Featured Member

 

Megan Woodraska

How did you become interested in dietetics?  I’ve known that I wanted to be a dietitian since I was in high school because it involves my two favorite subjects: food and science.  My first dietetics professor worked in an acute pediatrics hospital and was so passionate about her work, which I found so inspiring.  

What is something you enjoy about being a dietitian? I enjoy seeing patients becoming excited about cooking and eating healthy.  Knowing you helped someone make change in their life, however small, is very satisfying.  
How long have you been a dietitian? I became a dietitian in 2007 after receiving my undergrad from NDSU.  I completed by master’s degree in 2011 from SDSU.

What is your favorite part of being a dietitian?  It’s never boring – I like the variety of my work and the challenges that come with it.  The challenges allow me to be creative and problem-solve which I love.

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics?  There are a wide variety of jobs in the dietetics field so don’t be afraid to try something new.  I currently work in foodservice management but when I was going to school I only wanted to work clinical dietetics – I am so happy with the work I do now.

 

Featured Member Archives

 

Tiffany Krogstad

How did you become interested in dietetics? As an athlete in high-school, I trained throughout the summers and realized how interested I was in everything about exercise.  I loved learning about how exercise impacted how the body works.  Following my first year in college as an exercise science major, I completed a summer internship program with my trainer from high-school. During my internship experience, I realized the importance of nutrition for the athletes and patients I was working with. As a sophomore in college, I added the nutrition degree, and it has been my passion.

What is something you enjoy about being a dietitian? I enjoy meeting new people and helping them create healthier versions of themselves.  There is nothing better than seeing my patients make healthier lifestyle changes. It’s rewarding for me when someone starts feeling better about themselves.

How long have you been a dietitian? I have been a dietitian for seven years.  I’ve worked in a variety of areas, including a community setting implementing grants, long-term care, a wellness facility, and as a clinical dietitian.  In the clinical setting I have worked inpatient and am currently working as an outpatient dietitian at Sanford Cardiovascular Institute.

What is your favorite part of being a dietitian? One of my favorite parts of being a dietitian is working individually with my patients.  But I also love being part of a multidisciplinary team and trying to find different behavioral techniques to motivate patients.

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics? I was told during my internship, never to be a “cookie cutter dietitian” and always think outside the box.  There are many opportunities within the nutrition field, which is so exciting. One opportunity can lead to another and each opportunity is a chance to learn something new.  So take advantage of each opportunity.  The people you help each day will appreciate it.

 

Shelly Brandenburger

Shelly Brandenburger is a professor, part-time clinician (private practice) and mom (full-time job!) in Brookings, SD.

I came to dietetics the “long-way around”, having started my professional life 20 years ago as a chiropractic physician who specialized in nutrition in my education and dedicated much of my practice to the world of food & nutrition.  Shortly after graduate school though, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and knew that I wouldn’t be able to handle the physical demands of my first profession for long.  That led to a long and winding road, which ultimately gave me a Masters & PhD in Nutrition with completion of the RDN credentials along the way, and a transition out of clinical practice and into “academia”.  I like to say I have the best of both worlds as I get to practice part-time in my husband’s two chiropractic clinics while spending most of my days teaching future healthcare professionals, including future RD’s, in a variety of topics around health and nutrition. While I don’t practice in a traditional setting for RD’s, I’ve become very passionate about advocating for the role of the RD on the healthcare team – and about nutrition and the food system in general!   My advice to future RDN’s?  Get. Involved!!!  I believe we are at a tipping point in how we approach health in this country and can position nutrition as an important part of that future healthcare model if we all contribute our voices.  We see so much in the literature lately that’s beginning to “connect the dots” for our understanding of the role of food in our mental and physical health – and I couldn’t be more excited about the future as the rest of the world begins to recognize the importance of nutrition.  I’ve spent the last three years as your State Policy Rep (SPR) in SD and look forward to serving in my new role as your President-Elect in the coming year!

 

Leanne Kramer

How did you become interested in dietetics?  When I was in college for pre-nursing, I took my first general nutrition class and was hooked. Dietetics has advanced a lot since those days and I’m so glad I made the switch. It’s a field that has evolved from working in the kitchen to performing hands-on physical assessments in the ICU.

What is something you enjoy about being a Dietitian? I like working in the clinical setting and being involved in taking care of people without having to do all the hands-on nursing-type duties.

How long have you been a dietitian? I have been a dietitian for 27 years.

