Alumni Spotlight

Chris Vogliano
Picture of Dietetic Alumni Vogliano

What year did you graduate and how did KSU DI Program prepare you for your career as a dietitian? 
I graduated from Kent State University's Dietetic Internship program at the end of 2012.  Kent State's program was an incredible way to begin my career as a dietitian, as the coursework was comprehensive and internship program was strong.  I found the diversity of experiences within the internship program to enhance my ability to translate classroom lessons into real-world experience.  I also appreciated the tremendous support from the faculty and other graduate students along the way. All things considered, I felt very prepared to enter the workforce after graduating from this program. 

Where do you work currently? Could you give an overview of your job?
Since graduating, I have held multiple in the space between agriculture, nutrition, and health. I'm a Ph.D. Candidate at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. Here I'm partnering with international organizations such as Bioversity International, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), and academics from multiple universities to promote sustainable and resilient food systems for the future.  My dissertation is focused on investigating food system transitions in the Pacific Island country of Solomon Islands, and how these transitions are impacting the health of the indigenous peoples. 

What advice would you give to current dietetic students?
If you can dream it, you can do it.  The incredible benefit of becoming a dietitian is the diversity of career paths available.  While most dietetic jobs are still nestled in the clinical setting (and these are important!), more non-traditional jobs are opening up all the time.  Often times companies and NGOs are unaware of the benefit dietitians can bring to their mission, and pitching them is a great way to become involved.  I'd also encourage current students to volunteer and become active in their communities of interest.  You'd be surprised how many doors open through personal and professional connections made during these experiences! 

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Nutrition and dietetics is a critically important role in today's increasingly unhealthy world.  Sustainably feeding 10 billion people healthy diets by 2050 without further damaging the planet is one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime. I truly believe dietetics have an essential role to play in this challenge, and predict there will be many more opportunities in the coming decades. I'd recommend researching some dietitians whom you find inspiring and reach out.  Even a simple email or phone call can help provide tremendous guidance when attempting to make a career choice.  


Lynne Hutchison, MS. RDN. LD.
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What year did you graduate and how did KSU DI Program prepare you for your career as a dietitian? 
I graduated from Kent State University’s Dietetic Internship Program in December 2017, and it was absolutely the best decision I ever made.  Coming from an undergraduate degree in Middle Childhood Education, I had unique experiences and skills in other fields that required a non-traditional class schedule to allow me to catch up and stay ahead in the program.  The Dietetic Internship program and all the faulty at KSU provided me the opportunities to build upon my background, foster my love for nutrition, and explore new ways to reach a diverse audience.  Without a doubt, I would not be where I am without the Dietetic Internship program and the dedicated KSU faculty! 

Where do you work currently? Could you give an overview of your job?
My first position after graduation was working for a small non-profit as the Program Director, providing health screenings and nutrition education, while launching a food rescue initiative to redirect excess produce from grocery stores and restaurants to local non-profits serving those experiencing food insecurity.  I have now transitioned to the position of Food Service Director for the Solon City School district and am thrilled to be back in the schools, educating students and parents and discovering new ways to have fun with healthy food!  

What advice would you give to current dietetic students?
Say “Yes!”  All of the wonderful experiences I had at KSU, my internship rotations, and positions have been a result of saying “Yes!”  There were times that I was nervous, scared, and felt like I was in over my head.  Despite that, I jumped in with both feet and learned more than I could have ever imagined.  While saying “Yes!” often leads to hard work, it will also open the door to new opportunities that will challenge you to be the best version of yourself and take you wherever you want to go in life!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
The field of dietetics is vast, varied, and growing by the minute, requiring prospective dietetic students to be voracious learners who are ready for a challenge.  Take time to explore the many different career paths that are available, research the latest science-based nutrition trends, and shadow dietitians working in your area of interest.  The more you know, share, and network, the more confident you will be when the time comes to apply to a program, internship, or position and prove that you are a lifelong learner and lover of nutrition and dietetics.


Dima Hassan, MS. RDN. LD.
Picture of Dima Hassan

What year did you graduate and how did KSU DI Program prepare you for your career as a dietitian? 
I graduated in 2014. KSU DI program gave me hands on experience in different professional settings, we worked alongside exceptional, knowledgeable dietitians and health care professionals who helped train and guide us through the internship process. The internship director and the mentor system were great, great support and communication throughout the internship time. I graduated and was ready to start my job right away, I felt prepared and well equipped to handle any challenges a new job might bring not to mention the support of your KSU DI network.

