When Elizabeth Hurley, ’16, M.S. in Nutrition, completes her Dietetic Internship in the spring of 2017, she feels eminently prepared to enter her field of choice.
That sense of confidence is validated by the accolades she has already earned for her work in nutrition: she was named the North Carolina Dietetic Association Outstanding Dietetic Student of the Year in 2017, recognizing her impressive record in academics, service, and leadership. And in 2016, she received Meredith’s Food and Nutrition Graduate Award for Leadership.
“I enjoy empowering others to get involved and be passionate about their work. During my time at Meredith College I was able to really grow as a leader and I found that when you are passionate about what you do, and you share this with others, it brings everyone up,” said Elizabeth.
Elizabeth served on the Campus Kitchens Project leadership team and as a Nutrition Graduate Student Association leader. The Campus Kitchens Project is a non-profit organization aimed at reducing food waste and food insecurity in the local community.
“Volunteering with the Campus Kitchens Project was an incredibly rewarding experience and enhanced my education in many ways,” said Elizabeth. “Working in the kitchen in Belk Dining Hall to prepare meals for an after school program helped me to appreciate food service, food safety, and the importance of Registered Dietitians in the food service setting.”
Elizabeth also worked to raise awareness and garner support for the nonprofit organizations Stop Hunger Now and No Kid Hungry. She helped plan a Stop Hunger Now event on Meredith’s campus in 2015, during which the community raised over $6,000 and packaged over 17,000 meals in 2 hours.
“It was incredible to see the Meredith College community, graduate and undergraduate students alike, come together to put on such an incredible event. I remember dancing to a Thomas Rhett song while pouring rice into the meals and just having the best time,” said Elizabeth.
Because she went to a large public university for her undergraduate degree, Elizabeth appreciated the small class sizes and availability of professors at Meredith. Their support was especially helpful when completing her Master’s thesis.
“I completed my thesis on probiotic supplements with the microbiology department. I am passionate about the gut microbiome. When I decided to complete my thesis I had never done research in a lab before and I was excited for the challenge,” said Elizabeth.
After completing her Dietetic Internship, Elizabeth plans to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian and apply for jobs in food service management in the Triangle area.
“The Meredith College community is unlike any other; the program really prepared me for my dietetic internship and my career in nutrition. Additionally, I met some of the most amazing classmates and friends through the program. I cannot speak highly enough of my experience.”