What is your favorite part of being a dietitian or is there a specific activity/something else you've found particularly rewarding?  I enjoy helping people improve their health, either recovering from a critical illness or improving their overall well-being. I am especially rewarded by seeing people re-claim their lives as they lose weight.

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics?  Knowing the science behind the guidelines is important, but so is knowing how to translate it in real words to people. Remember that all people are the same on the inside. Relax, you will make blunders. You may say or do the wrong thing at the wrong time (we all have), but you’re human, not perfect.

 

Scarlett Full, MS, RD

How did you become interested in dietetics?  My personal battles with weight and health in my teenage years, coupled with the life/health changes I experienced after randomly taking a basic nutrition course in college definitely lead to my interest in dietetics.

What is something you enjoy about being a Dietitian? I have to practice what I preach, so it encourages me to continue living healthfully, eating nutritiously and being a role model for my family, friends and "followers."

How long have you been a dietitian? A little over 4 years.

What is your favorite part of being a dietitian or is there a specific activity/something else you've found particularly rewarding?  It's definitely a reward to make a positive impact in people's lives using basic whole food and nutrition education.

Can you offer anything you have learned in working with your specific population?  I work in the wellness/supplement industry where consumers are easily influenced by "black and white" nutrition information (often coming from non-nutrition experts), rather than the "gray area" where nutrition and dietetics really lies and so it's a challenge to present information to them that is both impressionable, effective and accurate all at the same time.

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics? Yes! Just because a company or organization doesn't have a nutrition/dietetics-related job opening doesn't mean they don't need one, or can't benefit from one. Think outside the box and figure out how you can be an asset to that company given the versatility of our field of practice. Don't be afraid to offer your services.

If you could be paid for your job with anything other than a paycheck, what would it be?  Extra calories in the day ;)

Lisa Stark

Lisa Stark

 

 

Bio coming soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Helen Nichols

How did you become interested in dietetics?
When I was in high school and wondering what my career choice might be, my guidance counsellor had me take an interest inventory to help me determine what I would like to do. Because I grew up in a family with a mother who was into whole foods and emphasized the importance of what we ate, dietetics was a natural fit for me.

What is something you enjoy about being a Dietitian?
I appreciate the importance of food for well being and being able to share that with others. With my upbringing there was always a priority placed on what kind of groceries were purchased and the budget always allowed for good food to be available. Now when I meet with clients part of the discussion includes how to best work their finances to include healthy foods for groceries each week.

How long have you been a dietitian?
Since 1991.

What is your favorite part of being a dietitian or is there a specific activity/something else you've found particularly rewarding?
I really enjoy the variety of experiences available in the career of dietetics.

Can you offer anything you have learned in working with your specific population?
I started my career working with people with severe/ profound disabilities. Now, I continue to work with people with disabilities who have higher skill levels. I have needed to adapt most teaching materials for this population. Most people enjoy picture materials and they work well with all abilities.

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics?
The career of dietetics was a natural fit for all that I like to do. My personal interests of gardening, exercising and recipe development are all woven into my work life. Weave your own interests into your daily work and your career will continue to be personally rewarding.

If you could be paid for your job with anything other than a paycheck, what would it be?
We all have bills to pay and life has gotten a lot more expensive so I definitely need money! However, what I have recognized about myself over the years are the times when I have been asked or expected to compromise my personal and professional values. When I am in one of these situations no amount of money can make me happy. If I am not feeling good about myself and the work I am doing, it is time to move on. Feeling good about the work I am doing is very intrinsic to me.

Lizzie Kuckuk 

Elizabeth Kuckuk is the Registered Dietitian - Nutritionist for the Sanford Sports Science Institute in Sioux Falls, SD. She holds a BA in Russian and a BS in Dietetics from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Following her undergraduate studies, she gained experience in the field of nutrition through completing her dietetic internship and MS in Nutrition with an emphasis in Physical Performance at Saint Louis University. While at Saint Louis University, she conducted a graduate research study on endurance athletes and her coursework focused on nutrition, health promotion, disease prevention, physiology and cardiovascular fitness. Elizabeth enjoys helping athletes of all ages and abilities take a real foods approach to improving overall health and achieve optimal athletic performance. Elizabeth is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), Sports Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) dietetics practice group, and the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA).

