Audrey (Anderson) Spindler (her married name) was born November 29, 1940 in Billings, Montana to Presley and Roberta Anderson. Her father was a businessman and her mother was an English Professor. Audrey received a B.S. degree in Home Economics at George Washington University, followed by her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at Colorado State University in Food Science and Nutrition. Later she became a Registered Dietitian and Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian.
In 1976 Audrey worked as an aging services specialist for the State Department of Public Assistance and Social Services in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In 1977 Dr. Spindler was appointed as Assistant Professor of food and nutritional sciences in the School of Family Studies & Consumer Sciences at San Diego State University. Over the next 30 years Audrey had a distinguished and productive career at SDSU.
Audrey was unique in her teaching expertise in both food and nutritional sciences. At one time or another she taught most of the courses in the major at the lower and upper division undergraduate levels and at the graduate level. She developed the two-semester introductory food science course and special courses in cultural foods and geriatric nutrition. She was honored on several occasions as Outstanding Professor by the honor graduate in Foods & Nutrition and was honored by SDSU Mortar Board as Outstanding Professor.
Dr. Spindler was active in research and graduate education. Over her career she was author or co-author of over 40 refereed publications, including scientific articles in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Nutrition Reports International, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Age, Journal of Food Science, Journal of Home Economics, and American Journal of Medical Sciences. She also received a number of funded grants to support her research. Her collaborative research work with exercise physiologist Dr. Jeanne Nichols helped lead to the merger of food and nutritional sciences with the Department of Physical Education in 1993-94, after the SDSU Administration closed down the School of Family Studies & Consumer Sciences in 1992.
Audrey was a leader in graduate education and helped with the development of the M.S. degree in Nutritional Sciences which began in 1984. Before that time the graduate program was a Master’s in Home Economics. Audrey served for many years as Graduate Advisor and was lead mentor for a large number of graduate students on their thesis research and presentations at refereed conferences.
Audrey served in other leadership roles. She was Acting Director of the School of Family Studies & Consumer Sciences in 1985-86. In later years, after the merger with Physical Education and becoming Exercise and Nutritional Sciences (ENS), Audrey took on another important role as Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics. She was an effective advocate for students who were seeking to become registered dietitians. She was an active member of the San Diego District Dietetic Association (SDDA), California Dietetic Association (CDA), and American Dietetic Association (ADA). She was nominated to serve on the ADA panel to develop guidelines for Alzheimer’s Disease Screening. In honor of her contributions, she was awarded the Excellence in Education Practice Award by the CDA in 1995.
Audrey was promoted twice during her tenure and rose to the rank of Professor of Exercise & Nutritional Sciences. She retired as Professor Emeritus from SDSU in 2007.
Audrey was married to Dr. John Spindler, a neurophysiologist, who passed away in 2000.
In retirement, Audrey was an active member of San Rafael Church, acted as a Benedictine Oblate, and supported many charities. Her interests included centering prayer, leading Retreats, studying God, gardening, and reading. Audrey passed away on August 24, 2023, at age 82, surrounded by her loved ones. She is survived by her three living children and six grandchildren.