Back to Directory

Dr. Hee-Jung Song

Associate Professor

Associate Professor and Extension Specialist

Nutrition & Food Science 0112 Skinner Building 4300 Chapel Lane College Park, Maryland 20742-7521


  • Diet-related chronic disease prevention and management
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Food insecurity and health disparity
  • Food recovery and plate waste
  • Health promotion and education


  • Develop, implement, and evaluate sustainable community-based nutrition interventions to address diet-related health issues such as hypertension, Type II diabetes, and obesity in vulnerable populations

  • Investigate effective strategies to address plate waste and food recovery in k-12 and college campus settings

  • Understand how social, behavioral, and environmental determinants influence the health and wellbeing of the underserved population

  • Translate research evidence into practice and evaluate its effectiveness


B.S.      Sookmyung Women’s University, Korea (Food, and Nutrition)

M.S.     Korea University, Korea (Food Chemistry)

Ph.D.   Johns Hopkins University, USA (Human Nutrition)


2013- Present     NFSC 100 Elements of Nutrition (Co-lecturer)

2013-Present     NFSC 220 Diet: Is it a cause or solution

2014-Present     NFSC 624 Research design and methods in health promotion


01/01/2024 - 12/31/2026           National Science Foundation Accelerator Phase II

Title: NourishNet-A Food Recovery Toolbox     Role: Co-PI

12/14/2022 - 12/13/2023           National Science Foundation Accelerator Phase I

Title: Securing the Future of Food through a Multi-Mindset Approach     Role: Co-PI

01/01/2021 – 12/31/2024          USDA/AFRI

Title: Effects of an Integrated System Approach on Hypertension Management in Community-Dwelling Older Adults     Role: PI

11/25/2020 – 09/30/2021          USDA /FNS

Title: CACFP Meal Service Training Grant     Role: PI

03/01/2016 – 02/28/2021          USDA/AFRI 

Title: Approaches to Enhancing Wellness Policy Implementation in Schools to Promote Healthy Behaviors and Prevent Obesity     Role: Co-I

10/01/2015 – 09/30/2017          USDA /FNS

Title: 2015 Professional Standards Training Grant for School Nutrition Professionals     Role: Site-PI for project evaluation

07/01/2015 – 06/30/2016          USDA/FNS, sub-award from the Northeast Regional Nutrition Education Center of Excellence at Cornell University

Title: Transforming Lifestyles: Integrating Direct Nutrition Education with Physical Activity Using the Health Care System Expansion Model     Role: Co-PI

09/30/2014 – 09/30/2016          USDA/FNS

Title: Wellness Leaders: Champions for Change     Role: Co-I

07/1/13 – 06/31/14         Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station Competitive Grants Program

Title: How to address the paradox of rural food deserts? : Formative research for a store-based nutrition intervention in low-income, rural communities     Role: PI

11/1/05 – 10/31/06          Center for a Livable Future, Johns Hopkins University

Title: Development, Implement, and Evaluation of an intervention for Korean food stores in Baltimore City to improve availability of healthy foods for low-income African Americans     Role: PI 




Song HJ, Han HR, Lee JE, Kim JY, Kim KimB, Ryu JP, Kim MT. Does access to care still affect health care utilization by immigrants? Testing of an empirical explanatory model of health care utilization by Korean American immigrants with high blood pressure. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 2009; 12(4):513-9.

Song HJ, Gittelsohn J, Kim MT, Suratkar S, Sharma S, Anliker JA. A corner store intervention in a low-income urban community is associated with increased availability and sales of some healthy foods. Public Health Nutrition, 2009;12(11): 2060-7.

Kim MT, Han HR, Song HJ, Lee JE, Kim JY, Kim KB. A community-based, culturally tailored behavioral intervention for Korean Americans with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Educator, 2009;35(6);986-994.

Gittelsohn J, Suratkar S, Song HJ, Sacher S, Rajan R, Rasooly IR, Bednarek E, Sharma S and Anliker JA. Process evaluation of Baltimore Healthy Stores: A pilot health intervention program with supermarkets and corner stores in Baltimore City” Health Promotion Practice, 2009;11(5): 723-32.

Gittelsohn J, Song HJ, Suratkar S, Kumar M, Henry EG, Sharma S, Mattingly M, Anliker J. An urban food store intervention positively impacts on food-related psychosocial variables and food behaviors.  Health Education and Behavior, 2009; 37(3): 390-402.

Suratkar S, Gittelsohn J, Song HJ, Anliker JA, Sharma S, Mattingly M. Food insecurity is associated with food-related psychosocial factors and behaviors among low-income African American adults in Baltimore city. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 2010; 5:100-119.

