Nutrition & Dietetics: News

An intern sits in front of a computer screen loaded with a presentation about diabetic ketoacidosis

Case Studies

Intern Alicia presented a clinical case study on Diabetic Ketoacidosis in the first week of the staff relief portion of her acute care rotation.

A Dietetic Intern wearing a mask stands in front of a sign that ways

Nutrition at West Point

Intern Jennifer used the flexibility of the distance internship option to become the first dietetic intern EVER at the United States Military Academy West Point!

A page from HER magazine shows the intern's article

Getting Published

Intern Lauren became a published writer in the October 2021 issue of Her Magazine with her article titled "Power up with Prevention." She shares practical tips for the prevention of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. See the full issue and article here.

Top: An intern stands in front of industrial ovens. Bottom: a picture of Julia Child with a description of her first episode

Julia Child fun Themed Meal

Intern Francesca (pictured top) carried out a Julia Child themed meal for residents at Elmwood Hills Healthcare Center/Northbrook Behavioral Hospital Services, including purchasing, receiving, storing, and inventory. Here you can see the card (pictured bottom) that she included on each tray so that the residents would know what the occasion was. The back of the card included a website link to Julia Child's first time cooking beef bourguignon - which was on the residents' menu that evening!

A screenshot of a zoom meeting with a small picture of the intern in the upper right corner and a larger slide show presenting types of carbohydrates

Zooming into Health

Celene interned at Three Sisters Kitchen, a non-profit community food space in the heart of downtown Albuquerque that aims to create a space where good food, diverse communities, and economic opportunity come together for a healthier and more vibrant city. During her time there she presented a curriculum, created by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Diabetes Prevention Program, after noticing a high prevalence of diabetes risk factors in her community.

An intern in a mask and lab coat stand behind a table with a blue tablecloth and pamphlets

Representing the Nutrition Department

Marywood Intern Jessie represents the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center nutrition department at a caregiver fair. The VAMC provides family members or friends of veterans with a stipend in exchange for those persons to serve as the veteran's caregiver and take them to appointments and procedures. These fairs occur to familiarize caregivers with the many services  and specialties that the VAMC offers.

A woman in a pink apron stands behind a counter with an array of cooking utensils and ingredients.

Creative Cooking Demos

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Intern Monica was not able to present her health promotion project in person to the community, but instead, created a QR code that linked to a website she created with cooking demonstrations and recipes to unfamiliar foods. Monica's goals were to use ingredients that the food pantry participants were receiving in the cooking demonstration and to promote the use of fruit and vegetable consumption. The foods that the pantry provided were fresh produce and canned goods, such as whole grain pastas, rice, quinoa, canned vegetables, fruit, and proteins.  She thought outside the box to present her project safely by dropping the handouts in the participant's pantry bags. Participants could then follow the link to her online cooking demonstrations!

Nutrtion Untangled Logo

Nutrition Untangled

The graduate students in the Nutrition Education class have created a podcast titled "Nutrition Untangled", where they will be talking about all things nutrition in hopes of “untangling” information on nutrition! Take a listen to the episodes for more information on the MSDI program and the Nutrition Department at Marywood!

A headshot of an intern wearing scrubs, a scrub cap and a surgical mask

All Scrubbed Up

Intern Jessie had the opportunity to watch the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center chief of surgery perform a sleeve gastrectomy. She was required to get scrubbed up just the same as everyone who was actually involved in the surgery! She was then given the opportunity to watch one of the dietitians conduct two post-surgery diet sessions with the veteran while they were recovering in the ICU and then med surg.

A woman with a tye dye shirt smiling broadly holds cherry tomatoes up to the camera.

Food For Everyone

Last year, The Food Bank of Delaware distributed 14, 497,316 pounds of food statewide.  Intern Colleen spent time here was with their Community Health Educator promoting WIC participation. From Community Gardens to their Backpack program, this unsuspecting warehouse located in Newark, Delaware works tirelessly to ensure that everyone in Delaware can eat.

3 people in costumes - a carrot, a pea pod, and a banana - put together mini fruit pizzas

Making Nutrition Fun!

Intern Ann leads a mini cooking demo making fruit pizzas with children at grief camp at Hillside Farms. 

Hillside Farms provides a week-long summer camp for children who have experienced major grief, trauma or loss. The camp uses farm-based interventions to promote healing and community. At this camp, Ann was able to go talk to the kids about fruits and vegetables and food's role in healing. Her time ended with a pop-up produce stand with food from the food pantry, where we gave the children - who have a higher probability of being food insecure - the opportunity to shop through the produce and take food home to their families.

an intern smiles at the camera while holding a blue shopping basket. She is standing in front of a refrigerated section in a grocery store.

Grocery Store Tours

Intern Alicia developed a grocery store tour that outlined the grocery shopping process from meal planning and making a list to healthy tips for choosing items and reading food labels. She presented this tour to participants in the Wayne Memorial Food Prescription Program in Wayne county, PA.

Two interns stand in front of a power point presentation

Working together

Interns Erin and Mitchell worked together to deliver a Health Promotion presentation at the Blooming Grove office for the Pike County Area Agency on Aging.

A Dietetic Intern stands in front of a sign that reads

Nutrition at West Point

Intern Jennifer took advantage of the unique opportunities afforded by the distance internship option to secure a spot as the first EVER dietetic intern at the United States Military Academy West Point!

A female intern stands behind an outdoor informational desk. A sign behind her says

Food is Medicine

Intern Tabitha offers nutrition education at a mobile food pharmacy. These mobile food pharmacies in the Charlotte, NC area are used as an avenue for nutrition education to target specialty diets for diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart health. The booth was set up in conjunction with a local emergency food supplemental program, Loaves & Fishes, and the area hospital systems, Atrium health and Novant health. The purpose of the mobile food pharmacy is to promote the idea that "Food is Medicine." Tabitha wanted to develop a program that would provide the most impact for the community and be able to reach all individuals for the area that Loaves & Fishes serves, while also being sustainable for them to continue upon completion of her internship rotation. 

