Student Award Winners - 2013


NEP was pleased to award two student NEP members’ scholarships to help support their attendance at FNCE® in Houston. Our awardees were Jennifer Morris and Kelly Sloan.

Jennifer Morris Kelly Sloan

Jennifer attends Kansas State University

and will graduate in 2014. As a veteran she

is interested in the VA’s MOVE (Motivating

Overweight/Obese Veterans Everywhere)

program and plans to work in the field of

community nutrition.


Kelly attends the University of Hawaii

at Manoa and will graduate in 2015. She

did a virtual internship this past summer

and planned to meet the dietitians she worked

with at FNCE®. Her long term goal is to work

in the field of nutrition communication with

a large public relations firm.


Jennifer Morris - I am so very grateful to have received the 2013 NEP DPG Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) scholarship. What an amazing opportunity for a student in the world of dietetics to be among the best. I was very impressed with the high caliber of speakers and the high quality of educational material presented, coupled with a number of invaluable opportunities and session for student members.

As a student, I most value networking opportunities while attending continuing education conferences. Speaking with seasoned Registered Dietitians (RDs) is invaluable. I feel there is not a better opportunity to be in the presence of thousands of RDs who were once in my shoes as a student. Every RD I spoke with embraced my curiosity and enthusiastically answered my questions. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the career paths they chose and what they learned along the way. All of the RDs I spoke with expressed enthusiasm for their job, which filled me with excitement.

The student track sessions were well organized and presented, and brimming with valuable information. The first student track session I enjoyed was Courses Measure Knowledge; Credentialing Measures Ability to Apply Knowledge where I learned about the credentialing exam registration process, testing center availability and design and content clarification. Beth Noeller, PhD, ACT Program Development Associate provided detailed information about the examinations structure, content categories, purpose, application, and preparation. Robert Blackwood provided detailed testing center information including site availability, site layout, what to expect the day of your examination and how to prepare yourself. He also spoke on examination registration and detailed steps in the process. Although this information may have been perceived as elementary to some, we are curious creatures and sometimes nervous about uncertainty. I felt it was invaluable and is now one less thing I need to be overly concerned about on my journey to credentialing.

In addition, after listening to Jim White, RDN, ACSM Health Fitness Instructor, Academy National Spokesman, Rebecca Subbiah RDN, LDN, professional speaker, social media consultant and blogger, and Peggy Balboa, RD, LDN, supermarket dietitian, I was awed by the endless possibilities my future holds. These three talented professionals so eloquently demonstrated the diversity of possibilities in the field of dietetics, while teaching that the sky is the limit. I have learned that although it may take time to get your “perfect” job, with a niche and hard work, it will come. Marketing yourself professionally and surrounding yourself with positive people are essential tools towards success.

The previous two sessions, as well as many others I attended will help guide my success for the credentialing exam, develop my leadership and professional skills, and provide me with a diverse knowledge base that I will be able to apply to nutrition education classes and/or programs that I hope to one day develop and teach to the public. All in all, the weekend was filled with thought-provoking information and left me inspired to foster my enthusiasm to fulfill my dream of becoming a registered dietitian. Again, THANK YOU NEPDPG and members for this opportunity, as I certainly plan on attending FNCE again. I look forward to my career and continued affiliation with NEPDPG and the Academy.


Kelly Sloan - Attending the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) this year in Houston was a   great opportunity to observe topical studies, trends and nutrition information in dietetics today. I greatly appreciate the generosity of the Nutrition Education for the Public DPG in awarding the Student Scholarship which enabled me to attend FNCE 2013 in Houston. I enjoyed many aspects of the FNCE, but I especially appreciated the emphasis on student track sessions offered during the conference. A favorite session was Job Searches in the Social Media Era where it was discussed that a career in dietetics today involves networking via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, etc. I was able to relate with this discussion because I am very much involved in the social media aspect of nutrition. I am interested in nutrition communications and found this session extremely helpful in providing important information on what to put on social media profiles and personal versus professional blogs.

The concept of networking through social media has greatly influenced finding a job. Using social media can at times either make or break a career, making it very important to know how to share appropriate posts on the internet so they do not affect future employment.

You are branding yourself on the internet with what you post. If you work for a company that has access to your social media profiles, it is important to market yourself as a successful individual who is responsible, not as someone who doesn’t take responsibilities seriously and will post inappropriate pictures of themselves on the web. Companies look for employees who will represent their brand in a professional manner.

I believe that many college students do not realize that what is put on the internet has a great impact on their job opportunities. What was discussed during this session can help improve students’ profiles and assist them in understanding the importance of networking with professionals.

I am a food blogger. I enjoy writing about food and nutrition and market myself as a dietetics student who is helping the public enjoy good food while understanding science-based evidence. I found that what Janet Helm, MS, RD had to say was very important for using social media to network. I try to portray nutrition information on my blog as simple-to-read material and provide my peers with recipes that are wiser choices than other foods, hopefully leading to a healthier life-style. I have found many connections with registered dietitians through my blog and LinkedIn since attending FNCE. I have applied most of the tips from the social media session to my work in social media. It has broadened my knowledge in nutrition communications as well as getting me to network with professionals in dietetics. I look forward to becoming more involved with NEP in the years to come.