Food Day is a national grassroots movement for a healthier and safer food system in America. In 2011, the first year of the movement, I created an event at Montana State University to educate students and the public about the movement and its goals. The first year we had about 45 people volunteer and over 100 people attend. The following year our event grew to over 500 attendees and the event has continued to grow. Each year we have educational booths about nutrition, gardening, cooking, exercise, food access, eating local, and, of course, we hand out free food. We also show a movie in the campus movie theater followed by a panel discussion with stakeholders from our local food system. Montana State University Food Day has now become a required class project for Nutrition In The Lifecycle and will hopefully continue for many years to come.
I became a member of MSDA in November of 2010. I attended bi-weekly meetings and participated in volunteer activities. I saw that the clubs full potential was not being reached so I ran for president in the spring.
In the fall of 2011, I took over the presidency of MSDA. Before the semester started, I held a meeting with the officers where we brainstormed ideas to improve the club for the up coming year. The officers approved the logo that I created (at the right). I assigned a duty and a project to each of them for the year. It was suggested that many students did not check their email regularly enough to receive meeting reminders and texting them would be a better option. This actually worked out very well. We increased meeting attendance from five people to over thirty. We also more than doubled membership by going to all nutrition classes recruiting members. We made it easy for members to stay up on what the club was doing by email and keeping our website up-to-date.
In late September, I learned of the Food Day movement through a Montana Dietetic Association email. That is when I decided to create MSU Food Day. We put together the first Food Day in less than a month for $300. We had over 40 volunteers, 20 booths, and 100 attendees. It took the entire club and three other people that stepped up to lead to pull this event completely together. It was an amazing team effort that created an event strong enough to continue in the future.
Other volunteer activities and member opportunities that the officers and myself arranged for the club included the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, Big Sky Youth Empowerment Program, United Blood Services, 5-A-Day-5K, Latex & Lace, Paint The Town for Homecoming, National Alliance for Mental Illness, FNCE San Diego, CPR Class, Internship Process Workshop, Newsletter, Haven House, Senior Center, Tour De Cure, Catapalooza, Local Food Fair, and After School Program. I also did my best to keep the members up-to-date on volunteer and educational opportunities.
I have been a member of the MTAND since May of 2011. I have attended two MTAND FNCE's, Kalispell 2012 and Bozeman 2013, both of which had wonderful, informative speakers. Every time I attend a FNCE, I am even more excited about entering the dietetics field.
This year, I was elected the student liaison for MSDA, MTAND, and The Academy. As the liaison, I am a non-voting member of the Board of Directors. The previous student liaison suggested to the board that they update their website and logo. I conducted an informal survey of the members at MTAND FNCE Bozeman and found that the members were most fond of the Maryland Dietetics Association logo. One member, Dale Hayes RD, suggested that she thought our logo should include movement. I researched how many state dietetics associations had changed their names from association to academy and found that over 30 states had already changed to academy. I suggested, with the list of states that had changed their names, that we change our name as well and this would be the time to do it with our new website. The members voted to change the name and use the logo above.
I have been a member of the Academy since May of 2011. In 2011, I attended FNCE San Diego with three other Montana Student Dietetics Association officers. We attended all of the student workshops and had a wonderful time exploring the expo floor. In 2013, I attended FNCE Houston with five other Montana Dietetic Association board members. This time around I was able to attend one of the House of Delegates meetings with our current delegate! I had such a wonderful time brainstorming with current members of the industry about the future of dietetics. I cannot wait to be a delegate someday. I read The Academy's email everyday and try to stay update on all nutrition related issues.
I was inducted into the Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Society - Epsilon Chapter, the family and consumer science honor society, in the spring of 2012. MSU has the fifth oldest Phi U chapter in the country and our 100 year anniversary is coming up in 2017! I was elected Publicity Chair for the 2012-2013 school year. As the publicity chair, I was responsible for updating the clubs bulletin board for which I created three posters, two are shown below. Other volunteer activities that I participated in through Phi U include a bake sale, wrapping presents for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and standing a street corner asking for money in 9 degrees fahrenheit for the local homeless shelter, The Warming Center. This semester, Spring 2014, I designed the booklet Phi U created for freshman leaving the dorms and moving out on their own. The booklet is currently located on the home page of my website.
The mission of Expanding Your Horizons is to inspire girls to recognize their potential and pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). There is still a lack of female representation among these fields and this program works to decrease the gap.
About 200 middle school girls from around Montana came to MSU for a day of fun and learning about STEM fields and careers. An initial assembly in the largest lecture hall on campus explains the program and the day to the girls with a talk from a girl that actually participated in the program as a child that went on to get a degree in mathematics and work for NASA. Then we spent the day touring labs on campus and listening to women talk about working in the field.
Bioscience Montana is program designed to connect 4H students in middle or high school to biomedical science students at Montana State University. The program is funded by the Science Education Partnership Award, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health. I was part of the pilot program, which started in January of 2012. We worked with the students a few times in person in neuroscience, microbiology, and biochemistry labs. Then we communicated via chat, email, and messaging on a website that only members of the program could access. The following year, the program was a yearlong and we communicated with the students in person on campus and on Google Plus.
Until I was 20, dance was my life. I went to dance 4-7 days per week for 13 years. It made me a strong confident performer and person. After studying jazz, tap, ballet, and more in Bozeman, MT and throughout the country and winning numerous awards I was ready for a new challenge. I started teaching when I was 16 years old. I had my own dance team, which was a huge responsibility for my first year teaching. Teams require many hours of work every week in and out of the classroom and weekend travel. The following year I was given control of our most advanced team and we were able to accomplish amazing things together including multiple overall high scores, specialty awards, and best choreography. I still love to dance to this day and know it will be a part of my life forever.