Top Row (from left): Liv Engelsen, Andria Keating, Bethany Blalock, Katherine Basbaum, Stephanie Smith, Sarah Horton
Bottom Row (from left): Bridget Quinn, Kayla Jester, Abigail Pierce, Mary Lindsey Simpkins, Amanda Dent, Katy Kakol
Welcome to the Class of 2013!
Katherine graduated from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in May 2012 with a Masters degree in Nutrition Communication. During the academic year, she worked as a volunteer at Tufts Medical Center in the food and nutrition department, and assisted the manager of the weekly “Friedman Seminar Series” in researching and booking prominent speakers in the nutrition science community. In the spring of 2012, she spent 5 months doing fieldwork at the Sports Club/LA in Boston, where she worked under the supervision of the club’s resident R.D. Her fieldwork involved writing nutrition-focused articles for the monthly newsletter, developing educational materials for nutrition counseling, and creating healthful recipes for the club’s Blu café. Her work at SC/LA culminated in a workshop entitled, “Not All Dietary Protein is Created Equal: How to Determine Ideal Protein Sources for Optimum Health,” which she presented to a group of thirty club members. During the summer months, Katherine was fortunate enough to intern at both Cooks Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen in Brookline, MA and EatingWell Magazine in Vermont. Before deciding to pursue a career in dietetics, Katherine lived in her hometown of San Francisco, where she worked as an actress in theatre and independent films, and later as a research and creative development associate at a television production company. Though she is not certain of the path she will pursue in the field of dietetics, she has a strong interest in sports nutrition, childhood obesity, and bariatrics. When not studying, you can find Katherine at her favorite spin class, reading Jane Austen novels, cooking, playing with her cat Maggie, and spending time with close friends.
Bethany completed the DPD requirements in May 2012 after returning to James Madison University to add a major in dietetics to her Bachelor of Science degree. She is a career switcher whose first academic love is sociology; her BS from JMU, originally completed in 2003, is in sociology, and she also holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Virginia, which she completed in 2006 while pursuing her Ph.D. Her research focus in the sociology of the body led her to explore the ways in which the physical and social worlds are linked through food, which in turn awakened a passion for nutrition. After leaving graduate school, Bethany worked as an analyst for a research firm in Washington, D.C. before returning to JMU fulltime. As a student, she has received several academic honors, including the Bierstadt Prize for best graduate student paper and the Fishback Memorial Scholarship for outstanding scholarship in dietetics. As community service chair of the JMU Dietetic Association, Bethany has participated in a number of nutrition education projects in partnership with the Cooperative Extension, including one working with clients of the Valley Mission in Staunton and another with low-income children and their families in Waynesboro. Her latest project is the creation of a comprehensive index of carb counts to assist with insulin dosing for diabetic children at Camp Holiday Trails. Bethany is fascinated by the complexities of diabetes care and plans to become a certified diabetes educator, with a focus on children with type 1diabetes.
Amanda graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia University (WVU) in May of 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in Human Nutrition and Foods. She will graduate in August 2012 with a Master of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Science. In 2006, she received the Promise Scholarship and the Mountaineer Scholarship for her performance on the ACT. In 2009, she was invited to the Davis College Honor’s Convocation, which recognized students with outstanding academic performance. She was later inducted into the Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society in 2010 for her academic achievements. Amanda was an active participant in the Student Dietetic Association (SDA), serving as vice president from 2009-2010. Her involvement with SDA included working WVU’s collegiate wellness fair, preparing dinner at the Ronald McDonald House, participating in a local afterschool program referred to as the Helping H.A.N.D (Health Awareness & Nutritious Decisions) Program and so on. In June of 2012, she will defend her thesis titled “Metabolic Syndrome Risk in Appalachian vs. Non-Appalachian College Students”. Throughout her master’s program, she had the privilege of working as a graduate research assistant, serving as WVU’s campus coordinator for the Young Adults Eating & Active for Health (YEAH) Project and coordinating volunteers for a Farmer’s Market brought to WVU students, titled “Freg2U”. Due to her interest in Metabolic Syndrome and other obesity-related disease states, Amanda plans to pursue a career in clinical dietetics in order to improve the lives of those suffering from obesity.
Liv graduated in June 2010 from Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Nutrition. During her time at Central, she maintained a 3.9 GPA, was awarded the Dale & Dorothy Jaques scholarship, and appeared on the Dean’s list six times. During her undergraduate career, she counseled fellow students as a nutrition educator, served as Fundraising Coordinator for CWU Nutrition Science Club, volunteered at a local WIC clinic, and completed a summer internship at Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington, WA. Immediately after earning her Bachelor’s degree, Liv began the graduate program at Central and will earn her Master of Science in Nutrition in June 2012. She was awarded a Graduate Assistantship for both years of the program and taught a variety of undergraduate nutrition classes during that time. In addition, she supervised the Peer Nutrition Education program and was appointed Graduate Assistant Coordinator for the 2011-2012 school year. In December 2011, Liv completed her thesis research evaluating the chemotherapeutic effects of vitamin D, DHA and 5-Fluorouracil on human breast cancer cells. She developed a love for teaching and a growing interest in clinical dietetics, especially in the areas of diabetes, kidney disorders and cancer. Inspired to share her passion for health and wellness, Liv became a certified Group Fitness Instructor and taught indoor cycling and strength conditioning classes at the student recreation center. She is currently training for her first half marathon and enjoys cooking, cycling, running, ice hockey, and reading.