A Dietetic Intern sits behind a table decorated with treats for halloween

Spooky Themed Meal

Intern Monica planned and budgeted for a Halloween themed meal during her food service management rotation at Elkins Crest Health and Rehab.

An intern shows off brightly colored marketing materials

Developing Nutrition education

Intern Jennifer shows off marketing materials she made to advertise a class at the Eating and Body Image Therapy Center in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD. She developed the program titled Nutrition Education for a Vulnerable Population: Weight Cycling and Different Approaches to Health after seeing a need in her community.

two adults stand behind an informational desk showing off their hard work.

Helping the Unhoused

Intern Sarah completed her community rotation with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.  Even though she had to work remotely due to COVID-19, she was able to achieve her primary goal of helping the unhoused population and creating resources for them. Here she is presenting her work.

An intern stands by a table sharing various informational posters

Promoting the Profession

Intern Siena shares some posters that she made during her community rotation to promote RDNs and healthy nutrition information.

Siena says "This was probably my favorite part of my rotation because I got to interact with the YMCA members and promote the field of dietetics. They were all very receptive and interested in the nutrition basics. When they asked what I was doing I explained it as taking the stress out of healthy eating. I further explained all of the education that I had completed and said because I did all the hard work, my goal is to take all the complex information and make it easy for anyone to understand." 

intern and coworker in front of a truck holding a watermelon with masks

Distributing Food during COVID!

Intern Sofia safely distributing food with a coworker at Low Country Food Bank in NC!

student in garden with mask

Garden Harvesting

Intern Hollin doing some community garden harvesting for Tarrant Area Food Bank in TX.

nathan with recipes and squash

Distributing Healthy Foods and Recipes at Tulsa Cares!

Intern Nathan distributing healthy recipes to go along with fresh produce at his community site Tulsa Cares in Oklahoma!

nicole and kathleen with food

Fresh Produce and Healthy Foods Accessible to All!

Interns Nicole and Kathleen distributing fresh produce to children at Hillside Grief Camp. Their goal was to dignify food access and make the process of distributing the food as easy and normal as possible for the children.

children with tori

Cooking Matters with Kids!

Intern Tori completed a Cooking Matters Cooking Class with these smiling students!

sam grilling peaches

Jersey Fresh Event for Shoprite

Intern Samantha grilling peaches for her Jersey Fresh Farm to Table event for the Shoprite of Greater Morristown.

mandy at the library for shoprite

Education at the Library!

Intern Mandy at the Eversham Library representing the Shoprite of Marlton NJ. Mandy spent the day offering healthy recipes, coupons, and nutrition education to patrons of the library.

interns at camp energy

Camp Energy!

Some of our interns (left to right) Makenna, Andrea, Bill, Liz, Malorie, and Tess at Camp Energy in Millville PA. This camp focuses on overall wellness and health promotion!

nicole with supplies

Rethink Your Drink!

Intern Nicole completed a lesson on healthy beverages with Fulfill Food Bank in New Jersey.

kate with presentation

Intuitive Eating Presentation at Goodwill Industries

Intern Kate instructed clients of Goodwill Industries about Intuitive Eating.

Bryana McCartney

During spring break Bryana traveled to Guatemala! "While in Guatemala, we worked closely with the health promoters as well as the long term volunteers from the Mission. During the week, we worked at a height and weight clinic; participated in a cooking demo; made a presentation to the health promoters about varies nutrition topics; and attended a presentation about nutritional habits in Guatemala and diabetes. We also assisted with home visits focusing on malnutrition, diabetes nutrition and respiratory diseases.. During our lunch we had the amazing opportunity to play with the children. Even though there was a language barrier the children wanted to learn and play constantly. My favorite thing about the service trip was the constant flow of knowledge between us and the health promoters.
From a nutritional standpoint, we were able to learn from the health promoters and openly share our knowledge. I felt joy being able to apply my knowledge of nutrition. More so, being able to help people on the service trip confirmed that nutrition is my calling. I would suggest to those looking at experiencing a service trip to expect to leave their comfort zone. Expect to be thrown into a situation to serve others. Expect to learn about the country or state you are in, the people who live there, and even more so, yourself. You will create some of the closest bonds with the people you attend the trip with. Expect to feel connected to the work you do and the place you are at, because you will not want to leave. This experience was incredible and life changing, it is something everyone should experience."

Heather Reymunde, M.S.

Heather chose to complete a thesis for her Masters Degree!

"Although nutrition wasn’t my first passion in a science field, I developed an intense interest during my twin pregnancy and while raising my sons. My professional evolution from engineer to dietitian has been driven by my innate curiosity and continues to drive my study in the field.

I graduated in 2006 from Pennsylvania State University with my Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, as a member of Chi Epsilon Honors Engineering Fraternity, with a focus in hydraulics and applied hydrology. Following graduation, I worked in the field of civil engineering in Phoenix, Arizona for four years. I spent my first 2.5 years in the area of land development and drainage analysis and the remainder planning and designing water and wastewater systems.

 I loved my profession in engineering but I felt pulled in the direction nutrition, preventative medicine and nutrition therapy. I began my formal study of nutrition at Marywood University in the fall of 2016 and very quickly felt at home.  As a seasoned student but new to the field of dietetics, I concurrently fulfilled the DPD requirements while completing my master’s degree and balancing life. Having little experience in the area of research, but always up for a challenge, I chose to complete a master’s thesis titled: “The Relationship between Weight and Performance in Elementary Age Wrestlers” and during this time joined the Academy’s Research DPG.