Song HJ, Han HR, Lee JE, Kim JY, Kim KimB, Nguyen T, Kim MT. Translating current dietary guidelines into a culturally-tailored nutrition education for Korean-American immigrants with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Educator, 2010; 36(5):752-61.

Song HJ, Gittelsohn J, Kim M, Anliker JA, Suratkar S, Sharma S. Korean-American storeowners’  perceived barriers and motivators for implementing a corner store-based program. Health Promotion Practice, 2011; 12(3): 472-82. 

D’Angelo H, Suratkar S, Song HJ, Elizabeth Renaut, Gittelsohn J. Access to food source and food source use are associated with healthy and unhealthy food-purchasing behaviors among low-income African American adults in Baltimore City. Public Health Nutrition,  2011; 14(9): 1632-1639.

Kim MT, Song HJ, Han HR, Song YS, Nam SHJ, Nguyen T, Nam SH, Lee H, Kim KB. Development and validation of the high blood pressure focused health literacy scale. Patient Education and Counseling, 2011; 87(2): 165-70.

Song HJ, Gittelsohn J, Anliker J, Sharma S, Suratkar S, Mattingly M, Kim MT. Understanding a key feature of urban food stores to develop nutrition intervention. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 2012; 7:77-90.

Kim HR, Song HJ, Han HR, Kim KB, Kim MT. Translation and validation of the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension for Koreans (K-DASH) intervention:  Culturally tailored dietary guidelines for Korean Americans with high blood pressure. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 2013; 28(6): 514-23.

Nam SH, Song HJ, SY Park, YS Song. Challenges of diabetes management in immigrant Korean Americans. Diabetes Educator, 2013; 39(2): 213-21.

Song HJ, Simon JR, Patel DU. Food preferences of older adults in senior nutrition programs. Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics, 2014; 33(1):55-67.

Song HJ, Grutzmacher SK, Kostenko J. Personal weight status classification and health literacy among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants. Journal of Community Health, 2014; 39: 445-453.

Song HJ, Meade MA#, Akobundu U, Sahyoun N. Depression as a correlate of functional status of community-dwelling older adults: utilizing a short-version of 5-item Geriatric Depression Scale as a screening tool. Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging, 2014; 18(8): 765-770.

Goldschmidt J, Song HJ. At-Risk and Underserved: A proposed role for nutrition in the adult trajectory of autism. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2015; 15 (115): 1041-1047.

Song HJ, Grutzmacher S, Munger A. Project ReFresh: Testing the efficacy of a school-based classroom and cafeteria intervention in elementary school children. Journal of School Health, 2016; 86 (7): 543-551.

Goldschmidt J, Song HJ. Development of Cooking Skills as Nutrition Intervention for Adults with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.  Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2017; 117(5), 671-679. DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2016.06.368.

Brady P, Song HJ, Butler J. Using an Expert Panel to Develop Social Support Program Sequencing for Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes. Health Promotion Practice, 2017; 18 (6) 789-797.

Jang M, Margaret G, Sadler L, Jeon S, Nam S, Song HJ, Whittemore R. Obesity risk behaviors and their associations with Body Mass Index in Korean American children. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 2017; DOI: 10.1111/jocn.13982.

Vaudin A, Song HJ, Mehta M, Sahyoun N. Nutrition–related unmet needs in recently hospitalized homebound older adults. Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics, 2018; Jan- Mar; 37(1): 30-48. DOI: 10.1080/21551197.2018.1431587

Hager E, Song HJ, Lane H, Guo H, Jaspers L, Lopes M. Pilot-testing an intervention to enhance wellness policy implementation in schools: Wellness Champions for Change. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2018; Sept; 50 (8):765-775

Brady P#, Song HJ, Sahyoun N, Mehta M Understanding. Social Support Programs for Individuals living with Type I Diabetes: The Perspectives of Support Program Leaders. PLAID: People Living With And Inspired by Diabetes. 2019. July DOI: 10.17125/plaid.2019.110

Schachtner A#,, Sahyoun N, Chen J, Song HJ. Formative research for an intervention to reduce plate waste and improve produce intake in schools. Health Behavior and Policy Review, 2021;8(5): 477-487. DOI;

Sakr-Ashour F, Wambogo E, Song HJ, Sahyoun N. Home-delivered meal programme participants may be at greater risk of malnutrition without the meal programme. Public Health Nutrition. 2021 Oct 8;1-8. DOI: 10.1017/S1368980021004274