University of Maryland Extension

Contact Your Local EFNEP

EFNEP Programs are Available in Nine Counties and the City of Baltimore (Click on the map on each place icon to find more information)


Maryland EFNEP Leadership

  Adult and Youth Programs

Dr. Mira Mehta serves as Director of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland. The primary focus of her programming is to develop, implement and evaluate intervention programs for food insecure, immigrant, refugee and diverse communities at high risk for Type 2 diabetes and other diet related non-communicable chronic disorders. Her research interests lie in the areas of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in populations which disproportionately bear the double burden of hunger and adiposity; and health disparities resulting from gender and race/ethnicity. In 2015-16, she was PI of the Transforming Lifestyles: Integrating Direct Nutrition Education with Physical Activity Using the Health Care System Expansion Model” through an award by the federally funded North-east Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence (RNECE) at Cornell University, funded by USDA/NIFA. She is currently working on a comprehensive project in Gujarat, India to address ‘the double burden of under nutrition (stunting) and overweight /obesity’ using a policy, systems and environment approach. She received her MS and PhD degrees in International Nutrition from Cornell University and a BS in Human Nutrition from M.S. University, India.

Dr. Kavitha Sankavaram, is the State Outreach Coordinator and Program Evaluator. She is responsible for evaluation, reporting and program coordination of special initiatives of Maryland EFNEP. She is passionate about working with low income people, reducing domestic food-insecurity and promoting healthy lifestyle. Her research interests are focused on finding sustainable solutions to the nutrition and lifestyle factors that drive the double burden of food insecurity and obesity. She has assisted with multi-state EFNEP research projects such as the EFNEP Adult Behavior Checklist Cognitive Interviews and currently she is the chair for Evaluation group in EFNEP Technology Committee. Previously, she was a co-PI on the project, “Transforming Lifestyles: Integrating Direct Nutrition Education with Physical Activity Using the Health Care System Expansion Model”,  that was funded through the North-east Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence (RNECE) at Cornell University. She served as the chair of the Division of International Nutrition Education in the Society for Nutrition education and Behavior for the year 2014-2016. She received her Doctoral degree from the University of Connecticut and MS from Oklahoma State University in Human Nutrition.

Mira Mehta, PhD
Kavitha Sankavaram, PhD  
State Outreach Coordinator & Program Evaluator

Ms. Linda Ashburn has been working with EFNEP as a coordinator in 3 Maryland counties for the past 5 years.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Public Health from Columbia University.  She has worked with limited-income families as a home-visiting nurse, school nurse, clinic manager, and manager of medical specialty care services for clinic patients.  Prior to her current position, she worked at the Primary Care Coalition and Montgomery County DHHS School Health Program.  She was a trainer for health care organizations at the University Research Corporation in Bethesda.  In the Dominican Republic, she managed a large community health worker network. Linda’s formal education and her prior experience has played a crucial role in the successful partnership and collaboration with safety net clinics in the State of Maryland. 

Linda Ashburn, MPH, RN 
EFNEP Coordinator, 
Montgomery, Allegany and Washington Counties

Ms. Maribet Brute received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Antillean Adventist University, Puerto Rico, and a Masters of Public Health, in Nutritional Epidemiology and Public Health Nutrition from Loma Linda University, School of Public Health, California. She was involved with the Hispanic community in San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles Counties, California, working with different well-known organizations such as Loma Linda University, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health. She coauthored peer-reviewed articles about Diabetes Education in the Hispanic community. Maribet volunteered with the American Heart Association (AHA) Go Red for Women/Por tu Corazón in Los Angeles Region for 10 years as a Health/Nutrition Educator and is currently part of the AHA Go Red for Women National Spokesperson Panel. She’s a member of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and APHA Latino Caucus.

Maribet Brute, MPH
Baltimore City EFNEP    
410-856-1850 x122

Ms. Denise Benoit-Moctezuma has been working with EFNEP as an area supervisor/coordinator for the past 10 years. She has her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Global Health Promotion from George Washington University, along with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Premed from UT-San Antonio. Denise is experienced in managing community health/nutrition education programs, curriculum development and implementation/evaluation of nutrition and physical activity interventions. Her leadership in conducting focus groups with participants in the EFNEP-Clinic based partnership has helped in identifying best practices for reaching at-risk Latino youth and families.In 2017, Denise was invited to participate in a visioning session held by Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director at USDA/NIFA for informing ways EFNEP could be involved in the PSE efforts and to develop a vision for EFNEP in the next century. At the National level, she is a member of the EFNEP Social Media/Technology Committee where she offers her expertise in developing guidelines and initiatives that combine technology and direct nutrition education.

Denise Benoit-Moctezuma, MPH
Prince George's, Cecil and Charles Counties 
301-779-2806 x700



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