Highlighting the Idaho Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2018 University of Idaho Outstanding Dietetic Student Award Winners

The purpose of the Outstanding Dietetics Student Award program is to recognize the emerging leadership and achievement of students in ACEND-accredited and approved dietetics education programs and encourage their participation in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Idaho State University selected three students for this award: one from the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), one from the Dietetic Internship in Pocatello, and one from the Dietetic Internship in Meridian. Faculty, preceptors, and students assisted with the selection.

All students were recognized at the Idaho Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting, April 19th – 20th 2018 in Sun Valley. 

The Idaho Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics awards each ODSA a one-year membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Criteria

  • Member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Students must be members by January 1st of the year in which they would receive the award. Student enrolled in ACEND-accredited dietetics education program (CP, DI, DPD, DT).
  • Demonstrated academic achievement as documented by letters from program faculty or preceptor.
  • Demonstrated leadership and professional potential; e.g., honors, student dietetic association activities, community service activities, etc.

 

Senior CPD Student – South 

Jenna Dyckman 

Jenna Dyckman

How did you become interested in nutrition?

Many factors played a role in my path towards nutrition and dietetics including my love for sports and being active, my desire to work in the health care field, and my desire to help others. While completing my undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology, a requirement for graduation was to take a beginning nutrition class. I actually did not want to take the class and was pretty indifferent about the subject.  Despite this, I kept an open mind and eventually discovered I had a passion for nutrition. My professor was an RD and the stories she shared and the passion she had as she taught captured my attention and inspired me to further investigate dietetics. Once I discovered the many possible career paths a dietitian could take and having the opportunity to choose a career that fit exactly what I wanted to do was an exciting idea! 

What has been your favorite experience from your dietetic program and/or internship so far

This is a tough question to answer. I really loved my MNT course and the opportunity we had to learn from guest lecturers, who were local RDs and experts in specific areas of dietetics. But overall, my clinical rotation has been my favorite experience from my dietetic program. My preceptors were amazing, I learned so much and enjoyed the day to day challenge. I had the opportunity to not only use the knowledge I gained from MNT, but expand upon it as I worked with new patients and learned from my preceptors.

Once you become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, what kind of work would you like to do? 

When I graduate I want to work as a clinical dietitian. Eventually I would like to specialize in critical care and work to get my CNSC certification. A long-term career goal would be to work as a professor at the university level teaching nutrition.

What words of wisdom would you share with students who are interested in pursuing Dietetics? 

I’ve learned so much along the way from my professors, peers, and preceptors, that it is hard to condense it into a few sentences. Advice I would share with future dietetic students is to find joy in the journey. Being enrolled in a dietetics program can be stressful and at times overwhelming, but at the same time it is such a gift! At the University of Idaho’s CPD program (and I’m sure at every program), our professors go out of their way to provide with us unique opportunities in and out of the classroom. Never take an opportunity for granted, you never know where you’ll discover your passion in dietetics!

 

Senior CPD Student – North

Maddie Ray 

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How did you become interested in nutrition?

Food and helping people are my two favorite things! I have always loved science and been interested in working in health, so when I found out about dietetics I knew that this was where I wanted to be.

What has been your favorite experience from your dietetic program and/or internship so far?

I have had tons of great experiences over the last two years, but the friendships that I have made as a dietetics student are absolutely irreplaceable. The program can be stressful at times, but I have been lucky enough to go through it with 18 of the most intelligent, hilarious, amazing foodies you’ll ever meet.

Once you become a registered dietitian, what kind of work would you like to do?

This is a hard one. Every time I hear about a new type of job that a dietitian can have, I change my mind about what I want I want to do. I am most interested in either clinical or community dietetics, but there are so many options for jobs in the dietetics field… how are we supposed to pick one!?

What words of wisdom would you share with students who are interested in pursuing dietetics?

Buy comfy shoes, save all of your handouts, and thank your preceptors every chance you get.

 

Junior CPD Student

Satoko Haji 

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How did you become interested in nutrition?

I’ve always loved to cook and create something since I was little. I loved to watch my mother cooking and it looked like a magic for me. Before I decided to come to the University of Idaho, I graduated from Okayama University in Japan with a Bachelor of Agriculture in Plant Science and worked as an agricultural officer for the local government in Oita, Japan. At that time, I realized that Japanese people eat less rice and more processed foods than we used to. Many young people my age do not know how to cook with fresh produces. It’s a severe problem for farmers who make their living by selling fresh products. From this problem, I got interested in food and nutrition, specifically “how we decide what we eat.”

What has been your favorite experience from your dietetic program and/or internship so far?

I’ve been enjoying studying dietetics at the University of Idaho. The activities and projects are sometimes overwhelming, but I like working hard to accomplish something challenging. The favorite points about my dietetic program are working with peer students to create original recipes and plans and having practical experiences. I cannot decide which experience is my favorite, but I enjoyed most of them so far. I am also excited about the senior year of my dietetic program in Boise area.

Once you become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, what kind of work would you like to do? 

My future goal is to work as a clinical RDN in a hospital. I want to help people who are suffering from a disease to improve their health through counseling and discussing proper nutrition for each individual. My father is a diabetic patient, but he also is an endocrinologist. He was diagnosed in his early 40s. He knew he has a genetic factor, but he was too busy to take care of himself and to eat balanced meals, which his body needed. Because of this, I learned how powerful nutrition is to one’s health and I’m currently interested in dedicating my career as a clinical RDN to clients who suffer from diabetes. I would love to have more life experiences in America and make my unique way as a dietitian by mixing Japanese and American culture and also using my background as an agricultural specialist.

What words of wisdom would you share with students who are interested in pursuing Dietetics? 

“We are what we eat.” The field of food and nutrition is very interesting to me because it affects directly to the physical and mental health. Nobody can change others’ lifestyles, but dietitians can help others to improve their health through a diet. I love studying dietetics, especially because we can apply our knowledge and skills to everyday life since we all need to eat every day.

 

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