Food and Nutrition
Promote a healthy lifestyle.
As the connections between food production, food safety, and food access to health and wellness are revealed, the role for trained nutrition professionals will expand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nutrition jobs are expected to grow by 9 percent over the next seven years.
Meredith's food and nutrition program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible to apply for dietetic internships that provide supervised practice, enabling students to take the national professional examination to become a registered dietitian. A degree in foods and nutrition provides a strong knowledge base in the sciences, including nutrition, and in communication, problem solving and teamwork skills.
Graduates not wishing to become registered dietitians can pursue careers in nutrition education (through WIC), sales (including pharmaceutical, food and equipment sales), product development, foodservice management and public policy or health fields.
Meredith's food and nutrition program is unique in that it has a comprehensive set of programs that provides a student an accredited undergraduate education (or DPD program) and a nationally recognized and accredited dietetic internship program. Together, the two programs provide the academic and professional training to obtain the RD or registered dietitian credential. In addition, Meredith has a graduate program in nutrition leading to a master of science degree.
Students have numerous opportunities for professional development. They can join the Meredith Nutrition and Wellness Association (MNWA), a student-run organization. Presentations given by area professionals introduce students to the varied career opportunities in dietetics. The MNWA participates actively in community programs including the Meals on Wheels, the Interfaith Food Shuttle, Urban Ministries, the Poe Center, and Eat Smart Move More NC initiatives. MNWA members also engage in fundraising activities. Information about the field of nutrition is provided and students meet practicing dietitians. The Raleigh District Dietetics Association (RDDA) holds meetings on campus to encourage student participation. The MNWA joins with the RDDA in sponsoring mentoring events for practitioners and students. Being a MNWA officer or committee chair is an excellent leadership opportunity.
Meredith's food and nutrition program offers numerous and varied research and internship opportunities. Students in the program are encouraged to explore the field through research, working with faculty members on their projects or developing projects of their own. Past research projects have involved topics such as global hunger, culinary traditions of Italy and organic foods.
Recent examples of internships completed by Meredith students include:
- Interfaith Food Shuttle – Students teach ‘Cooking Matters” and “Backpack Buddies”; work with teach garden
- Urban Ministries - Students developed nutrition education for diabetic clinic clients (English and Spanish)
- Eat Smart Move More NC - Students have instituted ESMMNC programs such as developing a campus walking map, campus access and promotion for community supported agriculture (CSA), research for a dedicated lactation space and healthier catering options
- Poe Center - Students have worked on nutrition education programs for school age children to older adults
A food and nutrition degree prepares students for a wide array of potential careers as well as graduate study. Recent graduates are engaged in a range of professional and academic pursuits, including:
- Graduate programs in nutrition, nursing, and sustainability
- Clinical dietitians in hospitals and long-term care (Rex; Wake-Med; Durham Regional)
- Child nutrition directors (Johnston County and Harnett County)
- Public Health - Women, Infant, and Child Nutrition (WIC)
The North Carolina Dietetic Association has a scholarship for majors (DPD) as does the American Dietetic Association.
In addition to these discipline-specific scholarship opportunities, Meredith offers a range of merit and need-based financial assistance. Last year, Meredith coordinated $42.8 million in financial assistance.
Meredith’s student/faculty ratio of 11:1 and average class size of 17 ensure that students get to know their professors. In turn, our faculty know students by name and, just as important, are familiar with each student’s unique strengths and interests. This allows faculty to identify interesting research and internship opportunities for students, to write meaningful letters of recommendation, and to support students as they conduct in-depth undergraduate research. In fact, students and faculty frequently work together on such projects—more than 140 were conducted by student/faculty teams last year.
Food and nutrition faculty include:
- Susan Fisher, Ph.D., RD, LDN. Fisher teaches in both the food and nutrition undergraduate program and master of science in nutrition program. In addition to nutrition, she is interested in health, wellness and policy issues for older adults.
- Bill Landis, Ph.D., RD, LDN. Landis is the program coordinator for the food and nutrition program, and is the director of the M.S. program in nutrition. His interests and research background include local and organic foods, sustainable diets and methods of food production, vegetarianism, and sports nutrition.
- Cathie Ostrowski, M.S., RD, LDN. Ostrowski is a registered and licensed dietitian. She has been the Director of the Dietetic Internship Program at Meredith College for 5 years.
For more detailed information about the food and nutrition major, please go to the program website.
For information about other majors at Meredith, return to the Admissions majors page