Who We Are | Nutrition and Dietetics | Kent State University



Chatting with Current interns

Dietetic Intern Siera HolleySiera Holley

What inspired you to pursue a career in nutrition?
When I started running in high school I began to notice that what I consumed had a direct effect on how I felt during and after practices and meets. I found it fascinating that the body’s reaction to exercise was so closely correlated to what was being consumed, as well as when.

My mom recommended looking into the career of becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). At the time, I had no idea what a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) was. After a mentorship experience and volunteering, I was interested in learning more about promoting and educating others on maintaining healthy lifestyles naturally through nutrition and exercise.

What has been your favorite rotation during the internship program? 
I really enjoyed my rotation with Karen Kawolics at the Cardinal Health Fitness Center. It was a unique experience because it involved engaging in physical activity every day, in addition to providing nutrition education. It was fun to watch members set goals, both nutrition and fitness related, and assist them in achieving them. The staff and members of the Fitness Center were constantly encouraging one another and created such a welcoming, positive atmosphere.

How do you think the KSU internship program will prepare you for life after graduation?
When researching dietetic internships, the leadership concentration incorporated into the Kent State University Dietetic Internship attracted me to the program. Our conversations, readings, and development of a personal leadership philosophy will be taken with me beyond the profession. Recognizing the attributes I look for in a leader has helped me better understand the type of leader I aspire to be. Nancy created awareness of the impact leadership has on achieving successful outcomes, which is influential in all aspects of life.    

Dietetic Intern Tiana DanielTiana Daniel

What inspired you to pursue a career in nutrition?
My personal experiences that I have had with nutrition such as weight management, family members dealing with nutrition-related diseases, and an overall interest of how nutrition can affect the body. I wanted to be a part of the solution to healthcare and nutrition-related disease by providing proactive and preventive care. 

What has been your favorite rotation during the internship program? 
My favorite rotation during the internship was my summer clinical rotation at Hattie Larlham. I woke up every morning eager to get my day started when I was there. Since this was a very special population that I was assessing, I learned so much from hands-on experience with tube feeds, pediatrics and medical nutrition therapy.

How do you think the KSU internship program will prepare you for life after graduation?
KSU program has definitely prepared me for life due to the variety of rotations that I was able to experience. From Aultman Weight Management to going all the way to University of Miami Hospitals in Miami, Florida, I was able to see a wide spectrum of how a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDn) is essential to all aspects of healthcare. The best part about the internship was developing a relationship with the faculty that will last a lifetime. I have never had such a supportive group of professionals that were able to lead me in the right direction with constructive criticism and kindness. 

Dietetic Intern Brooke BarleyBrooke Barley

What inspired you to pursue a career in nutrition?
I decided to pursue a career in nutrition because I was inspired by the role nutrition plays in chronic disease. My family has a history of chronic disease and growing up, I had never had a strong emphasis on eating healthfully or staying in shape. After taking classes in nutrition and changing my own nutrition and lifestyle habits, I saw first-hand how much proper nutrition impacts health and wellbeing and became inspired to help others lead a healthier life. 

What has been your favorite rotation during the internship program? 
My two favorite rotations during the internship program were my school foodservice rotation at Lake Local Schools and my special community rotation at Summa Bariatric Care Center. My favorite part of my school foodservice rotation was helping to implement new and creative menu items to meet the new nutrition standards for the National School Lunch Program. My favorite part of working in the Bariatric Care Center was seeing the passion that the Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) have for their patients and seeing how important of a role a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is in this type of facility.

How do you think the KSU internship program will prepare you for life after graduation?
I feel very well prepared to enter the field as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) after graduation having completed the KSU program. I feel that my experiences were very well-rounded and I feel able to pursue a job in any area of dietetics. I have been able to establish many connections in the field through the internship and have gained valuable research experience through completion of my Master's thesis. I am motivated to use all of the experience I've gained through the program to make a positive impact in others' lives as I progress in my career.




Dietetic Intern Aziz Alfarhan

Abdulaziz "Aziz" Alfarhan 

was a 2011 graduate of KSU's Combined Dietetic Internship and Master's Program and is from Kuwait. His focus is on Arab international student's diets. Read on for more information on his journey.

What inspired you to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)?
The relationship between nutrition and health outcomes, the secret effects of nutrients in the body, and the role of nutrition in disease prevention and management.

The KSU dietetic internship encompasses multiple areas of dietetics including clinical, foodservice, community, and others. Which have been your favorite rotations?
The WIC rotation was my favorite since it involved nutrition counseling and education. I also enjoyed the clinical rotation, because it helped me increase my knowledge in nutrition and disease management, lab values, and pharmacology.

How do you feel Kent State has prepared you to become a successful dietitian?
I have been exposed to a variety of learning opportunities, especially in the internship program. Kent State has also helped me clarify my future goals and influenced my decision on what I am going to do next. The nutrition faculty were very responsive and helpful.

Do you have any advice for international students who are interested in the field of dietetics?
I would strongly advise them to consider Kent State's combined Master's and Internship Program. It prepares you very well for a diversified career.

Dietetic Intern Dima Hassan

Dima Hassan

graduated from the Dietetic Internship/Masters program in 2014. She came to Kent State University from Syria. Read on to find out what made her decide on a career in nutrition and why she chose Kent State!

What inspired you to pursue a career in nutrition?
I come from a big family of six sisters and one brother, mom and dad, not to mention my extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. In our family, food has always been considered a way of expressing your love and care towards others. Our holiday family dinners are extravagant and elaborated banquets. The result is manifested in a long history of problems with obesity, blood pressure, diabetes and other hidden diseases. That is why, when I got to college, I chose to study agriculture, the science of growing food, as a way to understand food since it is the cause of many diseases. I started reading more about food in general and diets in specific. I learned about different nations' food and dietary habits and how they are connected to these nations' health problems and quality of life. Therefore I decided to pursue a Master degree in Nutrition here at Kent State University.  

As an international student, what made you choose Kent State?
Kent State University is a leader when it comes to research, which I knew it would provide me with exceptional research opportunities to enhance my knowledge and skills and prepare me for a career as a Registered Dietitian Nurtitionist (RDN). Furthermore, few other nutritional programs combine theory with practice; thus, Kent State University focuses not only on the intellectual side but also challenges students on many other levels. Therefore, studying at KSU provided me with a fully rounded education that enables me to face the everyday challenges of my nutrition career.

Do you have any advice for international students who are interested in the field of dietetics?
I consider Kent State my home away from home, with an amazing faculty and environment. They are available every step of the way. I would highly recommend Kent State University and their combined Masters of Nutrition and Internship Program. It offers hands-on experience and up-to-date nutrition education.




Costa Rica, Summer 2010: They explored pineapple, coffee and banana plantations; slept in the rain forest and cooked with locals to learn more about Costa Rican diets and ingredients.

Image of a suspension bridge in Costa Rica

Listen to their experiences in Costa Rica

Part 1

Part 2