Whitney Jerman 

Biography: Whitney Jerman is a Health and Wellness Program Manager for Midwest Dairy Council where she promotes programs like Fuel Up to Play 60 in schools and serves as a liaison to health professionals in South Dakota. She is also a spokesperson for Midwest Dairy Council conducting television, print and radio interviews.

Whitney earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food science with a specialization in dietetics from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. She completed her dietetic internship at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and earned a Master of Science Degree in Dietetics from SDSU. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and serves as an active board member for the South Dakota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Prior to joining Midwest Dairy Council, Whitney worked as a clinical dietitian in the hospital setting providing both inpatient and outpatient nutrition services as well as serving as a community resource with regular nutrition focused presentations for a variety of audiences.

How did you become interested in dietetics? 
I have always been interested in nutrition, dating way back to involvement with 4-H Special Foods when I was young.  Nutrition/dietetics combines my passion for food and cooking with the science I always found fascinating.

What is something you enjoy about being a dietitian? 
I enjoy helping people make healthier food choices by combining science and reality—and showcasing how healthy food tastes good.  I also enjoy helping people better understand where their food comes from.

How long have you been a dietitian?
5 years

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics? Explore opportunities. There are many unique jobs in the field of dietetics.  Follow your passion and be sure to examine your strengths when choosing a career. 

Marni Whalen

Marni currently works as the MOVE! Coordinator through the Veterans Administration Black Hills Health Care System.  Marni embodies the spirit of the dietitian both professionally and in her lifestyle choices. Due to her diverse work experience and her competence, she can be known as a resource and mentor for Dietitians.  In her current position, she is dedicated to helping veterans live better lives through improved lifestyle choices.  Marni has held positions within the Black Hills district dietetic Association and has served on the SDAND nominating committee for the past three years.  She is also an advocate for the profession, working to solve problems and promote the work of the RD.  Marni is a dedicated Dietitian working to better the lives of many and is well deserving of this award.

DeLaine Rasmussen, MS, RD, LN, CDE (Dietitian Nutrition Services, LTD)

How did you become interested in dietetics?
I have always been interested in nutrition and the fact that it plays such an important part in our health.  Two influences for dietetics were my Mom and 4-H.  Growing up on a farm in northeastern SD, I began learning at a young age how to cook, plan and prepare meals, garden, and preserve foods.  In 4-H I was active at the county and state levels and particularly enjoyed nutrition demonstrations, cooking competition, showing livestock, and participating on food and livestock judging teams.

What is something you enjoy about being a dietitian?
I love the variety in my work.   As a consulting dietitian I work with nutrition throughout the life cycle including health care, long term care, school nutrition, wellness centers, and community nutrition.  I enjoy teaching and promoting a healthy lifestyle.  Teaching people that small changes can make a big difference, helping them reach personal goals, and being there to support them is very rewarding.

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics?
Living in a rural community has forced me to look “outside the box” and promote nutrition and wellness services I can offer.  I have found that people, facilities, and companies are looking for unique services and appreciate a caring attitude with good business sense.  My advice - don’t limit yourself to just one aspect of dietetics.  Find your passion and build on it.  There are endless opportunities available and more to be created.  “Success is living up to your potential.  Live it, enjoy it, and feel it.”  - Joe Knapp

Mariah Weber

Mariah currently works at the SDSU Wellness Center as a Registered Dietitian and Wellness Coordinator.  She is the first and only RD and Wellness Coordinator for SDSU.  She started in her current position as a graduate research assistant and due to her professional capability and leadership, her position was changed to a full time position at the Wellness Center.  She is well respected by her clients, which include community members, students, athletes, and coaches.  Mariah is very supportive of the Dietetics profession as she does not hesitate to take the time to mentor practicum students and interns.  She can be seen across the community working to encourage healthy living by speaking to various groups or mentoring the HEROH student club on campus.   She also currently serves as the SDAND New Member Liasion.  Mariah is a great asset to the Dietetics profession and is well deserving of this award.

How did you become interested in dietetics?
I became interested in dietetics when I was a student athlete at SDSU. I realized my eating habits were not fueling my sport properly and it made me realize I needed to educate myself on how to improve my nutrition habits for maximum performance. I took an undergrad Survey of Nutrition class and the rest is history.

What is something you enjoy about being a dietitian?
I love working with physically active college aged students. The energy at my workplace is so high and students and community members are eager to engage in education and make lifestyle changes. I love helping patients set goals towards living a healthier life.  They come into nutrition counselling sessions excited about the small changes they have made and the big results they see. It’s very rewarding.

