Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

Dietetics Program Faculty

With diverse professional backgrounds, our faculty bring expertise and experience to the classroom. Having work experience in a variety of settings, the faculty understand the skills needed in the world of work.


Meet our faculty.


Vargo, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Vargo, MS, RD, LDN

 Professor/Director of Dietetic Programs

Graduate of Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Dietetics, an M.S. from the School of Health Related Professions, University of Pittsburgh and post graduate work at Penn State University and the University of Pittsburgh in Instructional Design.

Career Highlights:
Director of the Dietetic Programs at CCAC. Faculty at Penn State University. Senior Dietitian for a national long-term care company. Member of various professional organizations. Recipient of The American Dietetic Association 2004 "Outstanding Educator for Dietetic Technician Programs" for the Area VI region.     

Teaching responsibility:

  • DIT 102 Orientation
  • DIT 103 Nutrition Assessment
  • DIT 106 Fundamentals of Nutrition
  • DIT 114 Medical Nutrition Therapy 
  • DIT 214 Dietetic Seminar


DIT-Miriam Wilson

Miriam N. Wilson, MS, RD, LDN 

Graduate of Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Dietetics and a M.S. in Food Science and Nutrition from Framingham State College in Framingham, Massachusetts. 

Career Highlights:
Coordinator of Dietary Manager Program at CCAC
Adjunct faculty at Clarion University and University of Pittsburgh
Consultant Dietitian for Glade Run Lutheran Services
Clinical Dietitian at UPMC Passavant Hospital

Teaching responsibility:

  • DIT 104 / 105   Foods / Foods Lab
  • DIT 110    Food Service Production and Purchasing
  • DIT 125    Food Protection Certification
  • DIT 210    Human Resource Management for Dietetics
  • DIT 212    Foodservice Systems


DIT-Helenkay Smith



Helenkay Smith,
MS, RD, LDN                                                  

Graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania-B.S. Dietetics & Nutrition
Masters in Nutrition, IUP                     

Career Highlights:
Adjunct faculty in the Dietetics Program at CCAC
Practicum Coordinator/Instructor at CCAC
Coordinator-Pathway III/Practicum Experiences at a Distance
Nutrition Specialist-Fitness & Wellness Center, Passavant Retirement Comm.
Clinical Dietitian Allegheny General Hospital

Teaching responsibilities:

  • DIT 102 Dietetic/Food Service Orientation
  • DIT 103 Nutrition Assessment
  • DIT 106 Fundamentals of Nutrition
  • DIT 208 Community Nutrition
  • DIT 201/113  Supervised Practice 1-Food Service/Clinical Practical Experiences-Pgh & Distance
  • DIT 209         Supervised Practice 2-Community Nutrition Practical Experience-Pgh & Distance


Kathy Gonzalez

Kathy Gonzalez
, MEd, RD, LDN

Graduate of University of Pittsburgh, BS Clinical Dietetics/Nutrition
Masters in Education, Penn State University

Career Highlights:
Adjunct faculty in Dietetics Program at CCAC
Corporate Dietitian & Vice President Health Care Services—Metz & Associates
Nutrition Services Manager-UPMC St. Margaret Hospital
Nutrition Consultant

Teaching Responsibilities:
DIT 210 Human Resource Management

Mandella, Phyllis

Phyllis Mandella, RD

Graduate Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Institutional Management.

Career Highlights:
Adjunct faculty in the Dietetics Program at CCAC. Coordinator/Instructor of CCAC's Food Service Training Program. Director of Nutrition Services for the Rehabilitation Institute, Pittsburgh, PA. Adjunct Professor, Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA.

Teaching responsibility:

  • DIT 110 Food Service Production and Purchasing
  • DIT 104 Foods
  • DIT 125 Food Protection Certification