 I graduated in January 2019 from Marywood University with a Master of Science in Nutrition and I applied to the spring 2019 dietetic internship match. Post-graduation, I joined Marywood University’s Nutrition, Athletic Training and Exercise Science Department faculty as an adjunct professor teaching Graduate Research Methodology and I am also continuing my position as the Nutrition Lab Assistant for various courses in the nutrition curriculum.

My graduate work was robust and covered many areas of nutrition. My thesis, more specifically, focused on the topics of Pediatrics and Sport Nutrition.  The experience of completing a thesis at the graduate level has given me the opportunity to present my research at FNCE 2018 and apply for various other calls for abstracts and awards through the Research DPG.

For personal reasons I also have had many questions on the influence of nutrition and the impact on cancer prevention and treatment. My research experience qualified me for selection and acceptance at the John Milner Cancer Research Practicum sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health in March 2019.

No matter your age or past career, the field of dietetics is always in need of qualified practitioners. If you have the desire to go that route, pursue it and don’t take short-cuts. The path to becoming a qualified nutrition professional is lengthy and requires knowledge and practical experience to legally practice as a nutrition expert but it opens you to a vast opportunities within the field of nutrition and beyond."

intern on pa live cooking

Intern Featured on PA Live

Jean Holmgren & Intern Marissa Bolsar from Maternal & Family Health Services join us in the kitchen to prepare roasted veggie & black bean tacos along with chunk peach salsa.

Read More on PA Live

Ranked #1

Spring of 2018 Marywood University's Nutrition Program was awarded the best school for a nutrition degree! Click here to check out more! Our small class size and hands on learning helped us achieve this goal! 

Katie Gallagher

Katie Gallagher, RDN

Katie is the RDN at ShopRite of Daleville, she works with customers to educate them about making healthy food choices while helping them meet their wellness goals. At ShopRite, she conducts individual nutrition counseling sessions and shares delicious recipes and tips on leading a healthy lifestyle.

Among other services, Katie is available to answer customer questions regarding their nutritional needs, educate shoppers about reading labels and assist them in making healthy food choices. She is also responsible for health and wellness education and outreach to ShopRite associates, customers and community partners through a variety of programs, such as supermarket tours, workshops, one-on-one consultations, and year-round culinary demos.

For more information, contact Katie directly at or call ShopRite of Daleville at (570) 842-7461. Customers can visit to see her full calendar of events. ShopRite of Daleville is open Monday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.

Kate Foley

Kate chose to complete a thesis for her Masters Degree:

Area of study: Nutrition, weight-inclusive health and wellness, eating disorders, weight stigma and diet culture 

Research title: Incorporation of Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size into DPD Curriculums in the United States (Also- Assessing DPD Director's Knowledge, Attitudes, and Teaching Styles of Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size)

Importance: Intuitive eating is a way of eating that honors the whole person, and takes an individual's weight out of the focus. Health At Every Size is a paradigm grounded in the respect and ethical care of all individuals, regardless of body size. From learning about IE/HAES, and a weight-inclusive paradigm, I noticed there wasn't a lot of that messaging in any of my coursework. I felt that in order to become a well-rounded dietitian, I needed to explore more than just one way to treat my potential clients. The weight-inclusive paradigm encourages care not based on body size, but on what is realistic for the individual sitting in front of us. With research showing that dieting and prescriptive weight loss is not a tangible option for all, and that weight loss is often a main intervention for the nutrition route, there needs to be another way to health and happiness.

"I learned so much about how research is SO NEEDED in our field. I learned so much about the research process and why it's so needed to have people putting out nutritional science research. I also learned so much about myself. I learned that I can really do anything I put my mind to. Completing a thesis made me realize that research is hard- and it takes a strong-willed person to start and complete research. Before I did my thesis, I would just read articles for the fun of it, not really critique them or analyze them fully. Now, I have the tools to really be critical about research, which will make me a better clinician in the future. I'm sure all RD2BEs feel that our profession is undervalued with all the misconceptions about nutrition out there. This is a way to really solidify a firm grounding in our profession, with evidence based research being put out, and having the tools to understand and critically analyze research. It will help ourselves, but it will also help us gain legitimacy with the public. I was recently offered a new position that required research application. I didn't realize, but there are a lot of folks in the healthcare field looking to do research to make innovative healthcare ideas, and to have someone with serious research skills on their team. In my current role, when I share with colleagues that I am almost done with my thesis, there is just an amazing reaction every time. So many people say, "Oh, wow, I wish I did a thesis in my program" or "You must really know your stuff". Things like that. I think it makes a person who is entering the workforce look more prepared and professional if we are looking for our first job or two out of college as newly trained professionals. It has helped my confidence ten-fold. Especially when explaining how studies work to different people. The general public doesn't know how to analyze research that is where as Dietitians, we step in to make sense of all the nonsense. When I can explain how a study is sound, or not sound, based on what I have learned through this process, it makes people more confident in ME, and what I am saying. I think everyone should do a thesis. Even though it is hard work, there is nothing more rewarding than being published and having something tangible besides a diploma after you graduate. I don't for a second regret my decision on choosing the thesis route, because it has helped me immensely. "

Cassandra Stockwell, RDN

Cassie chose to complete a thesis for her undergraduate degree and her masters degree!
"I participated in both an undergraduate honors thesis as well as the masters thesis. My interests have always fell within maternal and infant nutrition and this interest shaped why I chose my thesis topics. My honors thesis focused on factors that influenced a woman's decision to breastfeed and we found that many dietitians were not involved in breastfeeding promotion or education. These findings made me want to look into the role of the RDN in breastfeeding education, which became my masters thesis topic. 
Through my research and the surveying process I met many others with similar interests and was able to network within this field and find opportunities. I gained a lot of knowledge from doing the background research which then pushed me forward within the field. I did part of my community rotation at WIC and I was able to shadow the breastfeeding peer counselor and other nutritionists giving breastfeeding advice. I also did part of my clinical rotation at Moses Taylor Hospital and, because I had not only expressed interests, but had proven my knowledge on maternal and infant nutrition I was able to work with this population. These were opportunities that not many of my peers had and I was able to further my knowledge and passion throughout these rotations. 
I am now working to become a lactation counselor and building a business catering to maternal and infant nutrition. I would not have the knowledge or passion to be able to accomplish my career goals without the background of both of my research theses."

