The EMU Dietetics Program faculty continued to make pandemic-related adjustments as needed this past winter term, to support our students in both their lecture and experience-led courses. As we continue to move through the year, and see our distance-online and on campus classes of 2021 graduate, we wish them and you all the joy of the familiar, an abundance of health, and great hope for the future.

Newsletter Content

Spotlight on Faculty

Spotlight on Alumni

Recognitions and Awards

Donor's Corner

Spotlight on Preceptors

Testimonial Request

Referral Request

We hope you have a few moments to review some recent highlights...

We're proud of our program and grateful for our connections.

Spotlight on Faculty

EMU Dietetics and Human Nutrition faculty, Dr. Alice Jo Rainville and Dr. Olivia Ford are co-leaders of the CHDIS Nutrition Team that received a grant in March 2021. The goal is to provide Michigan-located diverse and minority populations access to healthy local foods, along with food and agricultural literacy, to reduce health disparities. Please read more about their work at this and the prior link.

Spotlight on Faculty and Alumna

Dr. Heather Wiese (EMU Dietetics faculty) and Dr. Andrea Zakrajsek (EMU Occupational Therapy faculty) have published the following study with EMU Dietetics M.S. alumna Elina Angastinioti:

Angastinioti E, Zakrajsek AG, Hutchins-Wiese HL. An Exploratory Study Examining Mediterranean Diet Perceptions, Eating Practices, and Food Choice of Emerging Adults from Cyprus and the United States. World Nutrition. 2020 Dec;11(4):22-43.

Spotlight on Alumni

Gina Worful MS, RDN

Gina Worful, Dietetics CP alumna and HN MS Program graduate has recently been providing virtual workshops, in addition to her ongoing programs to Master Mindfulness and more.

Tasha Brickhouse's National Nutrition Month Video

EMU Alumna Tasha Brickhouse, MS LD, RD is with the Volusia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (which falls under the Florida Academy) and provided this Member Spotlight video on their behalf for National Nutrition Month March 2021.

Recognitions and Awards

EMU Alumni Achievement Award

Tina Miller MS, RDN

Dietetics Program Lecturer Tina Miller (HN MS 2002 and current Nutrition Outreach Manager, United Dairy Industry of Michigan) is being awarded an EMU Alumni Achievement Award (2021).

Outstanding Student Awards 2021

Our Program is proud of all our soon-to-be graduates. The following two students were chosen as all-around outstanding for 2021.

EMU Dietetics MS Outstanding Student

Ashley Miks, on campus student

Ashley lives in Britton, MI with her husband Travis and two cats. She earned a B.S. degree from EMU in Exercise Science and originally thought she wanted to pursue physical therapy. Ashley wanted to learn more about nutrition, so she changed course and pursued an M.S. in Dietetics from EMU. Her current interests are sports nutrition, clinical nutrition, and working with those with eating disorders. Her dream job is to become a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics and work with athletes, however she would also love to work with active individuals who want help with their nutrition. After getting some years of experience under her belt, she could see herself becoming a preceptor. Ashley thanks the EMU Dietetics faculty for selecting her for this award!

EMU Dietetics BS Outstanding Student

Kate W. Spurgin, distance online student

After a ten-year career in communications, Kate has been thrilled to follow her fascination with nutrition and dream of being a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) through EMU’s distance program. Kate embraces the challenges and learning opportunities offered by her classes and dietetics rotations, maintaining a 4.0 GPA during her time at EMU. She has volunteered extensively in her Portland, Oregon community, most notably with Oregon Food Bank’s Nutrition Education Program since 2014. As a cancer survivor, Kate plans to specialize in oncology nutrition after graduating and becoming an RDN later this year.

Donor's Corner

If you would like to specifically impact EMU Dietetics students with a small donation, please consider applying a gift to one of these funds: 01287 - Dietetics Expendable Scholarship Fund or 00231 - Food & Nutrition.

Also feel free to get in touch with Christa Reid, Director of Development, College of Education and College of Health & Human Services by email (christa.reid@emich.edu) or phone (734.487.0496).

Also, check out the video below, to see a few of our students in action in the EMU Demonstration Kitchen. The Dietetics Program is highlighted between 31:27 – 31:50 and at the 42:09 mark, and Darlene Bellers, MS, RDN, CSOWM is credited at the end, for her work with the students and videographer.

Spotlight on Preceptors

Listed below are the preceptors nominated this year by our second year CP students. The student name is listed along with the experience rotation and semester.

