After receiving her PhD and teaching for one year at Florida State University, Dr. Gropper began her academic career at Auburn University, Auburn, AL as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science in 1988. Her first appointment was 100% instruction with the Dietetics and Coordinated Dietetics Programs and for her first 3 years at Auburn, she taught dietetics students in the classroom as well as directly in hospitals and health departments in Montgomery, Auburn, and Valley, AL and in Columbus and LaGrange, GA. With the closing of the Coordinated Dietetics Program in 1992, Dr. Gropper continued to teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels and become more active in research. She was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 1994, and then to Professor in 2005. During this time frame, she also served as Interim Department Head for about a two year period, and served as the department's Graduate Program Director from 1996 until 2012 at which time she became Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics for the Department.

At Auburn University, Dr. Gropper was actively engaged in teaching, research, service, and administration. She routinely taught several upper level undergraduate and graduate courses including Medical Nutrition I and II, Professional Issues in Dietetics and Nutrition, Proteins, and Minerals, and team taught Nutritional Assessment. Dr. Gropper served as a major professor for over 30 graduate (both MS and PhD) students; she also has been on the academic committees of over 40 other graduate students. Dr. Gropper's research efforts at Auburn University over the last decade have moved away from bench science research to more community-related research directed toward the area of obesity and healthy lifestyles. Her research has been published in numerous scientific journals, presented at over 55 national meetings, and quoted in the popular press. In 2012, Dr. Gropper's research on body weight and composition changes in college students was featured on National Public Radio (NPR) weekend edition.

Dr. Gropper's excellence in teaching and mentoring nutrition and dietetics students has been recognized by Auburn University as well as the Dietetics profession. She has received numerous "Outstanding Faculty" awards, "Undergraduate Teaching" awards, and "Outstanding Dietetic Educator" awards. Dr. Gropper also has earned a national reputation as the leading author of the nutrition textbook, Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, published by Cengage and now in its 6th edition. This textbook is used by over two-thirds of Dietetics Programs in universities and colleges in the United States.

In August 2013, Dr. Gropper began a new phase of her career as a Professor of Nutrition in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL. In this position, she is enjoying teaching, research, and service.

Dr. Gropper is active professionally in a number of nutrition / dietetics associations including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Florida Dietetic Association, the Palm Beach Dietetic Association, the American Society for Nutrition Sciences, and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.


At Florida Atlantic University, Dr. Gropper is currently teaching the Food, Nutrition and Health course in the undergraduate College of Nursing curriculum. Being a Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist and having taught courses in medical / clinical nutrition for a number of years, Dr. Gropper has a strong interest in the role of nutrition in disease prevention and in healthy lifestyle habits, but also in the nutrition support of individuals with medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, renal failure, gastrointestinal tract conditions, obesity, and disordered eating, among other health problems. Dr. Gropper looks forward to collaborating with other faculty and community leaders in research, health and wellness projects, and to serving on graduate student committees.

Grants Awarded

  • 2022 - 2023 Hain D (PI), Gropper S (Co-I), Newman D (Co-I). Inflammation, nutrition and depression in adults with CKD. National Kidney Foundation Council of Advanced Practitioners. $10,000.

  • 2019 - 2021 D’Avolio D, Gropper S, Opalinski A, Newman D. A telehealth coaching intervention addressing nutritional health of older adults with dementia and family caregiver stress and well-being: A dyad approach. Institute of Coaching, $27,764.