Lauren Razawich, RDN, LDN

Lauren Razawich, MS, RDN, LDN, graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology concentrated in vertebrate physiology.   She went on to obtain her Master of Science degree in Nutrition from Marywood University in 2015.  Her master's thesis was titled, "Assessment of Dietary Intake of Individuals with Celiac Disease on a Gluten-Free Diet," which she went on to present at a poster session at FNCE 2016 in Boston, MA.  At Marywood, she was a member of the coordinated program.  During her acute care rotation of her internship at Geisinger Community Medical Center, she mentored under a group of brilliant dietitians, who helped to develop her passion for nutrition support.  Upon graduating, Lauren took her first position as a clinical dietitian with Sodexo at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Schuylkill.  During her time at LVH - Schuylkill, she was given the opportunity to work in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.  After 1.5 years, she took a new position as a clinical dietitian with Sodexo at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Cedar Crest in order to further her training and pursue her goal of working as a nutrition support dietitian in the critical care setting.  Currently, Lauren covers the oncology, transitional trauma, and neuroscience intensive care units, while continuing to mentor in nutrition support and critical care nutrition.  She plans to take the Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC) exam in the near future.

Cassandra Fox, RDN

I am a Project Coordinator for a nationally recognized non-profit, The Food Trust.  I work on our education team to provide SNAP-Ed programming throughout Allentown, teaching nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits in a variety of settings including elementary schools, corner stores, food pantries, community sites, and farmer's markets!  I absolutely love what I do and the impact our work makes at the individual and at the community level.  Through this work I also help to foster healthy environments and food access systems, including gardening and pantry work, and partnering with agencies in the community.  It's a great feeling when a kid tries a new vegetable for the first time and loves it, or when an older adult makes it a new habit to read nutrition labels!  The possibilities in the field of community nutrition are endless and so impactful!  


Emily Renninger, RDN, LDN

"After completing my coordinated internship and earning my bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Marywood, I pursued a retail job as a registered dietitian for Weis Markets. I have a passion for providing nutrition expertise and innovation to our customers, as well as our community. Food is a powerful tool in weight management, chronic disease prevention and management, and overall health promotion. My motto is keeping it simple and mindful. Whether your goal is weight loss, fueling up for workouts, tailoring to food allergies, or managing chronic disease, I’ve got all your nutrition concerns covered! My menu of free nutrition services include consultations by appointment, personalized shopping, tasting events, store tours, wellness workshops, and kids’ events such as scavenger hunts, cooking classes, and healthy eating workshops. Outside of work, you can find me running, cooking new recipes, or fishing with my husband!

Stay healthy!


Jessie Bitler

Jessie recently completed the combined MS and DPD program here at Marywood in January!

"For me, the decision to do master’s thesis was an easy one, because someday I may want to go on to get my PhD.  The more difficult decision was deciding on my topic, because there is so much out there to learn about.  Fortunately, one of the professors at Marywood was already interested in a topic that spoke to me personally, and I was able to work with her.  Current research is so needed in our field.  If you are not sure about your topic reach out to any of the professors in the department.  They are probably working on something, or want to work on something, and would be happy to help!"

students in philadelphia

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Just a few of our Interns at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia ! 

Students at Physical Exam Workshop

Nutrition Focused Physical Exam Workshop

On April 21st, senior Nutrition and Dietetics students, and DI interns, participated in an interprofessional Nutrition Focused Physical Exam workshop with PA students. The workshop was facilitated by PA program faculty member Ms. Kathy Whitney MPAS, PA-C and PA students in the afternoon. Students and interns attended an interactive lecture in the morning and gained hands on practice in the afternoon.

Alicia Blaine

Alicia recently traveled to Guatemala during spring break! "On our service trip to Guatemala, we worked with low-income families that are suffering from malnutrition and nutrition-related diseases. We worked together to find ways to relieve hunger and educate families on proper nutrition practices. My favorite part about the trip was having the opportunity to work with the San Lucas health promoters. They are extremely knowledgable in their field, and I learned so much from them. I also loved playing with the children on our lunch breaks! If you decide to go on a service trip, you can expect to gain an entirely new perspective. It’s truly a life-changing experience."

Rachel FNCE

Rachel Pacala MS, RDN, LDN

Rachel received her master’s degree from Marywood University in 2017, and she is also an alumnus of Maywood’s Onsite Dietetic Internship (2015-2016). She is currently the Outpatient Dietitian for Metz Culinary Management at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation in Allentown, PA. Rachel facilitates Good Shepherd's Nutrition Wellness Program, where she provides individualized nutrition counseling sessions for children and adults.  The emphasis of the program is to maximize nutrition and aid in the recovery from illness or injury. Rachel sees a wide spectrum of diseases and disorders including, but not limited to, the following: traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, feeding and swallowing disorders, overweight/obesity, diabetes, tube feed management, and neurological disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, and Parkinson's disease. Her additional responsibilities include participation in many community events, like grocery store tours, Good Shepherd open houses, and health fairs/wellness events.  Further, Rachel often presents to Good Shepherd support groups (i.e. the Spinal Cord Injury Support Group and the Stroke Support Group).