How long have you been a dietitian?
I have been an RD for 5 years.

Can you offer anything you have learned in working with your specific population?
I have learned that behavior change is key. The patient may have all the correct tools and knowledge for change, but if they are not able to implement the changes into their lifestyle, success rate is low. I really focus on the wellness coaching and behavior change piece within nutrition counselling so patients can focus on long term success.

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics?
My advice would be to be open about all job possibilities and practices within the field of dietetics. In my dual role as an RD and a wellness coordinator, I get to use my nutrition expertise and also plan and program for other areas of wellness. In the beginning of my career I had tunnel vision and focused solely on dietetics. I was really unaware of how other areas of wellness played a role in overall well-being, not just nutrition. Becoming a wellness coordinator has really opened up my practice and now I get to focus not only on nutrition, but on all dimensions of wellness.

Patty Cresalia (RC Youth & Family Services)

Biography: Patty Cresalia is currently working for a non-profit agency, Youth & Family Services located in Rapid City, South Dakota serving low-income families.   She has been a RD over 25 years.  In her current position, she serves as the “go to” nutrition resource person for Head Start teachers, staff and parents.  Currently she is working on a committee with Pioneering Healthy Communities. This gathering of members is in a grant collaboration effort with the YMCA to promote and encourage worksite wellness for business in the Rapid City area.

How did you become interested in dietetics? 
The lure towards dietetics came my third year in college. My mother strongly encouraged me to commit to a program of study that not only interested me, but also could support me.  I remember searching through the school course catalog and reading through the available majors.  The Foods and Nutrition major intrigued me with the blend of required classes that included science, business, management and food experimentation.  Once in the program, I became increasingly aware of the opportunities that could open up in a career working as a registered dietitian.  After graduation, I completed a twelve-month internship program that gave me mentored hands on experiences.  My favorite work area was in community nutrition and in wellness promotion.  Many years later, the focus on wellness and disease prevention continues where I find the passion in the work I take on. 

What is something you enjoy about being a dietitian?
I enjoy teaching, providing trainings, and responding to media requests covering a wide range of topics including child nutrition, food safety, parenting with food and the career promotion of the RD profession.  Over the course of my work history, I have been able to provide nutrition support and education to clients in a variety of settings from hospitals, clinics, dialysis units, community class settings and private homes. 

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics?
Find your voice to speak up and promote the profession.  Also, stay current on hot topics.
Finally, seize the opportunities to be creative and innovative as they come along.

Mary Beth Russell (Avera)

Biography: Mary Beth Russell, RD, LN, CDE, has been an RD for 19 years.  She is the Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Avera Heart Hospital, which is a 55 bed cardiovascular hospital.  Her passion within the field of dietetics centers around helping people achieve the whole concept of wellness and helping them understand exactly how much this benefits them personally. 

How did you become interested in the field of dietetics?  
I had the opportunity to shadow a dietitian during a high school class. 

What is something you enjoy about being a dietitian?
The image most people have of a dietitian is more like a teacher that wants people to eat well, but I see the image of a dietitian somewhat differently.  Dietitians are people who are invested in holistic wellness.  They embody someone who makes wellness a priority in their own lives and have passion for helping others achieve this as well.

Can you offer anything you have learned in working with your specific population?
Inpatient nutrition education is challenging and not always effective.  The best place to have the greatest impact on people who need nutrition education and lifestyle adjustments is in the outpatient setting. 

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics?
Nutrition is an ever-changing science so ongoing education and investment in current research is a must in this field. 

If you could paid for your job with anything other than a paycheck, what would it be? 
I’m a developer—watching others have small successes in achieving their goals is rewarding to me.

Lindsay Stern, MPH, RD, LN, CHWC

Biography: Lindsay Stern, MPH, RD, LN, CHWC has been a RD for over 6 years.  She currently works for Sanford Health Plan providing health information and screenings to employees in the workplace.   Within the field of dietetics, her passion is prevention.

How did you become interested in dietetics? 
I was interested in working in health and prevention and being an RD was a great way for me to promote health to others.

Can you offer anything that you have learned in working with your specific population?
People are overwhelmed these days with work, family, and obligations.  Talking to someone about taking small steps and working on one or two habit changes at a time can really impact their overall health.  Small steps make change less overwhelming!

