Faculty & Staff



Josephine Connolly-Schoonen, PhD, RD

Executive Director, Stony Brook Medicine Nutrition Division

Director, Dietetic Internship

Dr. Connolly-Schoonen, author of Losing Weight Permanently with the Bull's Eye Food Guide (Bull Publishing, 2004), is a registered dietitian and Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine.  She is the Executive Director of the Stony Brook Medicine Nutrition Division in the Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine.  Her expertise is in the area of nutritional management of obesity and related chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, from both the individual and public health perspective.  In addition, she directs a series of public health nutrition projects funded by the New York State Department of Health since 1994.  The purpose of these projects is to establish policies and procedures in community agencies, such as schools, childcare facilities and worksites, to improve the quality of food available to clients served and decrease the prevalence of obesity.  She received a Bachelor's degree in nutrition from Cornell University, a Master of Science degree in nutrition with a minor in exercise physiology from the Pennsylvania State University, and her doctoral degree in Sociology from Stony Brook University.  


Leah Holbrook, MS, RD

Clinical Instructor of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine
Associate Director, Graduate Nutrition Programs

Leah Holbrook received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from Long Island University and completed her Masters of Science in Health Care Policy and Management from Stony Brook University. Before helping to launch the online graduate nutrition program in 2012, Ms. Holbrook had coordinated several NYSDOH funded projects including the Heart Links Project and the LI Center for Pediatric Obesity Prevention.  Ms. Holbrook currently serves as the associate director of the graduate nutrition program, while also teaching several courses within the program. Her areas of interest include maternal and child nutrition and local, sustainable food systems. Named Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2019 and Stony Brook Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching Faculty Recognition Award for Exemplary Teaching 2019.


Sotiria Everett, EdD, RD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine

Dr. Everett is a Registered Dietitian and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine’s Nutrition Division. She joined Stony Brook University in 2016 and serves as an advisor to students in the Graduate Nutrition Program, and works with the Stony Brook Dietetic Internship Program as a preceptor. She is a Board Certified Sports Dietitian and the Performance Nutritionist for Stony Brook Athletic Performance, where she counsels student athletes. In 2018, she launched the Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm Nutrition and Cooking Workshops for Kids, a farm-to-table nutrition education program based out of Stony Brook University Hospital's organic rooftop farm. Dr. Everett serves as the Corresponding Secretary for the Long Island Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (LIAND), and was named Open SUNY Ambassador 2022 (https://online.suny.edu/onlineteaching/engage/ambassadorprogram/ambassadors/2022ambassador-everett/) and recipient of the Award for Excellence in Teaching an Online Course in 2022 (https://www.stonybrook.edu/celt/programs-initiatives/celebration_of_teaching_awards/2022_teaching_awards.php).

Dr. Everett received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Doctoral degree in Nutrition Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. 


Lorraine Danowski, PhD, RD

Clinical Instructor of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine
Associate Director, Dietetic Internship

Dr. Danowski is a registered dietitian and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine. She has over 22 years of experience in the field of nutrition related to patient care and food service. In addition to teaching and coordinating the internship, she precepts in various outpatient settings which include patients with diabetes, weight loss and gastrointestinal illnesses. Dr. Danowski is an active part of the interdisciplinary team that treats the patient with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). This interdisciplinary team works to assist patients who have nutritional issues, among others, ranging from swallowing and texture modification to enteral feedings. She enjoys teaching in creative ways to engage all students. The internship year starts with a scavenger hunt and ends with a cooking competition or our version of "Chopped".  In addition, Dr. Danowski is an active part of on-going feeding studies related to gut metabolome. She was instrumental in the development of the SUNY Stony Brook Dietetic Internship, serving on the Advisory Board and writing curriculum. Her areas of interest include enteral nutrition support, diabetes and research. Dr. Danowski received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition from the State University of New York at Oneonta and her Master's Degree in Nutritional Science from Long Island University at CW Post. Dr. Danowski received a PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in December 2017 from Stony Brook University.


Genna Hymowitz, PhD
Adjunct Instructor

Dr. Genna Hymowitz is a psychologist at the Stony Brook Medicine Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center, the Director of the Behavioral Medicine Program of the L. Krasner Psychological Center, and a clinical assistant professor in the departments of psychology, psychiatry, and surgery. She completed her undergraduate degree at Brown University, and she completed her doctoral training at Stony Brook University.  Dr. Hymowitz provides individual and group evidence-based psychological interventions for weight management, smoking cessation, chronic pain, and insomnia, and depression and anxiety related to chronic medical illnesses.  Her research focuses on investigating biopsychosocial factors related to chronic medical conditions including obesity and gastrointestinal (GI) motility disorders. 



Cara Cohen, MS, RD
Clinical Instructor

Ms. Cohen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from Salisbury University along with becoming certified as an Exercise Physiologist through The American College of Sports Medicine. She furthered her education by completing her Dietetic Internship and Master in Nutrition from Stony Brook University. Ms. Cohen is currently the Coordinator for the Distance Dietetic Internship Program at Stony Brook University and serves as a public health preceptor for the onsite Dietetic Internship Program. Ms. Cohen also co-manages the Stony Brook Heights rooftop farm. Her areas of interest include community health and sports nutrition.


Annie Ng, MS, RD/N, CDCES, CDN
Clinical Instructor/Dietetic Internship Advisor/Rooftop Farm Manager

Ms. Ng is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from Drexel University in Philadelphia. She completed her dietetic internship at Stony Brook University Hospital and obtained a Master's degree in Health Care Policy and Management with a Nutrition Concentration at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Annemarie is currently working with the Stony Brook dietetic internship program as a clinical preceptor and co-manager of the Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm. In addition, she provides nutrition counseling services and precepts dietetic interns at the Student Health Center. Prior to joining the Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine, she worked at SUNY Suffolk Community College as an adjunct instructor in the Dietetic Technician Program and has over 10 years experience counseling clients in her private practice. In 2014, she received the New York State Dietetic Association award for Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year and she is currently on the Board of Directors for the Long Island Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her areas of interest includes diabetes, obesity and community health.


Sharon Schmidt, MBA
Senior Academic Coordinator, Graduate Nutrition Program

Sharon Schmidt received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Binghamton University and a Masters in Business Administration in Marketing from Hofstra University.  She handles all administrative issues with the Graduate Nutrition Program.  Her responsibilities will include administration issues related to Admissions, course scheduling, Blackboard, Brightspace, website development and maintenance, reporting, and textbook requests.

Commencement at Stony Brook University