  • 2013 - 2014 Ulrich P, Simmons K, Gropper S. 2D children’s body image scale validation and application with anthropometric measures to impact assessment of childhood obesity. Auburn University Intramural Grant Program, $7,500.
  • 2012 - 2014 Mathews S, Gropper S, Judd R, Kam F, Mize J, Struempler B, Palmer S. Salivary biomarkers of inflammation and stress in childhood obesity. Auburn University Intramural Grant Program, $80,000.
  • 2011-2013 Connell LJ, Gropper SS. Using avatars as part of a multi-faceted intervention program to prevent childhood obesity in Alabama. Auburn University Hatch/Multistate Grant Program, $24,800.
  • 2011 - 2016 Gropper SS. Nutrition and physical activity practices of after-school programs: Do they promote healthy behaviors? Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, $49,000.
  • 2010 - 2011 Connell LJ, Simmons K, Ulrich P, and Gropper SS. Technology-driven approach to obesity prevention in African American children in Alabama. Coke Foundation, $100,000.
  • 2008 -2010 Gropper SS, Connell LJ, Keiley M, Simmons K, Ulrich P, Wickrama T, Zizza C. Longitudinal collegiate study of body composition/size, and related environmental, behavioral and psychological factors: Obesity implications. Alabama AES, $50,000.
  • 2008 -2009 Zizza C, Gropper SS, White BD. Longitudinal collegiate study of body composition/ size, and related environmental, behavioral and psychological factors: Obesity implications. AL State Funding, $50,000.
  • 2008 Hamner J, Craig-Schmidt M, Hendricks C, Grandjean P, Gropper S, Wilder B. Impact of a community academic partnership on physical activity / exercise among African American women. Research Institute for the Study of Diversity Proposal Writing Grants. Auburn University, $4,500.
  • 2007-2008 Gropper SS, Connell LJ, Keiley M, Simmons KP, Ulrich PV, Zizza C. Longitudinal college study of body composition/size and related environmental, behavioral and psychological factors AL: Obesity implications. Agricultural Initiative, $28,950.
  • 2007 Gropper SS and Zizza CA. Additional Funding for Dietary, environmental, and lifestyle factors associated with weight status among college students and other at-risk populations. Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. Project #ALA 013-020. ($21,216-SSG)
  • 2005-2011 Gropper SS and Zizza CA. Dietary, environmental, and lifestyle factors associated with weight status among college students and other at-risk populations. Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. Project #ALA 013-020.
  • 2001-2003 Weese J, Gropper SS, White BD, Crayton E, Lewis B. Diet quality and its relationship to obesity in rural Alabama African American children. USDA Economic Research Service, $149,670.

Recent Publications

Text and Reference Books
(most recent editions)

  • Gropper SS, Smith JL, Carr TP. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism 8th edition. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2022.
  • Gropper SS. The Biochemistry of Human Nutrition, 2nd edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson Learning, 2000.

Refereed Journal Articles

Tappen RM, Newman DO, Gropper SS, Horne C, Vieira ER. Factors associated with physical activity in a diverse older population. Geriatrics 2022; 7: 11. 

Jackson KL, Gropper SS, D’Avolio D, Hunt D, Newman D. Nurse-led coaching to improve dietary protein intake and reduce the risk of sarcopenia in middle-aged women. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice 2022; 12(11): 1-8.

Jackson KL, Gropper SS, Hunt D, D’Avolio D, Newman D. Effectiveness of a per-meal protein prescription and nutrition education with versus without diet coaching on dietary protein intake and muscle health in middle-aged women. Nutrients 2022; 14(2): 375. h nu14020375.

Tappen R, Vieira ER, Gropper SS, Newman D, Horne C. Sustaining or declining physical activity: Reports from an ethnically diverse sample of older adults. Geriatrics 2021; 6(2):57.

Gropper SS, Exantus M, Jackson KL, Spiers SM, Vieira ER, D’Avolio D, Opalinski A, Tappen R. Increasing protein intake to help older adults increase muscle strength and function: A pilot, single-arm investigation using coaching and a per-meal protein prescription. Journal of Aging Research and Lifestyle 2020; 9: 9-13.

Opalinski AS, Parra AV, Gropper SS. Foods served at faith community youth events – Is there room for improvements in this unexplored child nutrition site? Public Health Nursing 2020; 37(1): 81-86. doi.10.1111/phn.12675.

Jackson KL, D’Avolio D, Gropper SS. Choosing coaching frameworks for promoting diet modifications. British Journal of Nursing 2019; 28(22): 1456-1460.

Gropper SS, Hunt D, Chapa D. Sarcopenia and psychosocial variables in patients in intensive care units: the role of nutrition and rehabilitation in prevention and treatment. Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America 2019; 31(4): 489-499.