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics?
Keep up on current health and wellness news.  Diversify yourself and learn about physical activity, smoking, and stress management.  Many people you work with will have multiple things that they would like to work on it is not all about food!

Jill Norman (ARAMARK)

Biography: Jill Norman, RD has been a Registered Dietitian for 10 years.  She currently works at ARAMARK, which is a company who offers services in nearly every facet of business—in and out of healthcare.  Jill is a district manager for ARAMARK’s Higher Education division and supports 9 colleges and universities in 5 states.  In this territory, she primarily serves college-age students.  Her focus is currently on the management of food service.  “I enjoy working with people and the changing environments we find on college campuses.”  Her passion is managing and leading a team of professionals to achieve a desired outcome while simultaneously providing innovation to a dining program.  Jill is also an SDSU graduate.

Can you offer anything that you have learned in working with your specific population?
This population (college students) is very interested in Health and Nutrition.  They want to be provided with education and information so they understand better the food choices they are making.  ‘Healthy Options’ means something very different for different students and finding out what "healthy" means to certain students can be challenging! 

How did you become interested in dietetics?
Jill was interested in Science and Chemistry.  She had a close friend who was a dietitian who encouraged her to go into the field.  

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics?
Dietetics in the Food Service Industry requires forward thinking and the need to evolve to meet the lifestyles of college-age students.  Technology has advanced their expectation of what the dining experience should look and feel like and how nutritional information is presented to them.

Holly Swee (SD Beef)

Biiography: Holly Swee, RD, LN, has been an RD for 10 years.   She currently works as the Director of Nutrition and Consumer Information for the South Dakota Beef Industry Council.  As such, she is responsible for developing, recommending, and implementing nutrition information programs, youth education programs, and food communications.  When it comes to being a dietitian, she enjoys the variety of working with so many different populations.  Her passion is helping people learning how to create healthful meals.

Can you offer anything that you have learned in working with your specific population?
I can’t say that I work with a specific population because I work with a variety of people within and outside of the state regarding food and nutrition programs and education.  I have a very unique and diversified job and truly enjoy it.

How did you become interested in dietetics?
As a child, I was always fascinated with food and experimenting with recipes with my family.  As I grew older, I became more interested in science and agriculture, primarily because my family farmed and ranched.  I started college majoring in Animal Science and after a few years of taking Animal Science courses such as Meat and Dairy Science, I had the chance to take an elective human nutrition course and soon realized my true passion was the study of food science and human nutrition.  It was at that particular point I knew I wanted to pursue a career in dietetics.

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics?
Decide what you are truly passionate about in the field, have future goals, and create a plan to get there.  Never forget that every position you work in, no matter how large of small, will be a stepping stone along the way and network with others.  Finally, one of my favorite quotes by John C. Maxwell is “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  I think this quote really pertains to many of us in the field of dietetics.  Dietitians have a ton of knowledge, but without being a good listener and building strong working relationships, that knowledge will never reach its full potential or be applicable to those who were are working with.  

Kendra Kattelmann, PhD, RDN, LN

Biography:
Kendra has been selected to receive the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Excellence in Practice in Dietetic Research Award.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Excellence in Practice Awards recognizes outstanding Registered Dietitians who have demonstrated innovation, creativity, and leadership in a specific area of practice.  One recipient is chosen nationally for each area, each year, and awarded to a member who has demonstrated exceptional performance, contributed to the advancement of practice, and been an effective and inspiring leader in nutrition-related organizations.
Kendra Kattelmann is a Professor and Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at SDSU.  She is a Dietitian who has touched the lives of many through her work and undoubtedly has the continued passion to make a difference.  She has worked in most all areas of the dietetics profession.  Her experience has enabled her to understand the qualities and education needed for her students to be successful in the working world.  Her extensive research through the years has given the profession guidelines to practice by.  Her professional involvement and advocacy for the profession on a state and national level is something to be recognized as well.  Kendra continues to have the passion and drive to work daily to better the profession of Dietetics.   The South Dakota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is honored to recognize and congratulate Kendra on this prestigious award!

Kayla Aman, RD, LN

Biography:
Kayla Aman, RD, LN has been a registered dietitian for 3 years and has received her CDR certification in Adult Weight Management.  The Hy-Vee grocery store in Brookings, SD is where she currently practices as an RD.  This job position gives her the opportunity to work with varying age groups—from young children to the elderly.

