 years, she was also a freelance food writer for The Birmingham News, writing an "In Season" column each Wednesday in the paper’s food section.

In retirement, Dr. Terry remains active in the profession of dietetics and as a consultant for culinary nutrition/teaching kitchens with The Wellness Kitchen RD. Dr. Terry is a charter member of the Birmingham Chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier, a philanthropic organization of women leaders in the fields of food, beverage and hospitality, where she helps coordinate community involvement projects.

Degrees and Certifications

  • PhD in Nutrition, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas
  • MS in Nutrition, University of Alabama
  • Dietetic Internship, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
  • BS in Home Economics/Nutrition, University of Alabama