Sarah graduated from the honors program from Penn State University in May of 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences. During her college career, she was very involved in her sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, a national service sorority. In addition to completing over 75 service hours a semester and receiving two Outstanding Service Awards, Sarah served on the Executive Board as Historian and Alumnae Relations in 2011. Over the summer, she completed the Sodexo Future Leaders Summer Internship in food service management at the University of South Carolina. She continued to be very active with Sodexo, serving as a Student Ambassador to promote the internship and company at Penn State. She gained experience in clinical dietetics volunteering at the local hospital in the nutrition department, as well as through nutrition research by working for Penn State’s Vascular Interventions Lab. In this lab, she worked on two clinical trials studying the effects of spices and pistachios on lowering cardiovascular disease risk, and completed her Honors Thesis, entitled “The Practical Application of Lipid Predictive Equations in a Diabetic Population.” She presented this project at both the Penn State Undergraduate Research Exhibition and at the Experimental Biology Conference. Through her experiences, she has become very interested in clinical dietetics and nutrition education of children and families. She is looking forward to her internship to find her niche in the nutrition world. When she is not busy with school, Sarah enjoys participating in the Penn State sailing club, baking, and college football.
Kayla graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh in April 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degreed in Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition. She was inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and demonstrated leadership as the lead volunteer chair for the Student Dietetic Association and secretary for TriBeta, a national collegiate biology club. Kayla has her CPR certification through the American Heart Association as well as her EMT certification through the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Kayla has varied work experience in nutrition and dietetics. She worked as a Patient Care Technician at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Shadyside, where she gained direct patient care experience. When she was not working, Kayla was a student volunteer for the Hospital Elderly Life Program at UPMC Shadyside or serving as a tutor and mentor for Gwen’s Girls, an organization devoted to assisting under-privileged women. Furthermore, Kayla studied abroad in Ireland, where she was able experience the healthcare system of both Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, observing the different multidisciplinary approaches of both countries. Through her experiences she became passionate about clinical dietetics and community nutrition, where she wishes to advance her studies and eventually focus her career. Outside of work and school, Kayla enjoys running, cooking, painting, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Katy graduated from the University of Delaware in May 201l, with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. While pursuing her degree, she managed to be a full-time competitive student athlete, an active member of three national honor societies, the nutrition and dietetics club, and Delaware Christian Athletes. Beginning her undergraduate career at George Mason University, she promoted the importance of eating breakfast to students and faculty at the university Health and Fitness Expo, and conducted a nutrition assessment and 24- hour recall on a family member battling multiple cancers. In order to fulfill the requirements of a didactic program in dietetics, Katy transferred to the accredited University of Delaware. With a strong interest in clinical dietetics, she sought out work and volunteer opportunities to gain more experience. As a volunteer in the Nutrition Services department at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD), in Norfolk, VA, she shadowed pediatric dietitians on clinical rounds, helped design “room service” menus, and created a food-allergen chart that highlighted specific allergen ingredients associated with foods. At graduation, Katy was awarded the 2011 American Dietetic Association Outstanding Dietetics Student in Delaware, and began working as a dietary aide at CHKD. She calculated and prepared enteral formulas, transferred patient telephone meal requests into electronic orders, and prepared and delivered patients meal trays. Through personal and professional experiences, she became passionate about kids, sports nutrition, and nutrition therapy and pathophysiology. This inspired her to become a clinical pediatric dietitian; thereby helping children and families develop healthy lifestyle skills through nutrition education.
Andria graduated with honors from Western Kentucky University in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. Academically, she has achieved being named to both the Dean’s List as well as the President’s Scholars List during her collegiate years. She was a member of the Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Society, in which she served as the Secretary and Fundraising Chair. During her undergraduate career, she founded and served as president of an organizational chapter of Universities Fighting World Hunger at WKU. As the president she led a hunger march on campus, conducted a canned food drive for local shelters, and established a proclamation for a recognized week to raise awareness of hunger and homelessness issues in her community. She volunteered with several organizations in her community and taught nutritional education classes at area elementary schools. Andria was awarded the outstanding dietetic student leadership award during the 2011-2012 school year. She has been employed in several aspects of the healthcare industry including the following: Dietitian’s Assistant, Diet Clerk, and Certified Pharmacy Technician. Through this work experience, she has had the opportunities to learn how to dose and compound a total parenteral nutrition intravenous mixture and to complete nutritional educations with patients at Greenview Regional Hospital. Andria desires to work in a clinical setting and wants to concentrate in either pediatrics or oncology and would like to obtain a specialization in nutrition support. Outside of school and work, Andria enjoys volunteering in her community, running, University of Kentucky Basketball, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Abbie graduated from Auburn University in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science. She also completed a 5th year Dietetics option. She was inducted into the National Society for Collegiate Scholars, National Society of Leadership, and Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society where she held the office of president. As a student member she was very involved in the Auburn District Dietetic Association, as well as the Auburn Student Dietetic Association. Abbie displayed leadership skills as she held various offices in several clubs on campus including Recommendation Letter Chair, Chapter Historian, and Alumni Relations Chair with her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, and President, Vice President, and Webmaster for the Spikettes, the Auburn cross country and track team hostesses. She served on the Global Tigers Peer Advisory Board to encourage students to study abroad and helped raise awareness about hunger and hunger-related issues through service on the Committee of 19 College of Human Sciences Sub-committee. Her interests include traveling, reading, cooking and baking, spending time with friends and family, shopping, and watching movies. She has always enjoyed working with children, through both church-related activities and different nannying positions, and hopes to incorporate that into her future career by working in pediatric nutrition.
