Research Assistant Professor
Adolescent Food Safety Education


Primary Affiliation:UT FST
Expertise: Food Safety Education

Professional Preparation


B.S. Education, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 1997

Ph.D. Curriculum, Research, and Evaluation, University of Tennessee, 2007 “Identifying Processes of Teacher Application and Adoption of a Novel Instructional Strategy”


Other Appointments     

Adjunct Assistant Professor - University of Tennessee, Educational Psychology and Counseling




Murphy, L.; Beavers, A.S. & Richards, J. (2015) Exploring the Impact of an Educational Intervention on Self-Efficacy of Food Safety in Adolescents through Qualitative Research Methods. Journal of Food Protection Trends. (In Review).
Richards, J., Albin, M. (2015). Using Effective Instructional Theory to Redesign an Introductory Course to Promote Engagement and Retention of Food Science Majors. Journal of Food Science Education. (In Review).
Richards, J., Albin, M. (2015). Leveraging Group Research Projects to Increase Students' Scientific Literacy. Journal of Food Science Education.  (In Review).
LoRe, S., & Richards, J. (2014). Portion control: A simple and easy way to “Flip” your classroom to better engage middle school learners. South Carolina Association for Middle Level Education Journal (SCAMLEJ). (In Press).
Beavers, A., Murphy, L., and Richards, J. (2015). Investigating Change in Adolescent Self-Efficacy of Food Safety through Educational Interventions. Journal of Food Science Education 14(2).
Nambisan, S., & Richards, J. (2014).  Transportation Systems STEM Summer Academy for Teachers.  Presented at the Engineering Leaders Conference on Engineering Education, November 9-11, 2014, Doha, Qatar.
Bishop, P., Huck, S., Ownley, B., Richards, J., & Skolits, G. (2014). Impacts of interdisciplinary research center affiliation on participant publication and collaboration activities. Research Evaluation 2014; doi: 10.1093/reseval/rvu019.
Richards, J. K., & Beavers, A. S. (2014). What Implications Does a Baseline of Self-efficacy of Food Safety in Adolescent Populations Have for Future Food Safety Education Interventions? Food Protection Trends, 34(1), 20-24.
Beavers, A., Richards, J., McCallum, R. S., Davidson, P. M., Skolits, G., & Brandon, M. (2013). Measuring self-efficacy of food safety in adolescent populations. Food Protection Trends 33(3), 127-132.
Beavers, A., Richards, J., McCallum, R. S., Davidson, P. M., Skolits, G., & Brandon, M. (2012).Measuring self-efficacy of food safety in adolescent populations. Food Protection Trends.  (In Review).
Beavers, A., Lounsbury, J., Richards, J., Huck, S., Skolits, G., & Esquivel, S. (2012). Practical considerations for using factor analysis in educational research. Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation Online (In Review).
Richards, J., Pratt, C., Skolits, G.,  Burney, J., (2012).  Developing and evaluating the impact of a train-the-trainer model for effectively disseminating food safety education to middle school students.  Journal of Extension (In Press).
Richards, J. & Skolits, G. (2009). Sustaining Instructional Change: The Impact of Professional Development on Teacher Adoption of a New Instructional Strategy. Research in the Schools 16(2), 41-59.
Skolits, G. & Richards, J. (2009).  Designing and Applying Project Fidelity Assessment for a Teacher Implemented  Middle School Instructional Improvement Pilot Intervention.”  Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation 24(1), 135-158.
Pedigo, A.; edigo, A.; Richards, J.;  Saxton, A. M.; D’Souza, D., & Draughon, F. A. (2009) Characterization of food safety knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of adolescents in east Tennessee. Journal of Food Protection Trends 29(10), 626-641.
Richards, J. (2008).  Beyond Bacteria:  Science and the Art of Food Safety.  Middle Ground 12(2),35-36.
Richards, J.; Skolits, G.; Burney, J.; Pedigo, A.; & Draughon, F. A. (2008).  Validation of an interdisciplinary food safety curriculum targeted at middle school students and correlated to state educational standards.  Journal of Food Science Education 7:54-61.
Richards, J.; Skolits, G.; Richards, H.; & Draughon, F. A. (2006) “Snapshots of Science in Practice:  The Science of Salmonella.” Educational Leadership, vol. 64 (4), December 2006/January 2007.
Richards, J. (2005) “A Review of the Research Literature on Effective Teaching.”  Contracted for Edvantia, Charleston, WV.