Where do you work currently? Could you give an overview of your job?
I am the Clinical Nutrition Manager at University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center/Sodexo. I manage day – to – day operations in clinical nutrition and food service areas, I oversee the provision of medical nutrition therapy by registered dietitians. I ensure Nutrition Service Department compliance with CMS, the Joint Commission and all federal and state regulatory organizations standards. Responsible for hiring, orientation scheduling, training, development and performance evaluations and ongoing quality monitoring of the nutrition service staff and dietitians.

What advice would you give to current dietetic students?
Think of every rotation and/or internship site as an ongoing job interview, you will be judged based on your character, work ethics, team work, and professionalism. Work hard, show curiosity and willingness to learn, and always be POSITIVE!

What advice would you give to prospective students?

Define your goal/goals, build your resume; volunteer experience shows diversity and commitment, work experience is great as well, apply for jobs that would add to your resume and health care experience, focus on what makes you stand out from all the other applicants, and write an exceptional statement of purpose.


Sean Mohney, MS. RD. LD.
Picture of Sean Mohney

What year did you graduate and how did KSU DI Program prepare you for your career as a dietitian? 
I graduated from Kent State University’s Dietetic Internship Program in December 2017.  The DI Program at KSU provided a wide variety of experiences that fostered my growth and development as an aspiring dietitian.  The challenging coursework provided current material coupled with real-world applications.  Coming from an Exercise Science background, the KSU program prepared me extremely well in my transition to becoming a Registered Dietitian.  The incredible faculty and staff offered a wide variety of expertise in various fields and dedicated themselves to aligning each students’ experience with their career aspirations.

Where do you work currently? Could you give an overview of your job?
I currently work at the University of Virginia as an Assistant Director of Sports Nutrition.  In my role as a Sports Dietitian, I support 12 teams including Volleyball, Wrestling, Softball, Men’s & Women’s Soccer, Men’s & Women’s Golf, Men’s & Women’s Tennis, Men’s & Women’s Squash, and Men’s Lacrosse.  I provide individual nutrition counseling, education, hydration testing, and body composition testing to athletes in order to optimize sport-specific performance.  In addition to supporting the student-athletes, I work closely with coaching staffs, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, team physicians, and sports psychologists to best support the performance goals of the team and individual athletes.

What advice would you give to current dietetic students?
Be coachable and don’t be afraid to fail!  We all have different skillsets, strengths, and weaknesses.  Come to rotations and classes with questions and bounce ideas off of your preceptors and faculty members.  Utilize these resources while they’re available to you. It’s also OK to say, “I don’t know, but I will find the answer and get back to you.”

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Find your passion within the field of nutrition and pursue it.  Research mentors in the respective area and follow them on social media platforms.  Join organizations, practice groups, and attend conferences.  Volunteer or shadow dietitians in your area of interest to build your foundation in nutrition and broaden your network.  The field is growing yet relatively small, so you never know when a connection may lead to your next career opportunity.


Lauren SteinmetzLauren Steinmetz, MS. RD.

What year did you graduate and which program(s) did you complete?
I graduated from Ball State University in 2010 with my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. I graduated from Kent State University in 2012 with my Master of Science in Nutrition.
 
What were some of your biggest challenges after graduating that shaped your career?
Finding a job was one of the biggest challenges, as there were many jobs available, but all of them wanted an applicant with ample experience.  It made me really re-evaluate what I jobs I was willing to take.  I applied to nearly 25 jobs in a span of 4 months, getting 3 interviews and 3 job offers, all in different areas of practice.  After realizing that money plays a big role in paying off my loans, the clinical position was able to best suit my needs.
 
While there many of the dietitians were complacent in their jobs, which made it challenging for me when I wanted to start trying new things, as well as, learn how to handle my critical care units.  Luckily, I have been able to challenge some of the other dietitians to take a more active role in ensuring patients get the best care possible. Slowly but surely I am able to make a change and start to really become an expert in nutrition on my critical care units.
 
Are you currently employed, and if so, where?
I am currently employed at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne Indiana.  I am the clinical dietitian for the coronary intensive care units.
 
What advice would you give to current/future interns trying to make themselves stand out?
Stand out by emailing people and organizations to see if they have any openings or explaining to them what you can offer their company.  Companies are impressed by that and it can usually turn out in the end.  Also, don't be afraid to questions things, whether it is standards of practice or a recommendation you might not agree with.  I have found the more you ask "why" the more privileges you get and the more people come to respect you.


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