The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Melinda Manore Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

November 30, 2015


Melinda M. Manore was born in 1951 in Plum City, Wisconsin, and raised on a farm in western Montana. A strong student growing up, Manore moved to Seattle in 1969 to begin undergraduate studies at Seattle Pacific University. A Home Economics major, Manore completed her bachelor's degree in 1973, earning professional elementary and secondary education certificates in the process.

From there, Manore taught in public schools in Montana and Washington for three years before enrolling in graduate school at the University of Oregon. While in Eugene, she conducted research on breast cancer and first began to develop the interest in nutrition and exercise that has informed her academic career ever since. She completed her UO master's degree in Health in 1980.

Manore next moved on to Oregon State University to pursue her Ph.D in Nutrition, where she managed an intensive human study focusing on vitamin B6 metabolism in exercise. She finished her doctorate in 1984, incorporating dual minors in Exercise Science and Health Education into her degree.

Manore's first faculty position was in the Department of Nutrition at Arizona State University, where she continued to pursue her research interests in vitamin B6 metabolism, energy balance, and, more broadly, nutrition and exercise. Two years after arriving, she became a registered dietician. In 1999 she received the graduate student mentor award from the ASU Graduate College, and a year later she published her first book, Sport Nutrition for Health Performance.

In 2001, Manore returned to Oregon State University to chair the Department of Nutrition and Food Service Management, a time period during which she also conducted research on military nutrition and diabetes. In 2004, Manore's department merged with the Department of Exercise and Sports Science, at which point Manore stepped down from her administrative duties. Three years later, she published two more books: Nutrition for Life and Nutrition: An Applied Approach. An additional book, The Science of Nutrition, appeared a year later.

More recently, Manore has been actively engaged in research projects related to rural obesity in children, nutrition and exercise for women, and healthy eating for athletes. For components of this work, Manore has collaborated with the OSU Extension Service and she now holds the title of Extension Nutrition Specialist in Family and Community Health. In 2014, she and her colleagues at OSU were awarded a $4.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in support of a long-term study exploring obesity prevention in active youth. She retired from OSU in 2016.