Rachel had the honor of presenting my Master’s Thesis at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) this past year in Chicago, Illinois. Her research is titled "The Effects of Nutrition and Exercise-Related Education on Eating Attitudes, Body Dissatisfaction, and Exercise Dependence in Health-Reported Majors Compared with Non-health Related Majors". Her results showed that there are no significant differences in eating disorder risk, body dissatisfaction or exercise dependence between majors, indicating nutrition and exercise-related education does not predispose students to negative eating attitudes. However, weight gain prevention programs may be beneficial for students' health, as well as for decreasing risk for body dissatisfaction and disordered eating, because the results showed the overweight/obese students in all majors being at highest risk.

To her pleasant surprise, the recipe that she submitted to the Food & Nutrition Magazine through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics was featured in the March/April 2018 Edition in the "Lazy delicious! Pilfer Your Pantry And Make Something Out Of Nothing" section. Rachel wrote about one of her favorite go-to "non-recipes" of a sweet potato and egg hash.

"My love for this field is forever growing. There is something new to learn every day. I have begun to share my passion for nutrition and cooking with others through my personal food blog and Instagram account: @guac_nroll. My short-term career goals focus on the publication of my Master’s Thesis in a nutrition-based journal. After I accomplish this, my future initiatives are as large as my appetite aka endless!"

Toni-Ann Triolo, M.S.

Toni-Ann decided to complete a thesis to finish up her masters degree:

"Just a little background on what I researched. Social media has a huge impact on society today, specifically adolescents. Many young dancers obsessed over social media to improve their own practice. However, when spending time on social media, young dancers may adapt unhealthy eating attitudes and behaviors. Dancers tend to watch videos, and look at pictures for motivation. These motivational tools may encourage poor behaviors to achieve an ideal thin body image. This study will measure how much time young dancers are spending on social media and if there is a relationship with unhealthy eating attitudes and behaviors. My study was a quantitative non-interventional, correlational study and will evaluate dancers ages 10-16 in Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) to determine if there is a relationship between social media exposure and disordered eating attitudes. Although there was no statically significant relationship between variables I found that there was a trend, and with a large participant size, there may have been a significant relationship.

Other than research methods, and statistics, I learned a lot about myself with this research project. Since I grew up as a dancer, and my participants were young dancers I was able to relate and see both perspectives of the studies. Also, I am a hands on learner, so it was inspiring to be able to take what I’ve learned from research methodology and statics and apply that knowledge to something I’m passionate about. Patience is key. My thesis has definitely increased how much patience and dedication it takes to complete my thesis. You read something over and over and it’s still not the way you want to word it. Also, participating in the research process and doing my thesis definitely changed the way I think. I have an extremely creative mind, and originally I had this whole project planned out in my head that wouldn’t have been realistic. I had to chop down, edit, and fine tune the project to make it realistic. Completing my thesis, showed me a side to my brain that I never thought I had. I’m able to look at certain instances with creativity and also ask where’s the science that backs that up. Working on my thesis and working in research methodology has given me the ability to read research studies appropriately. Originally it was a challenge to read a research articles and figure out what the key, significant parts were, but now that I’ve created my own, I know what to look for.

Currently I am in the middle of my dietetic internship. My thesis has improved the way approach situations.  Before agreeing to any statement, or any assumption that another dietitian stated I research that statement to determine the most appropriate outcome. Yes, eventually I would like to extend my study and work with the same age group but in a geological location where dancers are more likely to make a career out of their practice. The dancers I worked with were in NEPA, and they were dancing for an after school activity practicing for their recital. My next goal is to evaluate dancers who go to high school for dance and compete, and are looking to dance professionally.

Also, my thesis has inspired me to eventually open a private practice aimed towards the young athlete population. As I found in my research study, many young athletes view social media. Social media provides false information about many subjects. It’s important or young athletes to eat nutritious foods in order to avoid any injuries, and to improve their practice. Encouraging good attitudes and behaviors towards foods can improve the quality of life of a young athlete. I was accepted to present my thesis at the American College of Sports Medicine conference. I am forever grateful for this experience. Marywood has given me the tools to create my thesis and give me this opportunity. Also, the staff has done nothing but support me on this journey. I could not have done this without support and encouragement from Dr. Levine who’s my thesis advisor. He was able to answer most of my questions and if he didn’t have an answer he would do some research to any questions I had.  If I was ever frustrated, he would encourage me to keep pushing which I am grateful for. Completing my master’s thesis was a huge accomplishment of my life.  It has increased my confidence and improved how I communicate with others. Instead of agreeing with someone, I have the confidence to say, 'please give me a few minutes to look that up. I also gained a craving to learn more.' I love reading research articles and being able to relate to what I’ve done my own research on.

Although my thesis has increased my confidence, I feel like the overall classes at Marywood did as well. Coming into Marywood I was terrified to go up in front my class to present something I worked on. Before presenting my thesis at Marywood, I was nervous but then I remembered my first presentation at Marywood and I took a deep breath and realized how much the staff at Marywood has guided me and helped me grow."

Picture of Maria Wolfel

Maria Wolfel, MS RDN LDN

Maria is a graduate from the MS Nutrition program and the Marywood Dietetic Internship. For her completion of her masters, Maria completed a thesis! "Completing my Masters, dietetic internship, and thesis all at once has truly shown me the potential of what I can achieve and accomplish. You start out at the bottom of this in enormous mountain looking up at what you have to do to get to the top. Then, when you finally get there looking down at all the work you have done to where you needed to be, seeing that you have the capability to complete something so far beyond reach is so fulfilling because you didn’t know you have that capability. It takes a team, a very supportive team, and they know you have the ability but don’t tell you because they want you to find that out for yourself and for you to realize how much potential you really have. I can’t thank my thesis committee enough especially Dr. Diane DellaValle for never giving up on me. A research thesis has taught me so much more than just nutrition and research. It has taught me so much about myself and developing strong core values on how to be an ethical evidence-based professional that I will carry with me for the rest of my life."

