1. Tell us about your educational background.
I am a graduate of University of Wisconsin Stout where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. I then worked for the Hennepin County Public Health Department as a Public Health Nutritionist and as a Nutrition Assistant at the mental health and recovery center, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. To further my pathway, I successfully completed my dietetic internship at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis where I found my ultimate enthusiasm lied in the fascinating world of diabetes. I am now working as a Clinical Dietitian and Diabetes Program Coordinator at Mercy Hospital where I am currently working towards obtaining my certified diabetes educator certificate.
2. What led you to the field of dietetics?
My interests in nutrition stemmed from my family history and background. My parents who were born in Guyana, South America found themselves quickly shifting from a healthy lifestyle without many ailments to having many health complications just from the foods they chose to eat. Heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and more all run on both sides of my family. I grew up watching my grandparents taking endless medications only to hear that my maternal grandmother died at the early age of 41 from diabetes and to witness my paternal grandmother die at the age of 73 from a heart attack. I knew I needed to do something for those with a lack of nutrition education and those who dedicated their lives for others and neglected their own.
3. What makes you the most excited about the field?
Research. This is truly invigorating. I enjoy learning about how lifestyle modifications through nutrition changes are constantly at the forefront of reducing the risks of the most deadly diseases. I also love that I am among those who hold the powerful tool of teaching others nutrition education so they are enabled to help themselves. I enjoy getting to know each of my patients to fully understand their individualized needs in order to search for their motivation for change through their journey of life.
4. What have you gained from your involvement in MAND?
I have been extremely fortunate to work with nutrition leaders from various personal and professional backgrounds. They are amazing role models for our growing field. I have already seen tremendous positive work completed in the Twin Cities and North Eastern Minnesota that are helping families each day.
5. What are you looking forward to most as the diversity liaison for MAND?
I am looking forward to working alongside those who are less privileged in order to increase diversity in the nutrition field. It is absolutely critical that we bring those from various backgrounds into the nutrition world for fresh and different ideas to the table. I am also looking forward to working alongside with those who are privileged to be able to generate an equal level playing field.