Distance-Online Student/Preceptor/Experience Course for which they precepted:

Nicole Holmes/ Stacy Jonio - Fit Body Boot Camp/ Fall 2020 Community Nutrition Specialty; Jenny Fox/ Christine Kozick - Holland Hospital/ Fall 2019 Foodservice Systems I; Kate Sabolcik/ Jody Garlick, RD - South Hills Nutrition/ Fall 2020 Community Nutrition Specialty; Emily Pianko/ Brenda Walton - Ferris State University Dining/ Fall 2019 Foodservice Systems I; Jayme Johnson/ Amanda Halls - Mayo Clinic Health System/ Winter 2020 Nutrition Therapy II Outpatient

ON-CAMPUS Student/Preceptor/Experience Course for which they precepted:

Miranda Greene/ Cassie Whiddon - Eurest at DTE/ Fall 2020 Fall 2020 Community Nutrition Specialty; Rekia James/ Allie Babcock - St. Joe's Culinary and Lifestyle Medicine/ Fall 2020 Community Nutrition Specialty;  Dissanayake & Dakota Monarch/ Darlene Bellers - EMU Eagle Nutrition Services/ Winter 2020 NT II Outpatient & Fall 2020 Community Nutrition PP

On behalf of all the faculty and students with the EMU Coordinated Program, please know that the individual preceptors listed here along with our many preceptors locally and across the country are deeply appreciated for the critical piece in our student's education and professional growth. As a preceptor, YOU make the field of dietetics come alive and make a lasting difference! Thank you!

Submitted by Diane Reynolds, RDN - EMU Dietetics Clinical Coordinator

EMU Dietetics Recognizes Our Excellent Preceptors - Thank You!

Every year our Coordinated Program puts forth two nominees for the NDEP and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Outstanding Preceptor Award (OPA), one for our distance/online program and one for our on-campus program. The purpose of the OPA is to recognize the exceptional teaching, mentoring, and leadership activities of preceptors in ACEND-accredited dietetics education programs. A key part of the nomination is the student nominator portion. One of our second year students wrote a nomination for those listed below, in appreciation for the excellent practice experience they had with that preceptor! From that list, we had the difficult decision of who to put forth for the OPA.The following two outstanding Registered Dietitian Nutritionists were our choices. We think they are superstars who are invested in the future of our profession by engaging students in meaningful practice experiences. The NDEP and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation recognized that our candidates were very competitive in their national selection process, stating "Preceptors do so much more than teach, and your nominee qualifications were impressive and truly highlighted the best of the best in our profession. Their service to dietetics education is much appreciated, and is a testament to the creative and innovative ways our future practitioners are being taught, mentored, and supported". Here they are:

On-Campus Program Nominee: Alexandra Babcock, MPH RDN DipACLM; Lifestyle & Culinary Medicine Coordinator at St. Joseph Health System MI (nominated by Rekia James)
Distance- Online Program Nominee: Christine Kozick, MBA, MS, RD; Manager, Food and Nutrition at Holland Hospital in Holland, MI (nominated by Jennifer Fox)

Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan

EMU Dietetics would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest appreciation to N. Charles Anderson, President/CEO; Helen Williams, CLS, MS - WIC Director; Krista Zenk, MS, RD, CBS - WIC Assistant Director/Breastfeeding Coordinator; Ujwala Kulkarni, MPH, RDN - WIC Registered Dietitian; and the entire team of Registered Dietitians and staff at the Urban League of Detroit (DUL) and SE Michigan WIC Program. This team remains the longest standing and continuous group of preceptors for our Coordinated Program in Dietetics, at 30 or more years! Each year during fall semester, 8 or more of our 2nd (final) year students obtain a high quality experience in community nutrition at the DUL. WIC at the DUL provides students with unique exposures to a diverse client population. Our students learn through supervised experiences by working with young parents, children and babies at a critical stage when nutrition affects health outcomes.

The EMU Dietetics Program faculty voted to use program funds to support the purchase of one adult ticket for this year's virtual 55th Annual Guild Gala on December 5th, 2020 - a key fundraiser for the Urban League. Diane Reynolds, RDN (our Dietetics Clinical Coordinator) was the fortunate attendee. Diane found the program to be inspirational and enjoyable. It was amazing to hear about all the good work the Urban League does in our greater Detroit/SE Michigan communities. Additionally, listening to the Detroit Youth Choir was wonderful! If anyone wishes to watch the recorded event, please review here.

For anyone reading this who wishes to support the Urban League, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to the Detroit Urban League when you shop smile.amazon.com, and select the Detroit Urban League.

Submitted by: Diane Reynolds

Testimonial request

If you are an alumni of our Dietetics CP and would like to update us or provide a testimonial, please contact us via: spernecky1@emich.edu.

Referral Request

We’ve noticed…Our alumni provide wonderful referrals!

If you would like to recommend the EMU Dietetics Program to someone, please have them email: dieteticsms_advising@emich.edu.

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Sandy Pernecky


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