Jennifer May, RDN

My name is Jennifer (Violi) May, I received my Masters in Sports Nutrition and Exercise Science and completed my Distance Didactic internship through Marywood University (2014 and 2015). My education and internship experiences from Marywood allowed me to emerge as leader in my profession. After graduation, I began as an Outpatient Dietitian at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System. After relocating to the DC metro area with my husband, I had the honor of working with active duty military and their families at Walter Reed. Nutrition was just one component of the integrative health and wellness team where we focused on the whole soldier including mind and body. I loved working as an Outpatient Dietitian but missed the more fast paced clinical world of nutrition. In the last year I worked as an Inpatient Dietitian and now will be stepping into a new role as a Clinical Nutrition Manager. The world of nutrition is always advancing and changing, but I am grateful for my education at Marywood as it gave me a well rounded education. The motivational interviewing skills, clinical nutrition knowledge, food service management background, and critical thinking skills that I gained from Marywood have allowed me to continue to advance in my career and pursue my passion in nutrition. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to precept and share these skills I learned at Marywood with the next generation of Dietitians. 

Austin Fernandez, RDN

After graduating from the DPD-Spanish emphasis program at Marywood, I started my dietetic internship and MS in clinical nutrition at NYU. I worked at a tech start up called Sage Project during my first semester of grad school. Their goal is to make nutrition data personalized and understandable. I helped on-board Whole Foods Market nutrition data and was even able to assist with food photography for the website. I never imagined that I would be able to use my degree working for a tech company! 

After my first academic semester at NYU, I started the onsite portion of my DI at New York Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. During my food service rotation, I was lucky enough to work on an interdisciplinary project with the Speech Pathology department. My classmate and I tested the patient food items and categorized them using the new International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI) guidelines. We were one of the first hospitals in the world to start implementing the new standards!

During my clinical rotations, I was able to work with an incredibly diverse patient population. I was surprised to learn that Half of all New Yorkers speak a language other than English at home. I used what I learned in my Social and Cultural foods class at Marywood when educating patients from a variety of different backgrounds. All of my practice in Spanish nutrition education during my study abroad experience in Costa Rica paid off! I found that I was speaking Spanish everyday.

I had a pediatric dental rotation at the NYU Dental School. I educated the children and their families about reducing sugar sweetened beverage intake and healthy childhood nutrition. I also learned about dental health from the dental residents. It was interesting to learn how nutrition effects dental health.

My last internship rotation was at Heritage Health and Housing in Harlem. I interned with their FNS program specifically for people with HIV/AIDS. I helped assess clients, provided nutrition counseling, and participated in group nutrition education classes. I was able to use foods from the community garden and from the food pantry to create practical, nutritious recipes for the clients to try at home.

After finishing my internship, I passed the RD exam (yay!) and was hired as a Clinical Dietitian at my internship site, NYP-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. I am happy to be back, working with the dietitians who mentored me through my clinical rotations. I cover the units for dietitians who are off, which means I get to cover every specialty from general medicine to critical care. My responsibilities include, assessing patients’ nutrition status including conducting a nutrition focused physical exam, diagnosing nutrition problems, recommending appropriate nutrition interventions, providing nutrition education, and communicating with all members of the medical team. I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of Clinical nutrition. Everyday there is something new to learn.

I have just 2 more classes to complete before I graduate with my MS this fall. I can’t wait to see what my career has in store. I am very thankful for everything that Marywood taught me. The Nutrition department always supported me, and encouraged my classmates and I to strive to become, not only skilled dietitians, but compassionate leaders in our field.

Sarah Pagnanelli

During spring break Sarah took the experience of doing a service trip in Denver, CO! "While in Denver, CO, our team served at food banks, hunger relief centers, a memory care facility, and a housing facility for families separated by immigrant detention. We also got to explore downtown Denver, as well as the Rocky Mountains! My favorite part about the trip was watching everyone on my team grow individually, and as a team. As a team leader, I loved watching the team open up with each other and with the people we served throughout the week, and watch themselves truly give their all to each and every thing we did. Experiencing something like a service trip requires you to completely immerse yourself into a new setting, so having team members to rely on and reflect with is such an important aspect. If you decide to go on a service trip, you should expect it to be one of the most life-changing experiences of your time in college. Expect to be taken out of your comfort zone and to have your perspectives broadened. Expect to grow mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Expect to be inspired, empowered, and changed by the people and places you serve. Expect to discover more about yourself and your capabilities, and to meet people who will change your life."

Alexis Hammer

Lexi chose to complete a thesis for her Masters degree! "Completing a thesis is a journey; my thesis journey has taught me many things, but the most important thing it has taught me is to not be afraid. Many people hear the word “thesis” and shy away because they know the amount of work and dedication that comes with a thesis, I was almost one of those people.  The reason why I was not one of those people is because I had an idea that I was passionate about, an area I felt needed more attention and research directed towards. Participating in a research process and my thesis has changed the way I think; I used to be afraid of failure, not getting the results I wanted, but completing research has shown me that experiencing failure welcomes other opportunities to learn by. Unfortunately, I did not get the results I anticipated with my thesis, but I used it as a learning experience because I did have a lot of personal gain in this process.  I can now say that I have the confidence to stand in a room full of people and educate and communicate to them better than I was able to do before completing a thesis.  Completing a thesis has allowed me to put several areas of course work that I had here at Marywood University such as research, statistics, and community nutrition into one project.  As I conclude my educational career and commence my dietetics career, I feel as if I am more prepared to enter the field as an entry level dietitian because of my decision and experience of completing a thesis."