Gropper SS, Tappen RM, Vieira ER. Differences in nutritional and physical health indicators among older African Americans, European Americans, and Hispanic Americans. Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics 2019; 38(3): 205-217.

Hunt D, Gropper SS, Miller K, Tymczyszyn B, Chapa D. Prevalence of older adults with low muscle mass living in a residential continuing care retirement community in Florida. Clinical Nursing Studies 2019; 7(1): 83-88. doi:10.5430/cns.v7n1p83.

Jackson K, Hunt D, Chapa D, Gropper SS. Sarcopenia - A baby boomers dilemma for nurse practitioners to discover, diagnose, and treat. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice 2018; 8(9): 77-86.

Hamilton T, Hoffman J, Arsiwalla D, Volpe R, Schmidt E, Gropper S. Gender comparisons of young adults’ eating behavior regulation: Re-examination of the Regulation of Eating Behavior Scale (REBS). Appetite 2018; 126(-): 80-89.

Arsiwalla DD, Arnold AK, Simmons KP, Ulrich PV, Gropper SS. The interactive role of eating regulation and stress in the prediction of weight-related outcomes among college students. Stress and Health 2018; 34(1): 59-71. doi:10.1002/smi.2760.

Opalinski A, Dyess S, Gropper S. Do faith communities have a role in addressing childhood obesity? Public Health Nursing. 2015; 32(6): 721-30. doi:10.1111/phn.12226.

Cook E, Lee YM, White BD, Gropper SS. The diet of inmates: An analysis of a 28-day cycle menu used in a large county jail in the state of Georgia. Journal of Correctional Health Care. 2015; 21(4): 390-399.

Gropper SS, Arsiwalla DD, Lord DC, Huggins KW, Simmons KP, Ulrich PV. Associations among eating regulation and body mass index, weight, and body fat in college students: The moderating role of gender. Eating Behaviors. 2014; 15: 321-327.

Zaremba Morgan A, Ulrich P, Simmons KP, Gropper SS, Connell LJ, Daniels MK, Latham E, Keiley MK. Effectiveness of a multi-faceted, school-based health intervention program with 4th graders in Alabama. Children and Youth Services Review. 2014; 37: 46-54.

Gropper SS, Simmons KP, Connell LJ, Ulrich PV. Changes in body weight, composition, and shape: A 4-year study of college students. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 2012; 37: 1118 - 1123.

Gropper SS, Simmons KP, Connell LJ, Ulrich PV. Weight and body composition changes during the first three years of college. Journal of Obesity 2012; 6 pages, doi:10.1155/2012/634048.

Gropper SS, Newell FH, Zaremba Morgan A, Keiley MK, White BD, Huggins KW, Simmons KP, Connell LJ, Ulrich PV. The impact of physical activity on body weight and fat gains during the first three years of college. Journal of Health Promotion and Education 2012; 50: 296 - 310.

Zaremba Morgan A, Keiley MK, Ryan AE, Radomski JG, Gropper SS, Connell LJ, Simmons KP, Ulrich PV. Eating regulation styles, appearance schemas, and body satisfaction predict changes in body fat for emerging adults. Journal of Adolescent Health 2012; 41: 1127-1141.

Xu B, Houston DK, Locher JL, Ellison KJ, Gropper S, Buys DR, Zizza C. Higher Healthy Eating Index-2005 Scores is associated with better physical performance. Journal of Gerontology Medical Sciences 2011; 66A: 1-7.

Gropper SS, Clary K, Gaines A, Wanders D, Simmons K. Summer doesn't reverse freshman year body weight and fat gains in female college students. (Open) Nutrition Journal 2011; 5: 24-31.

Simmons K, Connell LJ, Ulrich P, Skinner H, Balasubramanian M, Gropper S. Body image and body satisfaction for college freshmen: Investigation into the fabled "Freshman 15". International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society 2011; 1: 117-126.

Gaines A, Lonis-Shumate S, Gropper SS. Evaluation of Alabama public school wellness policies and state school mandate implementation. Journal of School Health 2011; 81: 281- 287.

