Toni Burkhalter graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign (UIUC) in 1999 with an M.S. focusing the body’s response to dietary changes. In 2001, she began teaching nutrition, anatomy and physiology at Parkland College. Her passion for how the body adapts to positive environmental challenges such as exercise and balanced nutrition encouraged her to return to school for a second advanced degree while working at Parkland. She earned an M.S. in exercise physiology from UIUC in 2010 with a focus on the effects of exercise on cognition and academic performance. She is published in peer review journal articles and has received local and national awards for curriculum design. She was a member of the Parkland Speaker’s Bureau speaking in forums ranging from third-grade classrooms to the Elected Officials of Illinois in Springfield. In August 2017, she resigned as an Associate Professor of Biology and Kinesiology at Parkland College and began teaching a large 750+ student Contemporary Nutrition course as a Senior Instructor at the University of Illinois. Since her tenure at UIUC, she has developed additional courses designed to meet specific student needs such Hot Topics in Sports Nutrition, Lifelong Nutrition for Sport and Physical Activity, Nutrition Internship with NCAA Athletes and Illini Fuel, as well as creating an Undergraduate Teaching Team Leader course where former students (such as Ryan) become a member of the large lecture hall teaching team. Each year, Toni teaches up to 2,000 students and views her current position as her dream job.