2018 Idaho Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Award Winners

On behalf of the Awards Committee, we appreciate all who submitted letters nominating the following individuals for awards:

Outstanding Dietitian of the Year: Samantha Anne Ramsay, PhD, RDN, LD, FAND


Each year the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognizes those who individuals who receive the affiliate’s top member award. At least one letter explaining why the nominee is deserving of the reward is required.

This year’s recipient of the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year, Samantha Ramsay.  Our dear friend and colleague died unexpectedly July 31, 2017, attempting to summit the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps.

Samantha was passionate about her profession and was a beacon in promoting the Registered Dietitian in Idaho and around the world, truly Outstanding.  Samantha has served the Idaho Academy through her role as president and in her role as public policy chair, volunteering countless hours to promote our profession. 

Crystal Wilson observed that Samantha “had the unique ability to see the best in people, to find and nourish a part of them that others may not see or overlooked.  She was welcoming and accepting which resulted in her building a diverse network of colleagues and friends.”  Former student Kim Young notes that she continually encouraged and challenged her advisees to new heights and states “I owe much of my success to Dr. Ramsay!  If it hadn’t been for her commitment to me as a student I would not be where I am today.”

Dear friend and colleague SeAnne Safaii describes Samantha perfectly, “To know Samantha was to love her. For those of us lucky ones who worked with Samantha, we knew her as a pioneer in the area of child feeding research, an avid athlete, loving mother and a remarkable woman and role model for other young women.” It is with great honor that I, representing the Board and I would say all the membership, bestow the 2018 Outstanding Dietitian of the year award to Dr. Samantha Ramsay.  We love you and will miss you.

Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year: Chelsea Schoenfelder, MPH, RDN, LD


This award recognizes qualified dietitians within their state. Members eligible to receive this honor should be 35 years of age or younger and demonstrate leadership qualities and performance in legislation, research, public relations, education, community outreach, management, and other areas related to the profession. Their contributions on the job and in the community will merit this recognition. At least one letter explaining why the nominee is deserving of the reward is required.

This year’s recipient is Chelsea Schoenfelder. Chelsea is an active Registered Dietitian who is a champion in her Idaho community. She is known for her willingness to learn, being well-rounded, and having the ability to add special touches that bring everything together.

June Yerrington Award: Katherine (Kathy Vance), RDN, LD

The Idaho Academy membership recognizes an individual who has been an Idaho Academy member for at least 10 years. A member who receives this award has contributed to the Idaho Academy in a significant way during his or her professional career.

This member must have made a significant impact in his or her community and has earned respect from within the community. This award honors the respect the recipient has earned from his or her colleagues. At least three letters explaining why the nominee is deserving of the award are requested for the nomination.

This year’s recipient is Kathy Vance. Kathy is a gifted clinical dietitian who is known for her willingness to help others, being a champion for her profession and being a patient, understanding teacher.

Gem Award: Keller Associates

The Gem award recognizes nonmember of Idaho Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that have promoted and/or encouraged good health with an emphasis on sound nutrition habits through efforts to educate the public. In addition to financial contributions, this can be done through individual, company or organizations efforts. This award goes to nonmember who have supported activities of the Idaho Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics through financial or in-kind contributions. The promotion, encouragement or support should have been provided on a regular basis for several years. A company or organization may also qualify for an outstanding “one time” effort. At least three letters of support are required for nomination.

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