Gropper SS, Newton A, Harrington P, Simmons K, Connell LJ, Ulrich P. Body composition changes during the first two years of university. Preventive Medicine 2011; 52: 20-22.

Ratcliff L, Gropper SS, White BD, Shannon DM, Huggins KW. The influence of habitual exercise training and meal form on diet-induced thermogenesis in college-age men. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 2011; 21: 11-18.

Xu B, Houston DK, Gropper SS, Zizza CA. Race/ethnicity differences in the relationship between obesity and gait speed among older Americans. Journal of Nutrition for the Elderly 2009; 28: 372-378.

Gropper SS, Simmons K, Gaines A, Drawdy K, Saunders D, Ulrich P, Connell LJ. The freshman 15 - a closer look. Journal of American College Health 2009; 58: 223-231.

Rigsby A, Gropper D, Gropper SS. Success of women in a worksite weight loss program: Does being part of a group help? Eating Behaviors 2009; 10: 128-130.

Riggs AJ, White BD, Gropper SS. Changes in energy expenditure associated with ingestion of high protein, high fat versus high protein, low fat meals among underweight, normal weight, and overweight females. Nutrition Journal 2007; 6: 40-48.

Gropper SS, Blessing D, Dunham K, Barksdale JM. Iron status of collegiate female athletes involved in different sports. Biological Trace Element Research Journal 2006; 109: 1-14.

McAnulty SR, McAnulty L, Pascoe DD, Gropper SS, Keith RE, Morrow JD, Gladden LB. Hyperthermia increases exercise-induced oxidative stress. International Journal of Sports Medicine 2005; 26: 188-192.

Gropper SS, Yannicelli S, White BD, Medeiros DM. Plasma phenylalanine concentrations are associated with hepatic iron content in a murine model for phenylketonuria. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 2004; 82: 76-82.

McGill CR, Green NR, Meadows MC, Gropper SS. Beta-carotene supplementation decreases leukocyte superoxide dismutase activity and serum glutathione peroxidase concentrations in humans. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2003; 14: 656- 662.

McAnulty L, Gropper SS, McAnulty SR, Keith RE. Iron depletion without anemia is not associated with impaired selenium status in college-aged women. Biological Trace Element Research 2003; 91: 125-136.

Weese SJO, Gosnell K, West P, Gropper SS. Galactose contents of baby food meats: Considerations for infants with galactosemia. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2003; 103: 373-375.

Gropper SS, Kerr S, Barksdale JM. Non-anemic iron deficiency, oral iron supplementation, and oxidative damage in college-aged females. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2003; 14: 409-415.

Gropper SS, Sorrels LM, Blessing D. Copper status of collegiate female athletes involved in different sports. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 2003; 13: 343-357.

Gropper SS, Bader-Crowe DM, McAnulty L, White BD, Keith RE. Non-anemic iron depletion, oral iron supplementation, and indices of copper status in college-aged females. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2002; 21: 545-552.

Fung EB, Malinauskas BM, Kawchak DA, Koh BY, Zemel BS, Gropper SS, Ohene-Frempong K, Stallings VA. Energy expenditure and intake in children with sickle cell disease during acute illness. Clinical Nutrition 2001; 20: 131-138.

Gropper SS, Weese SJO, West PA, Gross KC. Free galactose content of fresh fruits and strained fruit and vegetable baby foods: More foods to consider for the galactose-restricted diet. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2000; 100: 573-575.

This research and other galactose studies were featured in an article titled "Searching for hidden sources of galactose in baby food" in Nutrition & the MD in May 2003;29:7-8.

Malinauskas BM, Gropper SS, Kawchak DA, Zemel BS, Ohene-Frempong K, Stallings VA. Impact of acute illness on nutritional status of infants and young children with sickle cell disease. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2000; 100: 330-334.

Yates LA, Soffer O, Gropper SS. Phosphate binders and mineral status of adult renal disease patients on hemodialysis. Dialysis and Transplantation 2000; 29: 268, 269-272, 274, 275.

