Ellen Pudney

PhD, Health and Well-being

Entered the Program: 2017

Hometown:  Windsor, CT

Current program: PhD, Health and Well-being

Previous Education: 

  • MS, nutrition and dietetics, Northern Illinois University, 2015
  • BS, nutritional sciences, University of Connecticut, 2012

Research Interests:

  • The role of weight stigma in parent-child conversations and comments about weight
  • The factors that influence whether someone internalizes weight stigma
  • The stigmatization of women with higher body weights during pregnancy and its associated consequences

Advising Committee:

Major Advisor: Rebecca Puhl

Assistantship Experience:

  • Teaching Assistant, 2004W – Research Methods in HDFS, Fall 2017, Fall 2018
  • Primary Instructor, 2004W – Research Methods in HDFS, Spring 2018
  • Research Assistant, UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Summer 2018, Fall 2018


  • L. Eugene Thomas Fund Award, Human Development and Family Studies, 2018-2019
  • Recognition for Excellence in Teaching, Provost of Academic Affairs, 2018
  • Summer Fellowship for Advanced Graduate Students, Graduate School, 2018


Before coming back to school I worked as a Registered Dietitian doing community outreach through Virginia Cooperative Extension. Although I found that work rewarding, I was troubled by the physical and psychological consequences of weight stigma that I witnessed on a regular basis. By combining my knowledge of health and nutrition with training in Human Development and Family Studies, I hope to challenge the cultural stereotypes about weight and advocate against weight stigma to improve the health and well-being of both individuals and families.