Dustin Moore and Carissa Chandler, graduate students in nutrition and dietetics at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), have been awarded 2013 Patricia Rathmann Hartford Dietetic Internship Scholarships.
Established in 2007, the dietetic internship scholarship was created with a $10,000 endowment from Rathmann Hartford, who was one of the first alumnae from the campus’ undergraduate nutrition program in the mid-1960s. Moore received a $400 scholarship, and Chandler received $200.
Moore, 26, is a full-time student and working rotations for the dietetic internship, putting in eight hours a day at various facilities and gaining experience in different dietetics fields.
“In the fall I worked in a hospital kitchen learning about food service while also preparing and distributing meals to sick patients. After that, I spent time working at an eating disorder facility for teenagers,” noted Moore, who already has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics with a minor in Spanish. He expects to complete his master’s degree in nutritional science in May 2014. “Currently I am learning about medical nutrition therapy while working at UCI Medical Center.”
Moore said he was very surprised when he found out he had been selected for the scholarship, but also pointed out the timing couldn’t have been any better as he prepares for the registered dietitian (RD) exam that he will take at the end of the summer.
“Nothing that I hope to achieve can be done without becoming an RD, which makes this scholarship very important to me,” Moore explained. “When I am officially an RD, I hope to have a private practice and work in the fields of pediatrics and eating disorders for teens.”
Chandler, 30, said she was pleased to learn she had been selected for the scholarship.
“I was flattered due to the fact that this scholarship was open only to our intern class,” pointed out Chandler, who has an undergraduate degree from Oregon State (2005) and completed her post-bachelor’s schooling at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego (2011). “These are colleagues I have a great amount of respect for, so I know the selection committee must have had a difficult time choosing a recipient.
“This scholarship helps ease the burden of being an intern—every little bit helps,” she added. “People don’t understand that we essentially work full-time for free for an entire year while also paying tuition, housing, gas, etc., for a year. It is a huge financial burden.”
Chandler, who will finish her studies in nutritional science and dietetics at CSULB this summer, said she is excited to begin working in dietetics after she obtains her RD credential.
“I have worked in the food industry both full and part-time for over 10 years. I love food and seeing the scientific, clinical and business side of food has been a blessing,” Chandler said. “In a few years, I hope to be working in corporate wellness while also having a private practice working with children with special needs and prenatal mothers.”
Moore and Chandler received their scholarships in late March, and with March being National Nutrition Month, Gail Frank, professor of nutrition and director of the nationally accredited Dietetic Internship Program at CSULB, thought announcing the award during that this time was especially appropriate.
She also believes that this spring’s student recipients reflect well on the CSULB nutrition program.
“Dustin and Carissa are outstanding interns and model the diversity of interests of our graduates,” said Frank. “From pediatric nutrition to wellness to prenatal nutrition care, CSULB dietetic interns will serve our Long Beach community in the coming years to benefit the public.
“We, as a nation, are facing so many major challenges with diabetes mellitus, obesity, cancers and heart disease, that young nutrition professionals must step forward to change the course of disease in our multicultural society from infants to older adults,” Frank continued. “The Patricia Hartford Scholarship is a tremendous help for our students to complete their education and become the professional RDs needed to address these problems with healthy eating in all phases of life.”