Yates LA, Soffer O, Gropper SS. Phosphate binder therapies do not compromise the copper status of renal disease patients on hemodialysis. Biological Trace Element Research 2000; 76: 1-12.

Gardner TA, Yates LA, Soffer O, Gropper SS. Calcium carbonate binder therapy: impact on serum lipids in hemodialysis patients. Dialysis and Transplantation 1999; 28: 641-647, 650-652.

Thomas VLK, Gropper SS. Effect of chromium nicotinic acid supplementation on selected cardiovascular disease risk factors. Biological Trace Element Research 1996; 55: 297-305.

Gropper SS, Chaung HC, Bernstein LE, Trahms C, Rarback S, Weese SJ. Immune status of children with phenylketonuria. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1995; 14: 264-270.

Gross KC, Weese SJ, Johnson J, Gropper SS. Soluble galactose content of selected baby food cereals and juices. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 1995; 8: 319-323.

Gropper SS, Trahms C, Cloud HC, Isaacs JS, Malinauskas B. Iron deficiency without anemia in children with phenylketonuria. International Pediatrics 1994; 9: 237-243.

Gropper SS, Plyler AE. Metabolic effects of ingested forms of L-amino acids and whole protein. Journal of Nutritional Medicine 1994; 4: 311-319.

Gropper SS, Yannicelli S. Plasma molybdenum concentrations in children with and without phenylketonuria. Biological Trace Element Research 1993; 38: 227-231.

Gropper SS, Gross KC, Olds SJ. Galactose content of selected fruit and vegetable baby foods: implications for infants on galactose-restricted diets. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 1993; 93: 328-330.

Gropper SS, Naglak MC, Nardella M, Plyler A, Rarback S, Yannicelli S. Nutrient intakes of adolescents with phenylketonuria and infants and children with maple syrup urine disease on semi-synthetic diet. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1993; 12: 108-114. A condensed version was reprinted in Infant Nutrition Digest 1994; 4: 25-26.

Gropper SS, Acosta PB, Gropper DM. Plasma amino acid response to ingestion of L-amino acids and whole protein. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 1993; 16: 143-150.

Gropper SS, Acosta PB. Effect of simultaneous ingestion of L-amino acids and whole protein on plasma amino acids and urea nitrogen concentrations in humans. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 1991; 15: 48-53.

Gropper SAS, Anderson K, Landing WM, Acosta PB. Dietary selenium intakes and plasma selenium concentrations of formula-fed and cow's milk-fed infants. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 1990; 90: 1547-1550.

Gropper SS, Acosta P, Clarke Sheehan N, Wenz E, Cheng M, Koch R. Trace element status of children with PKU and normal children. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 1988;

88: 459 465.

Acosta P, Stepnick Gropper S, Clarke-Sheehan N, Wenz E, Cheng M, Anderson K, Koch R. Trace element status of PKU children ingesting an elemental diet. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 1987; 11: 287 292.

Gropper SS, Acosta PB. The therapeutic effect of fiber in treating obesity. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1987; 6: 533 535.

Stepnick Gropper SA, Green NR, Acosta PB. Mineral content of selected Florida wines. Nutrition Reports International 1987; 35: 1105 1109.

Acosta P, Stepnick Gropper S. Problems related to diet management of maternal phenylketonuria. Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 1986; 9 (suppl 2): 183 201.



  • Student Government Association Outstanding Faculty Member, College of Human Sciences (2012 and 2003)
  • College of Human Sciences Women's Philanthropy Board Faculty Award (2009)
  • Outstanding Dietetic Educator for the Area 3 Region of the United States (2007)
  • Outstanding Dietetic Educator for the State of Alabama (2007)
  • Florida State University College of Human Sciences Centennial Laureate Award (2005)
  • Student Dietetic Association Faculty of the Year Award (2002-03, 2001-02, 1994-95, 1992-93, and 1989-90)
  • Auburn University Mortar Board Favorite Educator Award (1999 - 2000)
  • Auburn University Alumni Association Undergraduate Teaching Award (1998 - 1999)