Faculty Profile for Dr. Lesli M Biediger-Friedman

profile photo for Dr. Lesli M Biediger-Friedman
Dr. Lesli M Biediger-Friedman
Associate Professor — School of Family & Consumer Sciences
FCS 101
phone: (512) 245-7059

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Lesli Biediger-Friedman, PhD, MPH, RD aims to improve food and nutrition security through innovations that build equitable solutions for vulnerable populations. Her research includes policy, systems, and environmental approaches to build capacity in public health nutrition, while modernizing programs, and improving equitable resources to more nutritious food.

As the co-founder and director of Bobcat Bounty and the USDA, NIFA funded Food Security LEADers Learning Community, Dr. Biediger-Friedman aims to empower students at all levels to create innovative solutions to address barriers to community food and nutrition resources. Through the work of LEADers, Dr. Biediger-Friedman and colleagues systematically work to diversify the professions of nutrition and dietetics. Other current research includes a collaboration with the Texas WIC Program in which Lesli leads an evaluation team to study Maya, the Texas WIC chatbot, and identify opportunities for Maya to provide programmatic and nutrition information to Texas WIC participants. In 2022, Dr. Biediger-Friedman became the principal investigator for the Nutrition for Underserved Elders Via Application (NUEVA) project, funded by the Administration for Community Living. NUEVA is powered by a large multidisciplinary team developing an app to recruit, assess, monitor, and deliver food to nutritionally at-risk older adults. She trains her research teams to use mixed methods designs and conduct community-based participatory research to investigate approaches to involve community members and stakeholders in all stages of research.

Teaching Interests

Community Nutrition
Policy and Ethics in Nutrition

Research Interests

Public health nutrition
Community capacity building
Food and nutrition security
Maternal and Child Health/ Nutrition
Senior nutrition
The Built Environment
Nutrition + Technology

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Laviolette, C. P., Johnson, C. M., Butler, J. L., Biediger-Friedman, L. M., & Sharkey, J. R. (2023). Nutrition effects of a family-centered behavioral nutrition program for Mexican-heritage children in colonias in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Nutrients, 15(7), 1600. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15071600
  • Manboard, M., & Biediger-Friedman, L. M. (2021). [Review of The HOME Study: understanding how college students at a Hispanic Serving Institution coped with food insecurity in a pandemic, by C. M. Johnson & H. Thornton]. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(21), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111087
  • Saha, S., Okafor, H. R., Biediger-Friedman, L. M., & Behnke, A. O. (2021). Association between diet and symptoms of anxiety and depression in college students: A systematic review. Journal of American College Health, (June, 2021), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2021.1926267
  • Thornton, H. E. B., & Biediger-Friedman, L. M. (2018). Dietetic Internship as Learning Community: A Project-Based Approach to Community Nutrition Education in Dietetics. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 50(7, Supplement), S56. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2018.04.084
  • Ferrer, A., Biediger-Friedman, L. M., Butler, J. L., Johnson, C. M., & McClain, A. C. (2023). Resources, constraints, and food security management and coping strategies for Latina/o parents and caregivers. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 55(7S), 40. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2023.05.087

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Texas State Quarterly Team Award, The Office of The Provost. July 2018
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Outstanding Granduate Student Research - Kelci Baez, Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior. July 2023 - Present
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Most Inclusive Program, Texas State University: Institute of Inclusive Excellence. April 2023 - Present
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Recognition Award - 2nd Place (Bobcat Bounty - Nutrition Education), Texas State University, Sustainability Exposition. March 2023 - Present
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Health Scholar Showcase Award, Texas WIC ChatBot: Formative Research, Texas State University. February 2019 - September 2019

Selected Grants

  • Crixell, Sylvia L (Co-Principal), Biediger-Friedman, Lesli M (Co-Principal). Chat with WIC: Innovating WIC Services with a Chatbot, Texas WIC: Texas Health and Human Services, Federal, $101000. (Funded: 2018). Grant.
  • Biediger-Friedman, Lesli M (Principal), Qasem, Apan Muhammad (Co-Principal), Villagran, Melinda Morris (Co-Principal), Johnson, Cassandra (Co-Principal), Renick, Cecil O (Co-Principal), Hwang, Sangchul Scott (Supporting), Mendez, Francis A (Supporting), Sen, Keya (Supporting), Ramamonjiarivelo, Zo H (Supporting), Shanmugam, Ram (Supporting), Charles, Joni S J (Supporting). NUEVA - Nutrition for Underserved Elders Via Application, United States Department of Health and Human Services - Administration for Community Living, Federal, $2764270. (Submitted: March 10, 2022, Funded: August 1, 2022 - July 31, 2027). Grant.
  • Biediger-Friedman, Lesli M (Principal), Johnson, Cassandra Maria (Co-Principal). Food Security LEADers: Learning Communities and Experiencial Learniing Advancing Dietetics and Nutrition, USDA - NIFA, Federal, $275000. (Submitted: January 2021, Funded: August 2021 - August 2025). Grant.
  • Biediger-Friedman, Lesli M (Principal), Markides, Brittany Reese (Co-Principal). Chat with WIC - Years 3 - 5, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, State, $450000. (Submitted: August 2017, Funded: September 2018 - August 2023). Grant.
  • Thornton, Hannah (Co-Principal), Biediger-Friedman, Lesli (Co-Principal). Learning Communities Grant, College of Applied Arts, Texas State University, $6000.00. (Funded: August 31, 2018 - June 1, 2019). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

FCS Curriculum Committee
May 2023-Present
Graduate Advisor
Human Nutrition
January 2020-Present
MS in Human Nutrition Admissions Committee
January 2020-Present
Hays County Food Security Coalition
September 2019-Present
School of Family and Consumer Sciences - Personnel Committee
August 2018-Present