Foods & Nutrition Faculty and Students Travel to Atlanta

This year’s annual Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) was held in Atlanta, Ga., from October 18-21. FNCE is the premier professional conference for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) – formerly the American Dietetic Association (ADA) – showcasing current research, presenting relevant educational sessions, and gathering professionals across the varying landscape of food and nutrition.

There were over 9,000 in attendance at FNCE. Meredith College sent 10 nutrition graduate students, two undergraduate students, 30 dietetic interns, and three faculty and staff representatives.

From the beginning of the conference, the stage was set by a personal video sent to FNCE attendees from First Lady Michelle Obama. She recognized dietetics professionals as vital in the fight against chronic diseases. She thanked nutrition professionals for the hard work to date and encouraged attendees to continue persevering in the face of ever-rising obesity rates, especially with regards to our youth.

The rest of the weekend provided educational opportunities for current and aspiring professionals on various topics such as recent developments in sports nutrition, school nutrition and wellness, the role of our gut bacteria in obesity, and the role of nutrition in cancer treatment, just to name a few. In addition to the educational opportunities, FNCE and the AND were delighted to highlight the myriad of both traditional and unique careers and pathways, which provided students with a lot to think about.

Meredith College students – welcomed both as students and as assets to the future of nutrition – particularly enjoyed the camaraderie experienced with the diverse professionals and trailblazers in the field. This experience allowed students to network in a unique way, getting one-on-one interaction with professionals across the spectrum of food and nutrition, including the current AND President Sonja Connor.

Two graduate students and one dietetic intern were chosen to participate in the FNCE Student Host program. As ambassadors for their program, FNCE Student Hosts volunteer a few hours of their time and are compensated with free conference registration and exceptional networking opportunities with professionals in their field. Meredith College was further highlighted at FNCE during the presentation of research by alumna Catherine Pelone for her work done with Dr. Susan Fisher over the course of her graduate degree.

Overall, FNCE was a most rewarding experience. All that attended advice: if provided the opportunity to attend a conference in your field, take it! It would be most beneficial to attend, network, and make the most of the experience.

Thank you Dr. Susan Fisher, Dr. Bill Landis, Ms. Cathy Ostrowski, Nelson Reames, Megan Keesee, Kathleen Maloney and the entire Food & Nutrition group for attending FNCE and representing Meredith College and the Dept. of Nutrition, Health and Human Performances with such poise and professionalism.

—Written by nutrition students Megan Keesee, Kathleen Maloney, and Nelson Reames

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
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