Undergraduate Institution: Saint Louis University
Undergrad Major: Nutrition and Dietetics
Type of Work: Community Dietitian at a nonprofit, Heartland Alliance Health. I provide nutrition services to participants at Federally Qualified Health Centers and residential sites.
Why did you choose the MS Health Communication Program at Northwestern University?
I want to be able to use my expertise as a registered dietitian and health communicator to more effectively convey nutrition information to the community I serve. I love getting people excited about nutrition! I try to use nutrition education as a way to improve overall health outcomes and think this program will help me on that journey.
What are your career goals?
To create a more equitable and just food system for all by developing innovative ideas in nutrition education and communication to help address health disparities.
What is your favorite part of the program so far?
I enjoy getting to hear from my classmates about all their different experiences in the healthcare system as well as other areas of expertise. In undergrad I took a lot of classes with other nutrition and allied health majors. It’s refreshing to hear about experiences from the insurance side of the industry as well as non- healthcare related professions. I also really enjoy the classes. I’ve already been able to make some small health communication changes in my workplace based on the readings and lectures we’ve had so far.
Any tips on balancing school, work, and life?
Time management and self care. It’s important to make a to do list and complete readings and assignments. But it’s also important to set aside time to take care of yourself so you can set yourself up for success in the program! It’s all part of the balancing act that I am constantly learning about.
Is there any additional advice or information that you would share?
No additional advice. As far as information I’d like to share, I like to mention the AmeriCorps program to raise awareness about it. I served as an AmeriCorps volunteer for two years with Catholic Charities Spokane as their Community Food Resources Specialist. That experience has definitely influenced my decision to be a dietitian and to study health communication.