Laura Niederer

Laura is a January 2018 graduate and recently was accepted into Duke University Hospital’s Dietetic Internship Program! She is very involved not only within in the Nutrition programs but in the campus as a whole. She is deeply passionate about her major and what she wants to do post-graduation. A little background of Laura is that she has been the SAND (Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) President since her sophomore year at Marywood. In this role she created a relationship with the Lifelong Learners Institution that still exists today. During her presidency, the membership of this organization nearly doubled; partially because she incorporated a sense of community within the club. She has also stressed to those younger than her how important it is to be involved which also increased the attendance of the activities the club held, (e.g. cooking demos). Within her three years of presidency she also organized attendance at the PA annual conference which brought many networking opportunities not only for Laura, but also the club. Another initiative that helped Laura show her passion for nutrition and dietetics was the country-wide GetFruved project. This project’s aim is to raise awareness about living a healthy life. GetFruved started on the campus of Tennessee-Knoxville and branched out to six other campuses. It has now reached over 90 other campuses! She has succeeded with trying to make Marywood a more healthy and aware campus. Not only has she increased her knowledge about nutrition through her academic career, she also was able to intern with a pediatrics RDN in a private practice while learning about intuitive eating practices. Like other students, she also had other jobs that indirectly related to nutrition, but it gave her transferrable skills. Laura believes having knowledge from more than one field will make you a more successful person. She hopes everyone can find their passion and be able to work in their dream job. Because, she believes, working in a field you’re passionate about will make you more curious and happier. Lastly, Laura recently received an award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Laura is not afraid to challenge herself, which is evident in her time with our department.  

Katlyn Bennett

During spring break Katie traveled to Puerto Rico for a service trip! "It was incredible!! This was my first ever service trip and I loved every minute of it. We were called down to the Island to help Hunger Corp with Hurricane Maria relief. We were placed in the northern region of the island and worked on a home for a woman and her two children. The hurricane has passed through over a year ago and there are still people without water, power, and homes. The southern half of the island is still out of power and it is hard to reach there because there are no road signs. They were blown/washed away in the disaster. 
My favorite thing about this trip was getting to know the people, the culture, and almost finishing that house. The people that were down there were kind and caring and I couldn't have asked for better hosts. The island was beautiful and the home that we were working on is going to be finished soon so that the woman and her two children will be able to have a home to call their own. I cant wait to see when it is finished. 
If someone is trying to decide whether or not to go on a service trip, I believe that it will change you in the best way possible. My eyes were opened to so many new things that can be applied from now to the rest of my life. I am more than blessed to have gone and experience this kind of service."

Photo of Christine and Colleague

A Bittersweet End

Christine Ovalle ended her MNT/Professional Practice rotation in the OR observing a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy with a fellow dietetic intern from Brooklyn College at Brookdale. She says the end came as bittersweet.

Intern Christine Ovalle

Everyday is a day closer #RD2be

Christine Ovalle is a Distance Dietetic Intern who recently had the opportunity to observe an MBS study performed in the OR.  

Interns at the FNCE Conference

FNCE 2017

Two distance interns enjoying the Ocean Spray Booth at the FNCE Conference. FNCE 2017 celebrated the ideologies of our founders while providing fresh perspectives on new opportunities within an ever-changing healthcare environment.

Student with clients in Guatemala

Guatemala Medical Mission Trip

On March 6, 2016, along with an interprofessional team of students, Emma Shank (graduate student in the Nutrition & Dietetics Department) and Mrs. Jessica Bodzio (Clinical Assistant Professor in the Nutrition & Dietetics Department and faculty adviser) traveled to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala for a medical mission. During the week, Emma trained a team of community Health Promoters to administer a customized Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) with Guatemalan mothers for the first stage of their research. After the training, Emma and Jessica visited with Guatemalan mothers to test the questionnaire. The purpose of this phase of the research was to assess and improve the questionnaire's effectiveness. The Health Promoters did an excellent job and provided much helpful feedback. Emma and Jessica are looking forward to furthering their research and continuing their work in the upcoming months.

KON Honor Society meeting

Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society

Congratulations to the 2015-2016 Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society inductees. Kappa Omicron Nu acknowledges undergraduate and graduate students who have shown outstanding dedication to their Nutrition and Dietetics course work. 

Despina Bubaris displays her research

Undergraduate Research Forum

Senior Nutrition and Dietetics student, Despina Bubaris, presented her research titled "Relationship Between Nutrition Education and Dietetics Students' Disordered Eating Attitude Eating and Behaviors" at the Undergraduate Research Forum at Marywood University. 

Jess at training students in Guatemala

Guatemala Medical Mission and Research

Clinical Assistant Professor Jessica Bodzio and graduate student Emma Shank recently traveled to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala on November 8, 2016 to continue their research and mission work with the Health Promoters of San Lucas Toliman. They set up the Health Promoters’ (HP) electronic tablets with the REDCap mobile application that included a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) that was piloted and custom designed by Jessica Bodzio and Emma Shank for this population. During their time there, they conducted day-long, group, hands-on training sessions with several of the HPs to orient them to the REDCap app, the FFQ, and the food models used to demonstrate typical portion sizes. Their following days there, they observed several of the HPs train other HPs in a train-the-trainer fashion. They also witnessed the HPs administer the FFQ to mothers who have malnourished children in the Child Health and Nutrition Program coordinated through Stanford University.

The data garnered through the customized FFQ will allow them to determine the dietary habits of these mothers.  This, in turn, will allow them to identify areas of nutritional deficit in the mothers, particularly those that have the potential to affect the quality of life of their offspring (e.g. iron, B12 and folate). They hope to use these findings to garner additional funding to initiate the development of sustainable programs that empower Guatemalan mothers by continuing to utilize the train-the-trainer model with the HPs.

Nutrition student in Costa Rica

DPD/Spanish Emphasis Study Abroad in Costa Rica

Senior Spanish DPD student, Austin Fernandez, is currently in Costa Rica sharing his wealth of knowledge in nutrition with local residents. Austin conducted a nutrition education program at a senior center and focused on portion control of common Costa Rican vegetables, fruits, and grains. He has also been taking cooking lessons and has learned to make piacadillo de papas, zanahorias, and hand made tortillas.