CDC - Community Coalitions for Change (C3). Healthy Living in Tennessee. PI Laura Stephenson, Co-PI(s) Heather Wallace, Janie Burney, Betty Greer, Karen Franck, Danita Brookings, and Jennifer Richards.  $4,785,925.
Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, Science and Education Foundation, 2014, Unrestricted Donation to Hands On: Real World Lessons for Middle School Classrooms, J. Richards, $25,000.
US Department of Transportation – Federal Highway Administration. Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Education Program Clearinghouse.  PI Knox County Schools, Co-PIs Jerry Everett and Jennifer Richards.  UTIA Budget $99,933
Tennessee Department of Transportation, Safe Routes to School, 2013. Validation of Tennessee Safe Routes to School Curricula (K-8). J. Richards.  $31,459.
Federal Transit Administration Workforce Development Program, 2013. TRANSIT - Your Ride to the Future J. Everett & J. Richards. $265,226.
National Institutes of Health, 2013. Program for Excellence and Equity Research, C.B. Peterson, E. L. Brothers, C. Hodges, S. Lenhart, G. Reed, and J. Richards. $6,311,772 
UTIA AgResearch Innovative Grant Awards, 2012.  Reducing Childhood Obesity through Experiential Learning with Indoor Classroom Vegetable Gardens.  D. Kopsell and J. Richards.  $15,000.
UTIA Collaborative and Innovative Teaching Awards, 2013.  Recruitment of Underrepresented Students into the STEAM Pipeline.  S. Jean-Philippe; J. Richards; D. Richards; K. Gwinn; M. Smith; J. Logan; J. Sorochan; & A. Pulte. $10,000
Tennessee Department of Transportation, Safe Routes to School, 2012. K-8 and After School Program Curriculum Development Project. J. Richards.  $166,022
Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, Science and Education Foundation, 2011, Unrestricted Donation to Food Safety in the Classroom, J. Richards, $25,000.
Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, Science and Education Foundation, 2010, Unrestricted Donation to Food Safety in the Classroom, J. Richards, $25,000.
Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, Science and Education Foundation, 2009, Unrestricted Donation to Food Safety in the Classroom, J. Richards, $25,000.
  Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, Science and Education Foundation, 2008, Unrestricted Donation to Food Safety in the Classroom, J. Richards, $25,000.
USDA-National Institute for Food Agriculture-Higher Education Challenge.  The “Students Training in Agriculture and Related Sciences” (STARS) Initiative: A Culturally Competent Approach for Understanding Food Security and Hunger, and Food Safety in a Local and Global Context. T. Cooper, S. Jean-Philippe, J. Richards, C. Stephens, A. Pulte, and M. Smith. $142,762
National Integrated Food Safety Initiative Award, 2011, USDA NIFA Program, Building Better Food Safety Education Programs: How Optimizing Fidelity of Implementation Can Maximize Desired Outcomes.  J. Richards, A. Beavers, J. Burney, and D. Loveday.  $599,975.
National Integrated Food Safety Initiative Award, 2009, USDA CSREES Program, Investigating food safety self-efficacy in adolescent populations through survey research and an educational intervention, J. Richards, M. Brandon, G. Skolits, J. Burney, S. McCallum, and F. Ann Draughon. $599,860
National Integrated Food Safety Initiative Award, 2008, USDA CSREES Program, Food Safety in the Classroom:  Building a Model for Expansion and Long-Term Sustainability, J. Richards, F. A. Draughon, J. Burney, and G. Skolits.  $597,399
National Integrated Food Safety Initiative Award 2005, USDA CSREES Program, Implementing a Dynamic Food Safety Curriculum Targeted at Middle School Students, Co-PI’s: F.A. Draughon, J. Richards, G. Skolits, H. Richards, J. Burney, and P. King, $583,750
Food Safety Center of Excellence Award 2003, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Development of an Integrated Food Safety Curriculum for Implementation in the State of Tennessee, J. Richards, $32,000


Synergistic Activities


Collaborating with Knox County Schools and the UT Center for Transportation Research to design and implement an interdisciplinary curriculum that teaches key STEM concepts and skills while actively engaging students in the field of transportation research.


Designed interdisciplinary curriculum for USDA National Integrated Food Safety Initiative Food Safety in the Classroom. The curriculum includes hands-on, experiential learning through a series of interdisciplinary lessons that are directly correlated to state standards for math, science, social studies, and language arts.


Designed and implemented an interdisciplinary project based curriculum targeted at 7th grade students who were performing below grade level in math and reading. This curriculum incorporated technology and innovative teaching strategies to help engage disenfranchised learners.


Editorial Board - Food Protection Trends (2008-Present)



Contact Dr. Richards

212 Food Science & Technology Building
2605 River Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-4591
Phone: (865) 974-1089
Fax: (865) 974-7332