How did you become interested in the field of dietetics? I became interested in dietetics while taking a basic nutrition course as a nursing student at SDSU. The dietitian teaching the course was knowledgeable about her field and was passionate about the work she did. It was during a lecture about vitamins and minerals that I decided that I wanted to learn more about the dietetics profession.

Can you offer anything that you have learned in working with your specific population? I work a lot with people with food allergies. I also see a lot of people with Celiac Disease, whether they are newly diagnosed or have had it for years. Working at Hy-Vee has opened my eyes to the large variety of food products available for those on a gluten-free diet or those with allergies. The market for gluten-free and allergy friendly food has grown rapidly in the recent past. There are always new products being added to the market so it keeps me on my toes.

What is something you enjoy about being a dietitian? When I am working with a customer or someone whose family member was newly diagnosed with an allergy or Celiac disease they often think that they are going to be limited on the types of foods they can eat. Once I show them the variety of products available around our Health Market I can see a bit relief start to come over them. Once they see that there are still plenty of options for them and that they can still eat many of the same food there is a sense of relief that comes across their face and they relax a little. I enjoy being able to help them with their shopping and being able to offer them recipe alternatives.

December: Sarah Straight (VA)

Biography:
Sarah Straight, RD, LN has been a registered dietitian for 10 years.  At the Fort Meade Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) where she currently practices, she acts as the RD for the Home Based Primary Care program and for the Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders clinic.  Sarah’s passion within the field of dietetics is providing education to clients.  “I find it very rewarding to help someone make even the smallest change in their eating and/or activity habits and have them see the positive effect it has on their health.”

How did you become interested in the field of dietetics?  I always had an interest in the science and medical fields.  After "trying out" a few different areas during college I finally found my match in dietetics.

Can you offer anything that you have learned in working with your specific population?  The last two jobs I've had taught me to celebrate the little things.  In this profession you will come across a lot of people who are not ready to make changes but when you are able to make a difference for the one individual that is ready, it makes all the hard work worth it.

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics?  Don't be afraid to explore every possible option for work as a dietitian when deciding what you want to do.  I never imagined I would be going into people's home to provide nutrition education or working in a spinal cord injury & disorders clinic.  I didn't even know these options existed 5 years ago.

Kari Blasius (IHS)

Biography:
Kari Blasius, RD, LN, CDE has been a registered dietitian for 20 years. This past year Kari has worked as the senior dietitian and nutrition specialist at Indian Health Services in Kyle, SD. She previously held positions in a nursing home and hospital setting, and served the Ft. Thompson I.H.S.  Kari is a member of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps.  The USPHS Commissioned Corps is one of the country’s seven uniformed services. Kari enjoys the diversity of practice in dietetics.  “My days are never the same.  It keeps things fresh and interesting.”  Her passion centers around diabetes care.

How did you become interested in the field of dietetics? 
My mom's friend was a dietitian.  I went to a community event she had and knew that's what I wanted to do.  I was only a sophomore in high school and have known what I wanted to do since I was 16 years old!
 
Can you offer anything you have learned in working with your specific population? 
Listen first.  Talk less.  I think it shows respect to talk less.  People will tell you what you need to know to truly help them.  It’s amazing that you’ll find the true “nutrition” problem associated with something they’ve told you in their personal introduction.

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the field of dietetics? 
Trail your own path by keeping current and networking.

If you could paid for your job with anything other than a paycheck, what would it be? 
Patient success stories.  When they are told to others, it offers motivation to live healthier lives.

Outstanding Dietitian of the Year: Teresa Beach

Biography:
Teresa is currently working as a Community Education Dietitian at Sanford Health.  She is a committed, organized member of SDDA.  She is currently serving as Treasurer.  In networking with Teresa, it is obvious that her experiences in dietetics have made her a respected individual in the community. Teresa is involved in promoting nutrition education to the community in various settings.  She gives the Registered Dietitian in South Dakota, a voice.

How did you become interested in dietetics?
My Dad has type 1 diabetes and so I always had an interest in why he/we ate a little differently as so that lead to an interest in nutrition and metabolism.

How long have you been a dietitian? 17 years

What is your favorite part of being a dietitian or is there a specific activity/something else you've found particularly rewarding?
My favorite thing is working with people who are really ready to make a healthier change and realizing eating healthy tastes good. I also love working with kids and watching the “light bulb” go on when we talk about how food helps their bodies work better and do all the things they want to do – when they get excited about it that’s the best!