Students at the Wright Center Health Fair

Wright Center Health Fair 2016

SAND members attended the 2016 Wright Center Health Fair and 5K on October 16th. The event presented many opportunities for participants to check their blood sugar and learn about nutrition, exercise, yoga, and a variety of different therapies. Participants were provided healthy salads, warm apple cider, and opportunities to win prizes. Students Desire Wentzell, Anetta Pool, Katerina Nye, and Logan Ellis spent time connecting with the participants offering protein energy bites, 24 hour food intake analysis, and encouraging local residents to take advantage of the nutrition counseling services of local professionals.

Breakfast Demonstration

Build a Better Breakfast

Students participated in a Build a Better Breakfast Food Demo to prepare for professional practice in Community Nutrition. Students chose a few nutritious and balanced breakfast recipes to prepare and serve to their audience, The Lifelong Learners Club. The audience was pleased with how the recipes tasted and were interested in preparing some on their own! One member even complimented the students on their teamwork!

Students at the YMCA Health Fair

YMCA Health Fair 2016

On October 20th, SAND members attended the YMCA Senior Health Fair. Vendors included senior home care facilities and companies that provide activities for seniors to enjoy during their leisure time. Members had a table set up offering nutritional advice, specifically regarding fiber intake, and answered any questions the community had.

Students at Scranton University Health and Wellness Fair

Scranton University Health and Wellness Fair

SAND participated in the Scranton University Health and Wellness Fair. Students presented "Breakfast On-The-Go", a topic which featured quick and healthy options for the most important meal of the day. Participants were able to build their own parfait with either Greek or Traditional low-fat yogurt and a variety of toppings, all having amazing nutritional benefits. 

Student exhibiting at the MetLife Health Fair

MetLife's Nutrition and Wellness Fair

For National Nutrition Month, Marywood Nutrition and Dietetic DPD students presented at MetLife's Nutrition and Wellness Fair. The students provided samples, games, and information on five major food groups. The fair also consisted of Marywood Nursing students, who took blood pressure for the employees, Terra Preta, WOW, MetLife's Community Health Promotion Intern, and MetLife's corporate RDN.

Nutrition student at the Graduate Research Forum

Graduate Research Symposium

Graduate students from the MS in Nutrition and the MS in Sports Nutrition and Exercise Science programs presented their research at the Graduate Research Symposium held at Marywood University. Emma Shank presented her research titled "Determining Dietary Habits and Nutritional Deficits of Guatemalan Mothers of the Child Health and Nutrition Program of San Lucas, Toliman, Guatemala: Pilot Study", Lindsay Howard presented her research titled "Influence of Hydration Status on Cognitive Function and Skill Performance in Division III Collegiate Female Basketball Players", and Stacie Smith presented her research titled "Barriers to Participation in a Weight Management Program for College Freshman". 

Students at Tobyhanna Army Depot  Prevention Fair

2016 DPD Program Students Volunteer

Senior DPD students volunteered at Tobyhanna Army Depot for the Sept.16th Prevention Fair. The theme of the table and nutrition education provided was "Healthy Eating on the Go" which included informational handouts as well as recipe cards for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Salad shakers and samples of healthy snacks were given to Tobyhanna employees to enjoy.

Laura Niederer and Katharine Tebbetts

Soar Program-Sugar in Popular Drinks

At Fun Friday SAND members Laura Niederer and Katharine Tebbetts presented on sugar hidden in popular drinks to students in the Soar Program. 

Honor Society Honoree

Order of Mother Germaine O'Neil Honors Society

Dessy Bubaris was inducted into the Order of Mother Germaine O'Neil Honors Society. She will be graduating with a Citation in Honors.

DPD student Rebecca Huber

New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station

Current DPD student, Rebecca Huber, was recently published in an article produced by Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. The article provides great advice for students who want to avoid unwanted weight gain in college. 

Kristen Hendrix on PA Live

PA Live: Intern In the Kitchen

Laurie Waskovich was joined by her summer graduate dietetic intern, Kristen Hendrix, on PA Live: In the Kitchen who helped make the wraps and discussed the nutritional benefits of all the veggies they used.

Students at Kidstuff


Nutrition and Dietetics students participated in Kidstuff at Marywood University. Students provided children of different age groups with information on proper hydration by having them guess how many glasses of water they should be drinking and providing them with hydration facts.

Nutriion students teach SOAR students about fruits and vegetagles

Soar Program-Fruits and Vegetables

Students from Marywood Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SAND) visited SOAR students to make Fun Friday even more Fun with Vegetable and Fruit Bingo!

Students at the Community Health Fair

Community Health Fair

Students from the Social and Cultural Aspects of Food course presented at a Community Health Fair held at Marywood University. They prepared a lentil recipe and talked about MyPlate, portion size, and the importance of measuring ingredients such as salt and oil when cooking for both children and adults.

Student at the FNCE Conference

FNCE 2016

The Nutrition and Dietetics Department had a strong presence at FNCE 2016. Multiple members of the department presented their research at the poster sessions. Alumni Despina Bubaris, RDN, presented her undergraduate research: Relationship Between Nutrition Education and Dietetics Students' Disordered Eating Attitudes and Behaviors. Professor Diane DellaValle, PhD, RDN, LDN presented her research: What is the relationship between dietary intake, vitamin D status and systolic blood pressure in a cohort of children with metabolic syndrome? Lastly, alumni Lauren Razawich, MS, RDN, LDN presented her graduate research: Assessment of Dietary Intake of Individuals with Celiac Disease on a Gluten-Free Diet.

Students exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting and Exhibition

Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting and Exhibition

Graduate student Stacie Smith presented her research titled "Barriers to Participation in a Weight Management Program for College Freshman" at the 2016 Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting and Exhibition.