After completing her Dietetic Internship (DI) at Meredith, Stephanie (Ott) Antonelli, ’19, was motivated to continue her studies and pursue her Master of Science in nutrition to better serve her patients.
“One insight that I took from my internship was to have an entrepreneurial attitude and drive initiatives for my patients. I decided to finish my master’s degree at Meredith. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to.”
A practicing licensed registered dietitian at WakeMed, Stephanie serves as the main preceptor for the dietetic internship’s site preceptor pathway.
Stephanie has found that both her place of employment and her Meredith experiences have provided excellent environments to help her grow as a licensed registered dietitian. As a result, she has developed a greater sense of assurance in her knowledge base.
“I made a speech to the medical doctors at the hospital about malnutrition documentation, and I would not have been confident in doing so without the help from Meredith.”
As part of her studies, Stephanie completed her capstone project at Duke Raleigh Hospital, where she created a mentorship program and acted as a mentor for a Meredith College nutrition student. The project is a collaboration between Meredith College and Duke Raleigh Hospital for a student-driven mentorship experience with the department’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, as a supplement to students’ food service employment.
“The Mentorship Program has helped sharpen my leadership skills such as providing constructive feedback, maintaining a positive attitude, and guiding others.”
Stephanie said she also received expert guidance from her faculty. For instance, in her research methods course, Jennifer McMillen, assistant Professor and graduate program director for nutrition taught her how to write a literature review correctly. In collaboration with her professor, another Meredith student, and other dietitians at the hospital, she used that knowledge when drafting an article about the mentorship program. The article has been submitted to The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for possible publication.
Stephanie said overall, her experiences in both the Dietetic Internship and M.S. in nutrition programs have prompted professional, academic, and personal growth. She is excited to apply what she has learned at Duke Raleigh Hospital and continue to grow as a dietitian. She is also eager to take on her role as the DI clinical preceptor.
“Meredith has made me strong and confident. I aspire to be strong for my patients by providing medical nutrition therapy and helping motivate for dietary change, and I look forward to continuing to work with Meredith College students and interns to assist them in reaching their goals as well.”