Bridget graduated cum laude from Virginia Tech in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise with a concentration in Dietetics. As a dean’s list student, she was inducted as a presidential member into the National Society of Leadership and Success. She was an Ambassador for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and for Fall 2011 was the co-chair and representative of the program. She was also a member of their Marketing Committee and worked to develop new methods of advertising to prospective students. During her senior year, she was a member of the ePortfolio Support Team for the Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise department where she taught and assisted students in constructing their own ePortfolios. During the spring semester of 2011, she helped teach students as an undergraduate teaching assistant for the class Food Selection and Preparation. She volunteered at nutrition booths and the local nursing home within Blacksburg as a member of the Student Dietetic Association and became more involved with the club as the Virginia Dietetic Association Liaison. She gained leadership skills while President of the Women’s Club Tennis team and was a member of their nationals team for the USTA National Campus Championship in April 2009. Bridget gained exceptional experience as a volunteer intern in the clinical and foodservice departments at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City for the summer of 2011. She observed clinical dietitians on each floor and gained exposure to medical nutrition therapy through patient consults and chart reviews. This internship further enhanced her passion for nutrition and working in a clinical setting. Bridget would like to pursue a career as a clinical dietitian in the pediatric intensive care unit and, with her interest in sports nutrition, would like to become a certified specialist in sports dietetics.
Mary Lindsey Simpkins
Mary Lindsey graduated summa cum laude from the University of Mississippi in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutrition. She was named “Outstanding Student in Dietetics” by the department and was awarded the Chancellor’s Scholarship. She was active in several organizations on campus, including the Student Dietetic Association, Chi Omega sorority, Ambassadors, Student Vegetarian Organization, Honors College, and writing for the Daily Mississippian. She also defended her honors thesis entitled “Food Preparation among College Students: An Exploration and Culinary Intervention”. During this time, Mary Lindsey was able to create and hold the position of “Director of Health Promotion” for the Associated Student Body. Through this position she was able to start health initiatives on campus, such as the installation of healthy vending machines and work towards getting an on-campus organic garden. Apart from school, Mary Lindsey gained foodservice experience by working as the manager of a small restaurant under the leadership of a registered dietitian. She also volunteered as the Food Supervisor for a food ministry, where she was able to plan, budget, and oversee the cooking of healthy meals for 100 people. Mary Lindsey has developed a strong interest in the areas of food policy, community nutrition, and public health, but is also excited to gain more exposure to the clinical side of dietetics during her internship. Mary Lindsey also enjoys running, being outside, cooking, and playing on the Ultimate Frisbee Team in her spare time. She is looking forward to living out of Mississippi for the first time, and cannot wait to begin her career path in Virginia.
Stephanie graduated from State University of New York (SUNY) Oneonta’s Dietetics Program. Attending the university and its dietetics program provided a great opportunity to learn an abundance of information and skills pertaining to nutrition. While attending Oneonta, Stephanie maintained a 3.9 GPA and because of her academic performance, she received the Human Ecology Scholarship three separate times. During her undergraduate experience she was involved in two research projects on campus, one related to food science and the other studying student eating patterns. In addition to her academic accomplishments, she developed and demonstrated her leadership skills through a number of accomplishments. She was the president of Oneonta’s Outdoor Program for two years, a captain for intramural soccer and basketball, a teaching assistant for classes including hiking and backpacking, kayaking, and Nutrition, and she was a Statistics and Nutrition tutor for three years. Stephanie was the Health and Wellness Director at a YMCA summer camp for three summers. One of the most influential experiences of her life that developed her leadership skills was her semester abroad at the University of Otago in New Zealand where she studied exercise science and lead backpacking trips through breathtaking landscapes. Her outside interests include photography, singing, soccer, traveling, cooking really delicious food, kayaking, sailing, hiking (basically all outdoor activities), and much more. She is always open to try new things and meet new people, and tries to look at life in a positive light. Stephanie would like to become a pediatric dietitian one day and possibly open her own nutrition and fitness camp for kids. She thinks that since children are the future, they should be the focus now and by eating the right foods and getting plenty of exercise while simply playing outside and having fun, they can grow into healthy adults.